Silly Bandz

Standing in the hallways at Wauwatosa West, one might notice a strange ac­cessory appearing on the wrists of many students. At first glance one might think they are florescent rubber bands, but no, these increas­ingly popular bracelets are Silly Bandz and their popu­larity has exploded over the past few months. Originally designed in Japan as a more durable office rubber band in 2002, they have evolved into today’s most popular fashion accessory for chil­dren. When worn on the wrist they look just like any other bracelet, but when taken off their true form is revealed.

The Silly Bandz company currently offers 25 different themed packets of the bands, amounting to hundreds of dif­ferent shapes ranging from gi­raffes to drum sets. Although geared towards younger chil­dren, they have gained tre­mendous popularity in high schools across the country, in­cluding here at West. Along with their rise in popularity have come debates regard­ing their presence in schools.
Senior Morgan Sieglaff, who only owns one Silly Band in the shape of a “K”, likes them because they “start as a bracelet, and then become a bright and colorful pic­ture”. Junior Will Harrington agrees, “They are fun to collect and share with your friends”.

The company the makes the Silly Bandz is the same company that makes the Livestrong Bands. However, unlike Livestrong bands, Silly Bandz are not affili­ated with a cause. This has some, like senior Emily Ro­znowski, upset. “I don’t really see the point,” said Roznows­ki, “They are unnecessary and weird- you don’t even know what they are until you take them off.” Many schools and parent groups across the country share the same beliefs as Roznowski.

In addition, schools in many states like New York, Texas, Florida, and Massa­chusetts have banned them, calling them a distraction to the learning environment. Children share, trade, and play with the bands and in some cases have even cut off their own circulation by shov­ing the band too high on their arm. Even some high schools are taking similar measures, a move that has some like se­nior Katie Csizmadia upset. “Schools are completely over­reacting by banning them” she said, “sure they’re a dis­traction, but I really don’t think they need to take such extreme measures”. Sieglaff even went to say, “If Mary Beth Tinker can wear her black armband, then I should be able to wear my Silly Band”.

However Roznowski and Harrington agree with the schools that ban them say­ing they are too much of a distraction for little kids, who are easily distracted enough to begin with. Originally de­signed as a simple bracelet, Silly Bandz have proven to be one of the most popular accessories of the past few years, and even with possible bans of the bands, their popu­larity will continue to grow.