The trend cycle

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By Abbey Huffer

Fashion Icon// Britney Spears, a well-known singer, has been popularizing trends since the early 2000’s. Britney is one of many celebrities who continue to have an impact on teenagers today.”Britney Spears Montreal Concert – Smiling Britney” by Anirudh Koul is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

People have always followed a wide range of trends since before the rise of social media, such as wearing JNCO jeans, colored eyeliner, and butterfly clips. Trends have always been around, and they show no sign of stopping because of how often trends are created. However, this doesn’t mean we have answers–many people wonder what makes up the trend cycle.

Social media plays a significant role in today’s trends. Every day, people all over the world upload and create new things on platforms ranging from TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat. Influencers with tens of thousands of followers are doing what they do best: influencing young audiences. People with big platforms on social media typically use their audience to their advantage. Kylie Jenner, who is best known on the show “Keeping Up With the Kardashians”, caused the “Kylie Jenner lip challenge” which was popular in 2015 after Kylie shocked people with her new lip injections. 

“I think the trend cycle moves so quickly because once a trend starts, people, often ‘influencers’ feel the need to participate to stay ‘relevant’ or to fit in with what’s popular,” sophomore Sophia Bingham said.

When a person with a mass following does something that receives a lot of attention, people tend to copy them. In 2019, a popular TikTok influencer, Charli D’amelio, posted a video of herself doing the “Renegade” dance (created by Jalaiah Harmon), which quickly went viral and rocketed Charli to fame. After her audience saw the large number of views, the “Renegade” dance became more popular than ever.

“I think the trend cycle moves so quickly because of social media,” sophomore Natalya Walsh said. “Social media constantly changes what is cool and what’s not and it happens mostly on TikTok where there are younger and more impressionable people.”

As society knows, trends do not last long. Eventually, more and more trends receive attention causing others to die down. After the rising popularity of the “Renegade” dance, fewer people were posting about it, and in 2020 it was eventually forgotten. The same thing happened with the bleached eyebrows trend, which became popular at the beginning of 2021, but is now rarely seen on social media. Today new dances are created almost every week and more people hop on the trends.   

“Trends die because of a loss of interest by the majority,” sophomore Rae Johnson said. “Trends start by the majority so when the majority loses interest so does everyone else. It’s a monkey see, monkey do type of thing.”

Another trend that seemed to die down was low-waisted jeans, which were popular in the early 2000’s but fell out of favor as high-waisted jeans became popular. Low-waisted jeans are making a comeback, and some may argue that they are not deserving of the spotlight. Low-waisted jeans became popular as a result of iconic 2000’s celebrities such as Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, and Britney Spears wearing a pair at events or out and about. Now, popular celebrities such as Bella Hadid, Willow Smith, and Dua Lipa have been bringing the trend back.

There are some trends society is glad to see die out. The “keep calm and mustache on,” trend from 2015 is a part of the past that people don’t want to remember. Society has seen the best and worst trends, but regardless of good or bad, they’ll never end. In the end, you shouldn’t follow trends just because they’re trendy. Wear clothes because you like them, not because Addison Rae does. Just keep in mind that not all trends are harmless, so be safe and don’t try the crate challenge!