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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Opinion: Did you get a Stanley for Christmas?

Not every trend is harmless
Opinion+writer+Isabella+Garcia+insists+we+should+think+twice+about+mindlessly+buying+the+next+TikTok+fad.+Your+Stanley+cup+means+more+than+you+think.+%28Photo+by+Jaime+Rowe%2FThe+Battalion%29
Jaime Rowe
Opinion writer Isabella Garcia insists we should think twice about mindlessly buying the next TikTok fad. Your Stanley cup means more than you think. (Photo by Jaime Rowe/The Battalion)

Among the plethora of wishlist items suggested on trendy TikToks over the holidays were the infamous Stanley Tumblers

Though Stanley has only recently become a viral hit, it’s been around since 1913. In fact, its sensational Quencher tumbler was initially such a flop in 2010 that it was temporarily discontinued. It wasn’t until being promoted on a mommy blog that their profits soared from 70 million in 2019 to over 750 million in 2023.  

TikTok users have helped document the extent of consumer craze over the Stanley with videos showing stampedes trampling Target shoppers all to get ahold of the limited edition Valentine’s tumbler. In one location, the pink metal bottle sold out in under four minutes. A few days ago, a woman was arrested for stealing over $2,500 worth of these Quenchers. 

Next thing you know, they’re going to be sold on the black market. I mean, they’re already being resold on Ebay anywhere from $150 to over $300. That’s like three Barnes and Nobles trips — and trust me, that’s a lot. 

But to be frank, it’s just a moderately overpriced water bottle. Who cares so long as no one is getting hurt, right? 

Unfortunately, Stanley cups are just one indicator of a rapidly growing problem: the extreme susceptibility plaguing teenage girls on social media. The cute stickers and velvet scrunchies of the VSCO girl trend was one thing, but 13-year-old girls are now asking for luxury clothes, cosmetics and skincare made for women in their 30s. 

Consider the jaw-dropping items on a recent 13 year old’s Christmas list, comprised of brands like Dior, Apple, Lululemon, Charlotte Tilbury, Gisou, Drunk Elephant and, of course, Stanley. 

Other young girls, like Amelia, use $50 serums and $62 moisturizers daily. For reference, my own moisturizer — which I use sparingly — is a whopping $20. 

Let’s face it: the pre-teen era is dead. Gone are the days of Justice and Limited Too, where every young girl’s plush journal decorated with its signature sequin initial has been replaced with $70 foundations and $130 Lululemon leggings. At this rate, toddler will be the new terrible teens. Actually … they already are.

When did all these little girls go from Disney Princess washable makeup kits to acting more adult than a college student like myself? And by whom are they being told they need this extravagant lifestyle?

 Us. 

The largest demographic on social media, specifically TikTok, is young girls, and the vast majority of influencers are 18-24 year old females. So when the feeds of these thousands of impressionable little girls are flooded with luxury cosmetics, clothing and accessories every single day, can you really blame them for setting their hearts on being like what they see? 

While these young girls may just see it as playing with makeup, they’re internalizing the belief that they need to live by a set of obscenely unrealistic standards — not only to gain the acceptance of boys, but of other girls, too.

In the heartbreaking words of two little sisters begging their mom for expensive, trendy Drunk Elephant skincare products in a viral video last summer, “All I watch are girls who do their face with these … I want it so bad.” The younger sister began to cry. 

Not only are these standards maliciously contorting the emotional well being of young girls, they’re physically harming them as well. Remember the trendy Drunk Elephant brand I mentioned earlier? Aside from their most popular products being ridiculously overpriced, they’re chemical exfoliants. In other words, they are not suited for anyone under 21 — nevermind 9 year olds who end up getting chemical burns. 

How much further will this escalate? 

As young adult women, we serve as older sister figures and set the example. Not just as influencers — but with how we let ourselves be influenced. No one is more guilty than us when it comes to hopping on the latest trends, so of course young girls think they have to do it as well. Whether it’s Stanley’s, Lululemon, Golden Goose shoes or North Face backpacks, choosing to base such large aspects of our physical appearance disproportionately on the most outrageously expensive trends subconsciously perpetuates the unreasonable notion that this is how you measure your self-worth. 

If we are not careful, this extreme version of “keeping up with the Joneses” will continue to ensnare the minds of those who participate by creating an obsession with chasing an unattainable and harmful ideal.

So maybe next time you’re thinking of buying your eighth $50 water bottle just because darceymcqueenyyy says blue is the “most perfect cup EVER,” try to remember what sort of message that sends to every little girl who just wants to fit in.

Isabella Garcia is an economics sophomore and opinion writer for The Battalion.

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About the Contributor
Isabella Garcia
Isabella Garcia, Opinion Writer
Isabella Garcia is an Economics sophomore from San Antonio, Texas and has been an opinion writer for The Battalion since June 2023. After graduation, Isabella intends to earn a J.D. and pursue a career in corporate law.
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    Maddie McMFeb 8, 2024 at 10:22 am

    Isa is the wisest woman ever. She is the best

    Reply