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Scrunchies are the ultimate ’80s accessories, and they can be traced back to 1984 with the invention of the “bunch bangle” by a woman named Jane Reid. They shot to popularity as part of the defining hairstyle of the decade — and yet somehow, by the early 2000s, they were the lamest, least-cool style you could wear.
Why such a 180? The theory goes that scrunchies were so popular for teen girls in the ’80s that today’s adult women — who were those ’80s girls — will forever associate them with being young, immature, and awkward.
Meanwhile, the young women who didn’t grow up with scrunchies — think Gen Z icons like Bella Hadid, Selena Gomez, and Lily Rose Depp — don’t have the same hang-ups and have actually embraced them. Fashion, unlike the scrunchie, is a flat circle.