Armstrong’s bracelets create trend

Online Poster

Online Poster

By Courtney Pischke

Six-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong recently launched the newest trend to hit the fashion world since Madonna turned a red string into a $14 symbol of Kabaalah spirituality. Armstrong’s yellow rubber bracelet is more than just a fashion accessory with the word “LIVESTRONG” imprinted on it, but don’t ask Emily Cartwright what that real purpose is.

“I really don’t know the whole reason behind it,” said Cartwright, a junior in business. “I just know that everyone has them.”

Although Cartwright currently does not own the yellow accessory, she said she would definitely wear it if she got her hands on one.

What Cartwright and many other students fail to realize is the philanthropy behind the vibrant band. The proceeds from these yellow bracelets benefit the Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF) in its mission to help living cancer patients through research and education programs such as Live Strong.

Armstrong created the foundation in 1997, after he successfully battled cancer and then continued to win cycling competitions. His goal is to inform people with cancer about the knowledge they need to beat the disease and help others understand the illness, according to the Lance Armstrong Foundation Web site.

“I think Lance is the most inspirational athlete in the world,” said Jay Shultz, junior in communications. “I read his book when I was in high school and ever since I’ve been amazed by him.”

Shultz comes from a family with a history of cancer, and he jumped at the opportunity to provide money toward the research and the cause. While he does feel that the bracelets have strayed from their original purpose, he thinks Armstrong’s foundation appreciates the money, regardless of why they are getting it.

“I’m sure Lance Armstrong doesn’t have a problem with them becoming a trend,” Shultz said. “He wanted to raise as much money as he could, and he has.”

On the foundation’s Web site, bracelets are selling for $1 a piece in bundles of 10, 100 and 1,000. There is currently a 3-4 week shipping delay on all orders.

“It’s like a staple on everyone’s wrist,” Cartwright said. “It’s a great idea to support it, even if you are just wearing it to be fashionable.”

Unlike Shultz and Cartwright, some students shun the idea of wearing the bracelet just to fit in with the rest of campus.

Dana Marini, junior in LAS, said she liked them a lot until everyone started wearing them around the University.

“I thought they were a good idea until everybody starting wearing them to be stylish,” Marini said. “I bet not even half of those people actually know what those bracelets stand for and that’s sad for all the cancer patients out there.”

For women who remember the jewelry craze involving $175 Tiffany’s silver bracelet and heart charm, the $1 LIVESTRONG band could not be more appealing. Yet, whatever the reason – whether to support cancer research or get in on the latest trend – students can score fall’s most popular accessory without breaking into their spring break funds.