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Like movies and music, fashion is a cyclical internet culture phenomenon. As the online world influences it, fashion itself fuels sentiment online.
And as more netizens focus on their physical attire on a daily basis thanks to the boom of image-heavy social media, trends are often made, or in this case, revived on the internet.
The latest example is straight from the 1980s: fanny packs. And no, it doesn’t seem to be an ironic Weird Al Yankovic style revival either.
Google Trends data notes an uptick in search traffic for these waist-secured utilitarian satchels, spiking massively since the beginning of the year. This is especially true within the United States, but global (and even South African) search traffic has also seen a marked increase.
Although 2017 was a good year for these accessories, 2014 was seemingly the turning point, and possibly fueled by this Dwayne Johnson snap.
Yes. The Rock and fanny packs are a meme match made in heaven.
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) July 16, 2014
Google also notes this relationship, suggesting that the former wrestler is a popular alternative search term for fanny packs.
Fashion companies were perhaps playing off this hype as early as 2016 too. In 2017, Supreme and Louis Vuitton debuted its take on the fanny pack.
Others on the internet have also noted a rebirth of the belt bag. A recent post on r/OutOfTheLoop questioned netizens whether the fanny pack is back in fashion.
“I’ve been seeing them in all kinds of stores and I’ve been seeing kids wear them. I think they are super useful but I haven’t had the courage to buy one yet,” the original poster wrote.
The movement’s gaining traction on Twitter too, even without a hashtag of note.
Bring fanny packs back
— Mason (@masonmmckay) June 3, 2018
If you don’t own a fanny pack, you’re missing out
— Jessica Huezo (@jesss_icuuuh) June 4, 2018
I need to get myself a fanny pack ASAP
— natalee (@nataleeee10) June 4, 2018
I’ve lived to see aviator frames, hi-top fades AND fanny packs come back into fashion, so I guess anything is possible.
— Iron Spike (@Iron_Spike) May 31, 2018
Is the internet’s fanny pack fascination simply a passing fad? While it might be, we’re hoping that fanny packs are only ever used for the good of fashion and utility, and not like this.
A credit union security guard approached the ⬇️ perp & tried to question him b/c he matched the description of a robber from a previous hold up. The perp took off 🏃, slipped, fell & broke his ankle #curbs #ouch The perp also had a .45 in his fanny pack #TBT pic.twitter.com/5T6m440iqI
— Kansas Capitol Police (@KSCapitolPolice) May 31, 2018
Feature image: screenshot, Dwayne Johnson via Twitter