“It’s not a phase, Mom” but maybe it is

Thanks to fast-moving social media trends, items that quickly rise to popularity can also become irrelevant just as fast. That begs the question, is it worth it to stay “trendy”?

TikTok influences everything. The top-rated social media app creates new trends every couple of weeks, including music, clothing, skincare and cosmetics. Because the trends come out so fast, people are left wondering if they should actually purchase the newest clothing or products. 

Social hierarchy plays a big part in the trends at BHS. Often, herd mentality determines what is trending. The chosen newest and greatest must-have trendy items are also constantly changing. Fall fashion one year might stay relatively the same the next year, but a new component, like a puffer vest or type of boots, can create a chokehold that all outfits rely on. 

Bismarck High School has the lowest income rate of all BPS high schools. Some brands that rise to popularity are quite expensive to start with. In order to ‘fit in’ with the crowd, teenagers find themselves breaking their budget. Once the brand realizes its product is successful or selling out, they will inevitably raise the product’s price even higher. This is simply a card played as a result of supply and demand, making it even more expensive for a high school student to afford. 

TikTok influencers are so good at convincing teenagers to add every trendy item to their cart, whether they truly need it or not. Influencers on TikTok with over 1,000 followers can put a LinkTree in their bio, which includes links to their favorite purchases. Every time a user clicks the link, even if nothing is purchased, the influencer gets a percentage of money. The incentive to create more videos showing off products in order to make more money also gets the products shown to a large number of people. 

After Christmas, it is very easy to see the current trending things people put on their wish lists or bought using Christmas money. On the first day back from break, brand-new clothing is seen throughout the hallways. This year, in most classes, Lululemon, Stanley and UGG were seen the most. Some of these brands have been popular for quite some time, but brands like UGG and puffer vests or jackets are having their second wave of extreme popularity. In retrospect, it is easy to define an old trend wave as “cheugy.” It is impossible to predict how long it will take for the mini UGGs to become as out of style as the tall boots from 2012. 

High school is all about the experience. The hockey game score will not change because a fashion trend is hitting social media. The whole lunchroom is not looking at a person’s sweatshirt and whispering that it is “so four months ago.” Simply, the fear of being different holds people back. Take the four years as a time to find oneself. Break off and try new things. Wear the UGGs, drink out of the Stanley, buy the items even though there is no way to tell if they will be “cool” next year. Maybe, the beauty of a trend is that there is no way to tell.