Have a Cause? Wear a Rubber Wristband!

They are the hottest wearable right now, despite the fashion gurus adding the adjective ‘once trendy’ while referring to them. Yes we’re talking about rubber wristbands. You can’t escape them anymore. Be it evacuees at Gaza or NBA football stars, all are wearing these bands. Passing fad? Don’t know, but they are still selling like hot cakes.

If you have just stepped out of a time machine and can’t distinguish a rubber wristband from a tennis wristband, read this: Rubber wristbands were popularised by famous cycling champion Lance Armstrong who fought and survived multiple cancers. Armstrong wore a signature yellow rubber wristband during his record sixth straight victory at the Tour de France in July.

Armstrong was diagnosed with testicular cancer that had spread to his lungs and brain when he was 25. He won the 1999 Tour de France and has won it six years in a row. The ‘Livestrong’ rubber wristbands from the Lance Armstrong Foundation are a means to show support for those battling cancer. The sales of these wristbands shot up when Oprah Winfrey encouraged her viewers to order a bracelet when she had Armstrong as a guest on her show.

The Live Strong rubber wristbands sell for $1 a piece. And they are still selling at the rate of 200,000 per day. The funds raised through selling them will support the Lance Armstrong Foundation’s efforts to help young people with cancer and their family members to live strong.

Today there are rubber wristbands of all colors available — blue, pink, yellow, striped… The blue rubber wristband was launched by BBC Radio One, and has the words ‘Beat Bullying’ stamped on it. This wristband is highly popular among footballers. One of the most popular rubber wristbands around is the ‘Support our troops’ wristband worn by family members of American servicemen. They come in many colors. The pink ones are about breast cancer awareness.

These wristbands are made of either silicon or rubber. There are also paper and leather wristbands, and ornamental bracelets.

Wearing a wristband is a good way of announcing your support for any worthy cause. What’s more, you can have your own custom message stamped on it. The beauty of rubber wristbands is that they can be worn in any situation.

So what does the continuing popularity of the rubber wristbands imply? That they are more than just an accessory. They are about attitude, a reminder about one of the numerous worthy causes that drive the human civilization forward. They are about the human need to show solidarity to those fighting against mighty odds.

Yes, rubber wristbands are a civilizational need in these turbulent times. Let the fashion gurus call them a passing fad, or whatever they like. But these rubber wristbands are here to stay.

If you have a worthy cause to support, show it by wearing a rubber wristband.

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