"The best way to predict your future is to create it." Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln High School Statesman

"The best way to predict your future is to create it." Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln High School Statesman

"The best way to predict your future is to create it." Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln High School Statesman

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Beware the Stanley Cup

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The spread of the Stanley epidemic has been staggering, and almost every LHS teen is infected by this tenacious disease (Used with Permission by Canva).

In 1896, a brilliant (and British) scientist named Sir James Dewar created an invention that revolutionized the very being of mankind and would become the social fabric of humanity. This blessing on earth Dewar created has transcended generations upon generations, leaving a lasting mark on society. What, some may ask, has this absolute genius of a man created? The nuke? The cure for cancer? The dollar bill? No, even better, the reusable metal water bottle.

Although it can be assumed that Dewar does not know that his invention is now a status symbol, it cannot be denied that metal water bottles have taken a chokehold on American teen girls. Like an odd, recurring dream, the reusable water bottle fad keeps being recycled in different ways to seem exciting. This can be seen by the metal water bottle timeline from Spoon University: the S’well from 2015-2019, the Hydro Flask from 2019-2022, the Yeti from 2020-2021 and now the beloved Stanley Cup from 2022-present. It does not seem like the reusable water bottle trend will be leaving anytime soon either, with GVU reporting that the current reusable bottle market is now valued at $9.28 billion USD and, according to Yahoo Finance, is projected to grow up to $11.5 billion USD in 2030.

Stanley Cups are in the water bottle hall of fame, so the Stanley Cup craze phenomenon is not out of the ordinary. No place is exempt from Stanley’s power, including LHS. Some estimate that a majority of teen girls at LHS have these Stanleys. LHS senior and Stanley user Samantha Cooper believes this to be true.

“If there’s 1,000 kids at Lincoln, and 500 of them are girls, I would say 3/4 of those girls have at least one Stanley,” said Cooper.

It’s understandable, Stanleys easily fit in a car cup holder and come in a variety of cute colors, who could resist? Even so, why exactly have Stanley Cups, or rather the reusable water bottle, become such a must-have for teen girls? And what kind of impacts may these trends have in the future? 

Cooper, despite owning a Stanley, believes that Stanleys are not a particularly unique water bottle, but just a trend to keep up with ever-changing aesthetics. To her, this Stanley obsession may have gone too far in some cases.

“I mean, there’s not really anything special. It’s the same way the Hydro Flask was trending during [the] VSCO girls,” said Cooper. “I love mine, but I’m not about to go stand outside Target at 4 a.m. for one.”

What Cooper is referring to is the Stanley Valentine’s Cup incidents. On Dec. 31, 2023, the Stanley company released its Valentine’s Day edition cups in Target, featuring candy red and rose pink bottles. The internet went crazy over the release and camped overnight for these limited edition and very much coveted cups. It has even been reported that people stole these cups just to attain it. These limited edition Stanley events revealed the ugliness of this water bottle trend that the public never realized, and it is pretty bad.

This consumeristic view of Stanley cups and the attachment to a colored piece of metal has been so deeply ingrained that individuals resort to illegal actions just to obtain one. Resellers are selling these limited Stanley cups for obscene prices because they know the desperation of these teen consumers. While Valentine Stanley cups are being sold out at $100 price tags, 162 million people survive on less than $0.50 a day according to the UN. This overconsumption of Stanleys can be put to better use for families in poverty than going into the pockets of resellers. While it is definitely not teens fault for owning a Stanley (even I have one), it can be harmful to own an excessive amount of these trendy bottles.

The point of a reusable water bottle is to, you know, reuse it. Many TikTokers and even fellow peers may collect 10+ of these water bottles like Pokémon, but by collecting and buying a ridiculous amount of Stanley cups, people are negating the environmental point of reusable bottles. Stanley cups produces emissions when manufactured, so buying a whole bunch of them reduces its purpose. You might as well get a pack of plastic one-use bottles.

Socially speaking, this Stanley Valentine mob frenzy should be the catalyst for consumers to step back and realize the consequences of their actions. From stealing to jumping other customers, getting the trendy item you want will be a never-ending cycle. Trends change and people change, and understandably, people want to fit in. Especially teen girls, the demographic who are likely the most targeted consumers for these water bottle companies. That’s why Stanley’s come in all these “pretty colors” and “special holiday editions,” but call me “Inception,” because we teens need to see through the lies. Sure, Stanley’s are cool, but is it worth getting into a cat fight over? That, I am not sure.

So go ahead, buy a Stanley, but do not be surprised if you get stabbed in the process.

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About the Contributor
Shalom Kato, Staff Writer
Shalom Kato is an LHS senior,  Statesman staff writer and a tea-taster extraordinaire. When she is not diligently working on stories, she can likely be found making up her extremely late homework in the debate room. Kato often spends her free time analyzing crime documentaries, attempting and failing at karate YouTube tutorials, perusing around downtown Sioux Falls and being forced to drive her friends.
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