They are simply loops of solid rubber, worn on the wrist by stretching and sliding them over the palm of one’s hands. They come in any color imaginable — yellow, orange, blue, green, black, pink… Some are translucent, others glow in the dark… And they are worn in support of many a message or cause — they are as versatile as they are stretchable! Not all rubber band bracelets are rubber, though. Some of them are made of silicone.
You can have any message stamped over the rubber band bracelets, or designs crafted on them. In fact, some of the latest rubber band bracelets sport more than one message! Rubber band bracelets usually sell for $1-5 a piece, and can be ordered online from many Web sites, in multiples of five hundred, or smaller packs of a dozen or more. The manufacturers often give discounts for the larger orders.
The most famous of the rubber band bracelets is the yellow ‘Livestrong’ wristband worn by cycling champion and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong. The pink ones are worn to show support to breast cancer patients. SHeDAISY’s ‘Come Home Soon’ yellow rubber band bracelets (named for the group’s Top 15 single) with the words ‘Come Home Soon’ stamped on them are highly popular among relatives of American servicemen.
The rubber band bracelet is a very useful and inexpensive tool for crowd control: it is used as a cheap identifying device in restricted access events attended by large numbers of people, such as music concerts. The rubber band bracelets are also issued by hospitals to their patients as identifying devices with some basic medical information stamped on them.
So what makes these rubber band bracelets so popular? Sociologists say people have always used amulets in times of trouble. Now we are just using them in a more positive way. Yes, rubber band bracelets are more than simple loops of rubber; they represent the human urge to fight and survive great odds.