What’s Behind the Taylor Swift Friendship Bracelets Trend?

What’s Behind the Taylor Swift Friendship Bracelets Trend?

What’s Behind the Taylor Swift Friendship Bracelets Trend?

The Eras tour is about to hit Australia and Swifties are busy making bracelets to swap with each other at live shows – so what’s fuelling this craze? If there is one thing that has become synonymous with Taylor Swift and her sold-out Eras tour, it would be friendship bracelets. Seen as a nostalgic trend of the past in many ways, friendship bracelets have well and truly made a comeback thanks to Swift. Fans are making dozens – even hundreds – of them to swap with fellow Swifties at live shows. So how did this trend start and why are fans so obsessed?

What are friendship bracelets?

In case you’ve never been a 12-year-old girl at a sleepover party, here are the basics: the bracelets are made using braided material or beads and shared with a close friend. Some sources suggest they can be traced back to the Indigenous communities of Central and South America. Macrame friendship bracelets became common among hippies in the 1970s, and in the 90s and early 2000s, it was popular for schoolchildren to use “scoubidou” to create bracelets in a variety of knotted patterns, traded across the playground.

What are Taylor Swift fans making?

Friendship bracelets swapped at the Eras tour are typically made of beads, using a variety of colours and spelling out different words and catchphrases. It might be song lyrics, titles or fandom inside jokes. The internet is flooded with tutorials on how to make your own friendship bracelets for the tour and fans are sharing their creations all over TikTok, racking up millions of views. It’s not uncommon for friendship groups to catch up before a show to create bracelets together and there are even Facebook groups dedicated to swapping crafting tips and outfit ideas.

Fans arrive wearing friendship bracelets at the Tokyo Dome. Photograph: Toru Hanai/AP
Fans arrive wearing friendship bracelets at the Tokyo Dome. Photograph: Toru Hanai/AP

Why are fans making and swapping them?

It is impossible to link this trend back to any particular Swiftie, but we do know where the idea came from – Swift’s song You’re on Your Own, Kid from her album Midnights. The lyrics in the song are, “So, make the friendship bracelets, take the moment and taste it.”

When did this trend start?

Midnights was released in October 2022, and when the Eras tour – chronicling Swift’s entire musical career – was announced just weeks later, some fans suggested they make friendship bracelets to swap with each other at the show. And thus, a worldwide trend was born.

Has the trend spread beyond Taylor Swift?

The short answer: yes. While the resurgence of friendship bracelets can definitely be linked to the Eras tour, the trend has taken on a life of its own. What was once seen as a crafting activity for children has well and truly been reclaimed by Gen Z’ers and millennials. People have also been spotted handing the bracelets to other celebrities. A video of the Brisbane Broncos being given individual friendship bracelets went viral on TikTok last month, and former One Direction member Louis Tomlinson was given a friendship bracelet outside the Australian Open last month. The inescapable romance between Swift and Kansas City Chiefs NFL player Travis Kelce even started with a bracelet. Kelce had made a friendship bracelet with his phone number, hoping to shoot his shot at one of her shows. While he didn’t get the chance to give it to her, the rest is history, with the pair now officially dating.

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What is behind the huge appeal?

As for why it’s taken off, it could be due to Gen Z’s apparent love of nostalgic 2000s trends. Another factor might be that it’s fostered a genuine sense of in-person community outside the online world and the chance to make new friends. And for those Swifties who have been there since day one, it gives them a chance to pass on an old hobby to their children, bonding over craft and a shared love of music.

This article is from The Guardian news.