Flashback Friday: The Trendsetter
This story was originally posted on December 2, 2016. I like the idea of fashion trends that aren’t meant to be taken seriously. I’m not so sure about the giant boot, but I would really like a day to stay home and read. Can someone make that the popular thing to do, please?
There was a time when, if you wanted to know what was popular right this second, you looked to Marley Christofferson. Marley posted constant tips about everything from fashion to breakfast cereals, and thousands listened. Some people insisted it was becoming a little ridiculous. At first, no one listened to them.
The first hint that something was wrong was the giant boot trend. Marley insisted that the popular thing to do was to shove both feet in a giant boot and hop everywhere. It caught on quickly. It was mostly harmless, except for all the uncoordinated people who kept falling over.
After that died out, Marley advised people to wear an oven mitt on one hand. “I wasn’t so sure about that one,” one fan said. “I didn’t like taking it off to text, but I could keep my phone inside the mitt, so I didn’t have to reach all the way to my pocket to take it out. And I only had to paint the nails on one hand. That was nice.”
It did make driving difficult, and made it harder to complete schoolwork. Many schools banned oven mitts.
Marley’s next big fad was conducting everything you say with a pencil. It led to people saying everything in a sing-song voice in an attempt to speak in the proper rhythm. Many older, less hip people found this trend especially irritating. “Marley needs to stop,” a principal commented. A few music teachers found a silver lining. “My students have become well-acquainted with 3/4 and 4/4 time. I even heard one student speaking in 6/8 time. I was impressed,” a music teacher said.
This was followed by ending every sentence with “Yeah, yeah.” “It was even more irritating than the pencil thing,” the same principal said. This fad didn’t last long.
However, the next fad was particularly long lasting. Beginning in November, Marley advised her followers to “Be festive and string bells on your shoelaces.” It caught on in a big way. People wore a variety of bells laced in complex ways into their shoes and jingle-jangled their way everywhere. “It made it easier to catch some petty criminals,” a police officer noted. It was months before the fad died down, and some people never stopped wearing their “bells on [their] toes”.
Next Marley advised people to peel and eat grapes slowly at lunch. Then it was putting make up only around one eye. Marley spoke and thousands listened. And then thousands more followed their example.
It was when Marley recommended staying home all day and reading a good book that her account was closed down. “She was just too disruptive,” officials said. “She couldn’t be allowed to continue.”
A year later, Marley finally agreed to an interview. When asked about the sources she used to decide what was trendy, Marley said, “I just shared what I liked.”
And the strange advice at the end? “I looked around and people were so serious and stressed. I was joking about the giant boot, but people actually tried it. I saw them smiling and laughing and happy. I just wanted to keep seeing people smile like that.”
Is that why so many people followed her advice? “I don’t know,” Marley said. “I think people want to laugh and be happy. I think they also want to fit in and feel like they belong. I think fads and fashion should be able to do both.”
So what is next for Marley? “I’m at fashion design school now,” Marley said. “Wait until you see my first collection this fall.”
Will we have clown suits or mad scientist gear to look forward to? “Of course not,” Marley said. “Everything I design will be at the height of fashion right at the second I design it, of course. Just wait and see.”