Sheila Sybrant

As a self-study of sorts, I decided to see just how trendy I am. Turns out that the answer is "not very."

I don't really care, which is a good thing considering that perhaps the more accurate answer to how trendy I am is "pretty much not at all."

To conduct my very unscientific study, I googled "hottest new trends 2020" and then clicked on Popsugar's "The 20 Trends That Will Define 2020" by Victoria Messina.

How many of the 20 listed cultural trends of 2020 did I embrace? Not many. In fact, there weren't many that I even knew about. How's that for off-the-chart nontrendiness?

For example, I didn't know that young celebrities whose main quality is authenticity are trending. Of the eight celebrities mentioned in the article, I had heard of exactly none. And I didn't know that disposable cameras were not only a thing again but a trendy thing.

I also had never heard about the new "it" handbag, live-streaming workouts, gender-neutral dolls, tech-based therapy, DNA travel (traveling to find more info after receiving genetic-testing results), CBD-infused drinks and collagen-infused foods. (Does collagen popcorn sound yummy? Yeah, not so much to me, either.)

One trend involved changes in new categories of competition in the Summer Olympics. The Popsugar article, which doesn't have a publication date that I can see, was presumably published in anticipation of the trends — the Summer Olympics were eventually postponed because of COVID-19. Regardless, I hadn't known about the potential changes. (In fact, I only knew about the Summer Games at all because I read that they were postponed.)

I'd also never heard of "#TBT-worthy hairstyles." Full disclosure: I had to look up "TBT." For the rest of you nontrenders, it means "throwback Thursday," referring to nostalgic photos posted online. Here, it means that old hairstyles like the mullet, the bowl cut and bangs are coming back into vogue again. My hairstyle is as about as new as my knowledge of acronyms — but still not considered trendy.

Podcasts hosted by celebrities as a trend? I knew that podcasts were a trend, but that's as far as my knowledge went. Of the celebrities mentioned who host podcasts, the only ones whose names rang a bell were the Obamas.

I had heard about the cultural trends of Gen Z hitting voting age, of society cracking down on single-use plastics, and of home-delivery of brain-boosting products (such as toys and food) for babies. And I also knew about the trend of digital streaming services — in fact, we subscribe to two.

I also had heard about the trend of "embracing earthy neutrals" not only for fashion but also for home décor. However, I love color too much to embrace this trend.

Plant-based meats becoming more than a niche product was also a trend that I had heard about. I could even name the top two fake-meat companies, but I haven't tried these products yet.

Some trends I'd never heard of but have been inadvertently embracing nonetheless. Well, kind of. For example, I didn't know that "zero-proof drinks" were a thing, but my "drink" of choice has always been water, so I figure that counts as a zero-proof drink. And I haven't gone on a "digital detox retreat," but I embrace limited screen time by deliberately choosing not to be on Facebook and other social media in my spare time.

Final tally: Aware of six out of 20 trends; actively embracing three.

The only way, it seems, that anyone will accuse me of being trendy is if one of the trends for 2021 is cultural disconnect.

Readers may contact Sybrant at svsybrant@gmail.com or 45092 859th Road, Bassett, NE 68714.

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