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Both of my daughters, who are in elementary and middle school, recently told me how Stanley Tumblers are all the rage among their friends. Always a rebel, I quipped that these things are not only expensive, but they leak.
Come on. I’m not paying upwards of $35 to $50 for a cup that leaks. My kids can learn to love their old-school Gatorade water bottles.
I’ve always tried to instill in my daughters a sense of healthy self-esteem not tied to any material goods. Yet I could hear in their voices that they thought the Stanley Tumblers that most of their friends had were pretty cool and that maybe, just maybe they felt a little left out.
What a perfect opportunity to be a rebel and carve their own path with normal water carriers that don’t cost a small fortune.
Then it so happened that when we were shopping last month, I saw one of these monstrosities all bedazzled so much that it sparkled like an ugly, tiny Christmas tree. It was $89.
That’s nothing compared to the limited edition pink Starbucks Stanley cups that people were trampled at Target for. They are selling on eBay for upwards of $600. Shipping not included.
If you want to trample people at Target for a limited edition Stanley Tumbler, go ahead. I won’t be there. But I will watch the videos for entertainment.
And if you want to jump on the train and get your kid a cup they can barely hold in their tiny little hands that leaks, have at it.
But all you parents, and other individuals who are wondering what our culture has come to, don’t feel bad that you don’t have a collection of these at home. If I’m using this Stanley Tumbler trend for anything, it’s to teach my kids they don’t need to have material items to be cool – a lesson I wish I would have learned earlier in life.
Of course, hydration is important. We need water and I love a good water bottle that will carry around my necessary droplets for me to drink throughout the day (that doesn’t leak).
But why do thousands of people deem it necessary to put said water in a crazy expensive piece of stainless steel? Yes, it will keep your ice intact for two days, but so will my second-hand Yeti cup and my water bottle that I froze overnight because I wanted to add a little extra work to my summer weekend.
The one thing my normal water bottle cannot do is survive a car fire. So Stanley does win on that one, but hopefully most people who buy the Tumblers won’t have car fires. As a public relations professional, I can fully appreciate that campaign.
Aside from burning cars, limited edition colors, bedazzled and personalized tumblers, trends don’t last long. Even though the hashtag #StanleyTumbers got more than 1 billion views on TikTok, it doesn’t mean all of us have to jump on the bandwagon to be cool. (Really, jumping on anything you see on TikTok doesn’t mean you are now super trendy but that’s another topic.)
This craze is all part of the modern-day Keeping Up with the Joneses and not only is it costly, but it’s not creative or original. I wish I could go back and tell my middle school self that I didn’t really need that slap bracelet to fit. I wish I could tell my teenage self that she didn’t need Doc Martens to look awesome.
When you’re so busy following trends and keeping up with the latest it-thing, you’re going to be short on time and energy to discover your own style.
Trends come and go and now, in an unfortunate increase in awful social media apps, kids (and adults, if we’re being honest) have to contend with so many more ways they are falling short of being cool and trying to fit in.
I gave up a long time ago trying to have the trendiest shoes, clothing, accessories and popular friends. Yes, I have discovered that the high school crowd still exists as an adult and they all have Stanley cups. I’d also guess it’s those parents who allow their kids to bully other kids who don’t have the name-brand Stanley Tumblers, like what happened to a 9-year-old girl in Ohio. Do better, parents.
I’d rather have my girls carve out their own path in life that is full of adventure, unique experiences and passion than follow what seems to be cool and trendy at any given moment. That will all fade and provide zero character and faith-building moments.
Like most parents, I want to strike that balance of giving my kids what they need and some of what they really want within reason. An expensive stainless steel cup is out of those boundaries, not only for the cost but because my rebellious streak runs strong.