grumpy catDo you ever wonder why some things become fads? Seriously, some of the stupidest things become the biggest fads. The inexplicably rise to popularity, everyone imitates or joins in, they live a brief (some things longer than others), shining life, and then they disappear, only to resurface fifteen years later, sometimes as a recurring fad and sometimes just as nostalgia.

But seriously, how does it happen? I mean, come on, why is Grumpy Cat cool? Because he’s grumpy? Everyone and their mother has a picture of Grumpy Cat that they’ve added an angry sentiment to and shared all over Facebook.

And those old-fashioned cards that everyone makes? How many of those have you seen that someone who couldn’t spell or write coherent thought slapped together? And yet it still gets passed around.

What about hair and clothing styles? How many of the women reading this used to do the puffy bangs? I did. Or, worse, the paper-plate bangs that stuck up six inches in the air and were held in place by entire bottles of gel and hairspray? I didn’t do those, but I definitely had the puffball. And of course there’s the pants-around-the-knees thing for guys. For some reason that one wont go away.

Then of course there are celebrities. Hot and desirable one minute, and the next they’re a washed-up has-been in rehab.

Or books and movies. Sometimes the best stories have the smallest audiences. Hidden treasures that everyone should read/watch, and yet for some reason never gain popularity, while trite, poorly-written drivel makes millions.

And let’s not forget social media. There are literally hundreds of social media sites and forums and groups you could join, but most of them people have never heard of. Most people are on Facebook, and if you’re not on Facebook you’re living in the dark ages. For whatever reason, and despite how people love to complain when things change or Facebook doesn’t work properly, it’s still the “it” place to be.

Once in awhile you can break it down and come to a conclusion about why something is popular.

Grumpy Cat is cool because he’s allowed to say the things the rest of us want to say but can’t because we’re too polite. But if we put it with a picture of a cat, suddenly it’s just a funny meme, not a cruel sentiment.

Clothing and hairstyle trends, while sometimes totally unfathomable (like the pants-around-the-knees thing–come on guys, seriously, you gotta stop that!), other times make sense. They make a statement about a particular viewpoint or body type or lifestyle.

Other times, however, there is no rhyme or reason, no sense or sensibility, no definable logic whatsoever that can account for the surge in popularity of a particular fad.

What do you think? What fads have you succumbed to? Why? Have you thought about the reason behind why you like something that is a fad? What fads do you think are stupid (besides the pants-around-the-knees thing–that one’s a given)?


About Avily Jerome

Avily Jerome is a writer and the editor of Havok Magazine. Her short stories have been published in various magazines, both print and digital. She has judged several writing contests and is a writing conference teacher and presenter. She writes speculative fiction, her ideas ranging from almost-real-world action/adventures to epic fantasies to supernatural thrillers.

4 comments on “Fad

  1. For me, I automatically think of dumb health fads, like the whole fat-free, low-fat thing. I used to be so afraid to eat fat, and now experts say that eating fat is good! Funny, how things change. As you said, some fads are cool and meaningful, and others are just plain stupid, but we tend to fall for most of them!

  2. A lot of fads I don’t necessarily think are “stupid”, but I don’t understand them. Case in point: vampires and zombies. I don’t get it. WHY do people like vampires or zombies? The list is actually much longer of popular interests that I just don’t understand, but I’ll not reveal the depths of my social ineptitude to admit to more here.

  3. I’m right with you, Caprice!

    Offhand, I can’t remember a fad I totally fell for. I guess I’ve passed around my share of memes, but most of them have to do with Doctor Who. Is Who a fad? (Well, if it is, I was a fan from back in the day when it was totally fringe and not cool. 😉 )

    When I think of fads, I’m reminded of a fad for knickerbocker pants when I was in junior high. The 19th-century style ones that button below the knee. I thought they were nutty, and only golfers wore them. I had a friend who just *had* to have a pair, and her poor single mom shelled out for them, but could not afford to replace them the following year, when all the “cool” kids had moved on to something else (parachute pants, probably). So my friend had to wear those pants until she wore them out. Ages in fad years.

    So even though I was never big on “fashion” anyway, that experience really put me off it entirely.

  4. As for fashion, I haven’t fallen for a lot of the fads. Some in my younger years, but as I’ve gotten older, wiser, and had more children (and therefore less figure) I’ve learned to wear what I like and what looks good on me. Same with my hair. I pass on memes I think are funny. Not Grumpy Cat (with the exception of the picture on this post! 🙂 ), but other stuff when I can relate to it or think it’s amusing. I’ll admit to liking vampire and werewolf lore, but not the modern tween romancey ones. I like old-school when they were nice and villainous and you might get eaten rather than smooched by one.

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