Just in time to deflect attention from real issues such as the Gulf oil spill comes a pressing new crisis: Silly Bandz. Schools across the country have banned the popular rubber bracelets, with educators giving numerous reasons for the bans, ranging from Silly Bandz distracting from learning to extremely dire warnings that Silly Bandz might actually be dangerous. Fox News went as far as to suggest that the Silly Bandz might impair children's health by causing blood clots.
As with Crocs and Pogs in years past, it seems as though the adults may have once again lost their minds over a popular children's item. So rather than talk with teachers or doctors or journalists, The Smart Set decided to speak to two real experts on the matter of Silly Bandz, Smart Set editor Jason Wilson's two sons, Sander (age 8) and Wes (age 5). Silly Bandz--which retail at $3 for a 12-pack and $5 for a 24-pack--were banned in Sander's elementary school. Here, the two shed some summer light on the Silly Bandz controversy:
So what are Silly Bandz?
Sander: Silly Bandz are rubber bands that take shapes of animals and people and objects. There are tons of different shapes. They come in all different colors.
Wes: They are rubber bands that go on your wrist that look like animals and guitars and microphones and letters and fast food. They come in lots of colors, even tie-dye and sparkly colors.
Why are they so popular among kids?
Sander: Because they're new and you can trade them and they sell them everywhere. We can bring them to school without having to put them in our backpack. They just go on your wrist. They're better than regular rubber bands because they actually take shapes.
Wes: I don't really know why they're popular. Because they are cool.
How did you first find out about Silly Bandz?
Sander: The girls in school had them first. Autumn and Julia each gave me one for free--a turtle and an ostrich. Then Alex got a whole bunch of them. He got four packs, I think. A few days later, my mom took me to [a local store called] Jamaican Me Crazy. They only had three different kinds, so I got the zoo pack. Later, I got lots more. You can never have enough Silly Bandz. I will never have enough.
Wes: I found out about them because of Sander.