What’s the Deal with Pom Poms?

By Ari Kaye


Last time I graced the pages of Perspective magazine, I gave my take on pencil skirts and all of their glory. This time around, come with me as I maybe somewhat obnoxiously state my opinion on a peculiar fashion trend I see pop up every winter here at Yeshiva University. So, as someone who is still definitely pretending to know about fashion, let’s talk about pom poms.

When I was a kid, I used to play this game “punch buggy,” which entails endlessly searching for a Volkswagen Beetle, and upon finding one, punching one of your friends while screaming out the color of the car. It was a lot of fun, if not super weird, and many laughs and bruises were shared. Now, to get to my point, before I played this game I don’t remember ever seeing a Volkswagen Beetle driving around. I probably did, I just didn’t notice. Once I began playing the game, they were everywhere. They had gone from being a completely unknown car to the most common car in my life in a matter of days. The same thing happened recently in my life–this past winter to be exact–with pom poms.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about cool accessories on clothes and adding a little bit of flair to your outfits and whatnot. Generally, however, I feel like that means quirky political buttons or badly painting your favorite album cover on the back of the expensive jean jacket you bought because they were “like, so in this season.” I didn’t realize that for a lot of people that also means buying clothes with a-little-too-large balls of fluff attached. I’ve seen these things on everything, from shirts to shoes to bags. I’ve even seen them on phones which, honestly, just seems ridiculously inconvenient for everyone.

You might be asking me right now, “But, Ari, what’s the problem with pom poms? Why do you dislike them so much? Why are you so pom pom prejudiced?” Well, to be perfectly honest, I can’t tell you exactly why I don’t like them; I just don’t. For some reason their puffiness and obtrusiveness seem to scream “I am overly cheerful!” and “Notice me! Notice me! Notice me!” at the same time. They just get on my nerves. Every time I see them sticking out of the top of a hat or on a sweater or a shoe, I get the same urge that some people get when they see a kid holding a balloon: I just want to super subtly snip them off.

Pom poms to me just seem like an impractical waste of space and materials. Imagine all of the sweaterless kids of the world who could benefit from all that fabric. But instead it’s made into annoying balls of fluff adorning the front of all your sweaters, making ya’ll look like my preteen face circa 2010.

But that’s just my opinion, and, as a person who admittedly does not know anything about fashion, feel free to take it with a very large, obtrusive, pom pom sized grain of salt. Apparently they’re what’s cool nowadays, so who am I to stop you from doing you. If you’re into them, then rock them–just please don’t freak out if I snip one (or two (or three)) of them off.

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