A Project for Better Journalism chapter

What makes a trend vs. a staple?

The definition of a trend is “a general direction in which something is developing or changing,” and the definition of a staple is, “a main or important element of something.” While these are the dictionary definitions of each word, and they do apply to today’s trends and staples, they aren’t the entire definition. What defines a staple or a trend is a matter of opinion, and the reporters of the Lions Roar delved into the subject to find out what the students of LHS think about the trends and staples that are experienced at LHS.

Music – Ethan Hanson

The chief factor in music popularity generates out from teenagers. This may seem odd seeing as teens have the least amount of money to be able to afford concert tickets, but in 2018 that becomes much less of a problem.

“Well anyone can be the next lil Xan.” Said senior Christian Olsen, a member of the Littleton Conservatory for rock.

“Just drag and drop a file and it’s uploaded, anyone can do it,” said senior Paul Schiebel, a self producing artist who goes by the name Das Scheebs.

Music that’s popular now can come from anywhere and anybody. Ableton 10 is an app that can be downloaded online, and allows you to produce and mix music as well as most minor studios. Teenagers have always had an obsession with music though, even now teens listen to the same music that people were listening to in the 60s and 70s.

“Red Hot Chili Peppers, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix.” Olsen listed his favorite artists.

All three were underground or grungy rock bands in the last 4 decades. Some of his modern favorites include “XXX Tenacion and 6ix 9ine.”

“Mac Demarco of course, The Beach fossils are good.” said Schiebel describing artists that he was inspired by. “XXXTenacion” and “6ix 9ine” are arguably in the mainstream yet they have lyrics that are more heavy, they relate to growing up in hard situations and dealing with depression. They are similar to songs by the Chili Peppers which talk about addiction and fake people in California. Mac Demarco talks about heartbreak with synthesized cords and complicated guitar like Led Zeppelin.

“I think the spirit hasn’t changed, it’s probably the same, but like the environment has changed,” said Senior Nathan Ryan.

The music that teens are listening too reflects the things that they are interested in and dealing with, stress, dating, and drugs.

“Things move from genre to genre, if you are an EDM guy you’ll enjoy some heavy drops, country person you’ll probably like some sick acoustic guitar. In terms of modern pop its kind of constantly changing,” said Olsen. This is true especially in the world of rap where trends like trap beats rise and fall in a matter of months.

“Trap drums is the (holy cow) that’s hot now.” J. Cole, a veteran of both hip hop and pop rapped in 1985, a song on his latest album.

If there is a staple of music in the teenage mainstream its that what is catchy will always be on top, Michael Jackson rode the top of the charts as “The King of Pop” in the 60’s and 70’s. Teens that actively seek out their music will look further for things that relate to them, that’s why Led Zeppelin is the national hero he is today. Trends in music are always changing to be whatever will play on the radio, there is an entire genre just for that.

“Pop stands for popular, Nathan,” said Quinn Jones.

“That’s revolutionary,” replied Ryan.

Fashion – Ashlyn Moore

Throughout the decades fashion has gone from poodle skirts, to bell bottoms, parachute pants, to flannels, to tube tops, and what’s trending now, style has evolved and cycled into what it has become. This generation has trends of its own, as well as staples, and fads from the past.

Senior Lydia Tomlinson has noticed that 90’s clothes are coming back into fashion.

“90’s short shirts, crop tops, short sleeved turtlenecks, overalls, shoulderless shirts, and white shoes are all coming back into style now, which were popular in the 90’s,” said Tomlinson.

Whether or not those trends are here to stay is up for debate. They went of style towards the 2000’s, but as the 2010’s has progressed, 90’s clothing and accessories are making a comeback.

“I don’t think anything is leaving anytime soon. A lot of the clothes we wear now are timeless, and can be worn for any occasion,” said Tomlinson.  

As far as specific things go, Tomlinson thinks a couple fads will never fade.

“High waisted pants and converse aren’t going anywhere. They’ve been here for a long time, and they aren’t leaving,” said Tomlinson.

According to Harper’s Bazaar, a fashion and pop culture based news source, the top three trends happening in 2018 are lavender colored clothing, art infused patterns, and plaid everything. 2018 is nearly over, and Tomlinson has noticed the prominence of these trends.

“I think those trends have been popular. I’ve seen mostly plaid clothes, and less of the others, but I’ve still seen all three. I think it’s a lot of pastel colors, not just lavender,” said Tomlinson.

With new, yet still old, trends on the rise, who’s to say what trends are going to become popular in the next year, and what trends are going to stay.

Technology – Annelise Christian

Pokemon Go! was an app made popular the summer of 2017, but didn’t stay on the charts for long. Fleeting technology fads, like this app, come and go regularly among high school students. In 2018 so far, the apps Sarahah and After School, TV shows like 13 Reasons Why, and countless songs and artists have become popular.

Sarahah and After School-type apps have been one of the newer trends this year. These are messaging apps aimed at teenagers which allow people to post opinions about other kids anonymously.

Sarahah, launched in 2016, and After School, launched in 2014, have been a bit controversial because many people use it to make negative comments about other members, and while it’s not technically illegal, it could be potentially harmful.

“I think the appeal is to know what other people think about you. As high schoolers and teenagers in general, lots of time is spent thinking about how other people perceive you. These apps just fulfill the need of knowing what others are thinking. Sometimes I feel like these apps are not beneficial, due to the anonymity because anyone can say anything about anyone. With teenagers being the way they are, can be detrimental because people may be mean as a joke, or to bully others without any consequences,” said sophomore Belle Jones.

What makes these fads so popular varies among students. It may be the intrigue of a new concept, the thrill of being part of a community, or simply something fun to do.

“I think people like to do what others are doing because usually what’s popular is always interesting and fun to do,” said sophomore Elise Boorom.

“Yeah, it does help if a lot of other people are following them for me to follow them. It’s a lot more fun to use an app, especially a social app, if people that you know are using it too. Otherwise, there’s really no point in using the app at all,” said Jones.

Despite having so many short-lived trends, there are certain technology staples that most people agree are not going anywhere soon. Apps like Snapchat, Youtube and Instagram, which allow the user to personalize the content, as well as share their own, are still going strong.

“I don’t think Snapchat or Instagram will ever decline, at least for a long time, but there are other popular apps that are big for a short time, but kinda… fall out.” said Boorom.

It also may depend on personal preference- even though an app is considered ‘out’, if people enjoy it, they’ll keep using it. “Yeah, I still play Pokémon go occasionally. I hadn’t played it for like a year and then I picked up again because some friends of mine did,” said Jones.


Old Trends – Evan Moore

Today we have trends like Fortnite, Jordans, social media and other similar things that people fall victim too. However, times weren’t always like this, before technology and name brand basketball shoes, older generations experienced their own set of trends and fads similar yet different to ours.

“When I was in highschool one of the trends just getting started was stuff that still exists which is the goth stuff,” said language arts teacher Jonathan Saliman.

While those were trends in the 1980’s-1990’s, similar trends can still be seen today in the new generations.

“You would wear all black and paint your face white, have black hair and maybe colored contacts,” said Saliman.  

The trends while not as extreme, are still prevalent in current times.

“Skateboarding was a big deal there was lots of skateboarding clothing that you could wear including JNCO jeans and they were the absolute opposite of skinny jeans… they looked like you were wearing a dress on each leg,” said Saliman.

JNCO jeans could be considered a trend that has faded, due to the uprise of skinny jeans in the early 2000’s. Trends from the early 80’s, late 90’s are things that have been slowly changing and evolving into what today’s generation’s trends are.  

“We wore everything neon there was a sneaker company named LA gear and what was cool is those shoes would have extra rivets so you would wear three pairs of shoelaces so they would match your shoes,” said Saliman.

A new trend is formed nearly everyday, from spoken trends, to clothing, to old ones coming back, the amount of trends couldn’t be counted. With new trends coming out at such a frequent rate, others fade into the background and are quickly forgotten about.