It’s not hard to miss those colored rubber bracelets in different shapes that are displayed in department stores. Whale, dolphin, bear, gecko, ostrich, star, tree, bone, dollar sign, baseball, boy, girl – these are only few of the shapes of what kids of today call Silly Bandz. Silly Bandz is actually just one brand of these wacky rubber bands. There are other brands that promote this style. Some adults use these outrageous and unique rubber bracelets but most of them stick to the thick, classic one with a name, a team, or a cause printed on those bands. The point is that these rubber bracelets are hot commodities in stores nowadays.
The rubber bracelets were first worn by Madonna and Cindy Lauper during their performances in the ’80s. They came to be known as Jelly Bands, and people wore as many of them as possible and in different colors. They re-emerged in the ’90s but earned bad publicity because they were associated with a Snap, a sexual game played by middle school students. They became popular again in the late ’90s as a fashion cult. People sported rubber band bracelets with words “cute” and “hottie” embossed on them. The bracelets eventually lost popularity because rubber irritates the skin. NBA players made these bracelets popular again, only this time they were made of smooth silicone rubber. Known as “baller ids”, the bracelets had the names of teams and players embossed of them. The color, of course, depended on the team.
In 2004, Lance Armstrong partnered with Nike to come up with “LiveStrong” rubber bracelets for his LiveStrong cancer research foundation. They were able to raise $28 billion for cancer research. Other charities, foundations, and commercial brands followed their footsteps and used rubber bracelets as means to promote their cause.
Rubber bracelets for a cause are the most popular types of rubber bracelets. Breast cancer awareness has largely grown, thanks to these affordable and stylish bracelets. Proceeds of these bracelets go to charity and research. The most popular cause is Breast Cancer. Breast cancer rubber bracelets usually come in pink, breast cancer’s trademark hue. Other charities and organizations have taken a cue from breast cancer awareness and have started using these cheap rubber bracelets as instruments to spread awareness and gather funds for their organizations.