Shockey: Stanley’s are stupid and here’s why

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It seems that history is always repeating itself and trends resurface in different fonts as time passes. A recent product inevitably takes the crown as the new trendy item that quickly turns into a necessity for many, a phenomenon that is never more present than in the realm of water bottles.

I can remember when S’well blew up when I was in elementary school in the early 2010s, back when I, like many other girls in my class, rocked the halls with our perfectly sized and easy-to-carry vessels. Specifically, mine was purple covered in a mini black dachshund pattern, with a few yellow ones sprinkled in the mix. 

In my freshman year of high school, Hydro Flasks became the biggest hit. As the VSCO girl epidemic blew young girls of the world by storm, I proudly lugged around a 32-ounce bright blue bottle decked out in endless Redbubble stickers, a burden that couldn’t fit in the holder attached to the sides of my book bag. Like many of the other so-called “turtle lovers” of that era, I was one of the many causes of jolting jumps and mini panic attacks in a quiet classroom when that anvil of a container hit the floor during a test, followed by an aggressive eye roll by the teacher at her desk after the commotion calmed down.

However, as I have entered into the second semester of my freshman year of college, I refuse to hop on the bandwagon of the internet’s latest water bottle “it-girl”: the Stanley.

Now before people start ganging up on me, this article isn’t my proclamation of being “quirky” and “not like the other girls,” I have an informed argument to make. Also, I don’t feel the need to let everyone know what kind of water bottle I have because honestly, no one cares. It’s a transportable mode of hydration, not a fashion statement.

Not only are Stanley’s one of the ugliest things I’ve ever seen, but they have made people go outright crazy. It seems like everyone, especially college students, has one. People have even started buying carriers with straps to turn theirs into a satchel, a useless and ridiculous accessory for an overpriced eyesore that resembles something to the effect of an adult sippy cup.

But name-calling aside, there are faults within the product itself that also turn me away from the idea of Stanley as a whole. With their best-selling model the Quencher H2.O Flowstate™ 40-ounce Tumbler costing a whopping $45, I expect the product to be flawless and be ready to serve my needs for the foreseeable future, but this reality is far from the truth.

First off, Stanley’s are destined to leak because of the straw that pokes out the top. Also, not only will water flow out of the straw if it happens to fall on its side, but the hole in which the straw is put through also leaks, an error that occurs simply because of its inadequate design. 

Considering people have to buy attachments like Stanley spill stoppers to prevent this problem from happening, it’s an added expense that could have ultimately been avoided if they were just made better. Also, while these attachments aren’t super expensive, for the huge price the water bottles are marked at, to begin with, people shouldn’t need to buy a product to fix their easily avoidable mistake.

Second, Stanley’s have lead in them. While other companies like Owala and Hydro Flask, who have begun mocking Stanley in their recent advertisements, don’t use lead in their products, Stanley still uses lead pellets in the bottom of their cups to vacuum seal them. While the pellets are covered by a stainless steel barrier, if the product becomes damaged, it is possible that users could become exposed to lead, something that can cause serious consequences for a person’s health

While instances where this would occur are extremely rare and don’t pose a direct threat to Stanley owners, it’s not exactly an ideal method to use considering many of its competitors have stopped or have never used lead in the first place.

And finally, Stanleys have driven people to madness. Almost like civility never existed, videos show people camping overnight outside Target and bolting through the store once the doors are unlocked. All of this running just to grab more water bottles off the shelves than any reasonable person needs, a reciprocated effect that causes them to sell out in minutes. Why? Because they’re bright pink.

I don’t care if they’re a Valentine’s Day exclusive, most things aren’t worth all that effort, especially for a water bottle that will be uncool in a few months. People have also begun reselling them on Ebay for over $200 and in sets of three on Mercari for $600, more than four times the original price of three together. To think some people would actually spend that much money on a water bottle is unfathomable, a figure that doesn’t even make sense economically considering the product being debated.

Now this point isn’t my attempt to degrade all Stanley owners into this level of obsession, but to think that a singular overpriced water bottle has caused this much of a frenzy is pretty scary, showing just how much control the internet holds over and can influence gullible people, all to sell a product that is mediocre at best.

In an attempt to unmask the craze for the Stanley, an appeal I will never understand no matter how much people shove that metal lump in my face while holding it by its one odd handle, I have put forth some examples of why I will never be purchasing one of these water bottles, or as I like to call them, the female equivalent of those gym bros who lug around plastic gallons of water all day.

While I will forever think they are the hideous muse of the trendy consumerist climate of the United States, at the end of the day if Stanley users are happy with their purchase, there’s nothing to shame them for. 

However, I will still continue to sit and watch others with Stanley’s, my two-year-old dented and perfectly sized gray Hydro Flask in my hand, and silently judge, feeling comforted knowing that its contents won’t leak all over the floor if I happen to tip it over.

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