Nowadays it's hard to step outside the house without seeing a girl with a scrunchie holding up her hair. These full-bodied hair ties are greatly beneficial for hair because they cause less breakage, no indents after high ponytails are taken out, and function as a fashionable accessory to match any outfit.
But how do they factor into the societal construct of femininity created by corporations?
A simple 18 by 14 inches of fabric and eight inches of elastic can go for up to $175 with the middle of the road pricing settling around $5. The extravagant mark-up of such a simple everyday product could be traced back to corporate greed, the customer paying for the brand, or simply the price of the pink tax. In the United States, products are continually marked up based on desirability.
Although a simple hair tie would do, the scrunchie is coming back in a big way, so much so that it has become a part of today's consumerist culture for young women. It can be found in any store, representing another necessity of the everyday woman in the capitalist society: one must always be found on her wrist, in her hair, or in her purse if she is to be trendy.
In this sense, scrunchies have become another corporate product targeted at women to allow them to fulfill a specific identity. Punk? Black velvet scrunchie. Preppy? Pink with flowers. Just using it to hold your hair back while washing your face? The 10-pack multicolored set for $18 at Urban Outfitters should suit you fine, but be forewarned: if the scrunchie doesn't match your outfit, you'll be socially obligated to buy another one.
The versatility of the product makes it open to all kinds of possibilities, yet sales are just targeted at women. Maybe due to the fact that having a pink "full-bodied" hair tie on your head rings inherently of old-school femininity. The overpricing of the scrunchie at name brand stores like Free People, Forever21, PacSun, and Urban Outfitters could be contributed to the fact that you, the consumer, are willing to spend this money in order to fit some certain identity produced by the marketing geniuses at the heads of these corporations, or it could just be that the pattern on the scrunchie speaks to you. No matter, you won't find these products marketed in men's clothing stores or sections.