If you came of age in the late '90s or early 2000s, you probably have fond memories of sporting a Ring Pop. These huge glistening rocks of candy, once licked, sparkle just like any ruby or diamond would. Perhaps that’s why last night, Sophie Turner was photographed tongue-polishing her Ring Pop wedding ring while leaning on a pink car after marrying Joe Jonas at the famed Little White Wedding Chapel.
Now picture this: It’s 2005 and 50 Cent’s Candy Shop is at the top of the Billboard charts. A note is passed in the middle of 4th grade social studies class: “Be my boo? Circle Yes or No.” Next thing you know, it’s recess and you’re exchanging Ring Pops under the big oak tree. The class gossip officiated the ceremony.
Like candy cigarettes, Ring Pops were one of those treats that doubled as props for role playing adulthood. The instructions for how to play house with them were outlined in this 1995 Ring Pop commercial: A blonde boy holding a Ring Pop in a box behind his back asks a brunette with a headband, “Will you wear my ring?” Instead of “I do,” she shouts “Ring Pop!”
In a 2014 comedy skit called The Dark Side of Ring Pop!, Aubrey Plaza showed us the tragic turn of events of a relationship doomed by Ring Pop! “I do’s,” that lead to a Pixie Dust habit and escalated into a rock sugar addiction.
In a way, Ring Pops are obvious stand-ins for diamonds and gold bands, (albeit, usually because the couple is still learning long-division). But Ring Pop nuptials aren’t just for kids — or celebrities.
Take this Atlanta couple: She had a list of requirements for the perfect proposal. It included a manicure, her parents, her boyfriend on one knee, and the perfect ring. Throughout their relationship, he fake-proposed to her, with Ring Pops, a total of 11 times. Ring Pops became such an important part of their narrative, that the final proposal, the one she said yes to, involved one last Ring Pop.
On the other hand, another couple, Mandy Grogg and Ryan Williams both worked for the U.S. Army in Germany and met while in the ROTC. When their non-candy rings got stolen before their wedding day, they chose to get married with Ring Pops to “find some humour in this,” as Mandy later put it.
But Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas turned this childhood fantasy and/or last-ditch solution into a stylish act of defiance. Turner’s self-awareness when it comes to marriage has been endlessly quoted. Marriage was not a goal or an aspiration for Turner, but she found her person and she’s grateful. The Vegas chapel, the slip, and the Ring Pop reflect that.
Meredith Carelton, Ring Pop's Brand Manager is, understandably, over the moon with Turner and Jonas's ring choice: "We’re so thrilled the newlyweds chose to tie the knot with Ring Pop! Our brand has been so ingrained in pop culture for over 40 years, and we absolutely love that fans of the brand find a way to make Ring Pop part of their special moments."