What started out as a joke Facebook page about wearing Crocs to prom quickly became an emblematic example of the kinds of lessons young people have to learn about the reality of consumer culture these days. The Star Tribune reports that Minneapolis South High School student Cornelia Lutz authored a funny Facebook page with a friend that jokingly urged everyone to wear Crocs to prom, which then became an article in their school newspaper. (Reported The Star Tribune, the two “lightheartedly encouraged those who don’t own Crocs to crochet their own or just poke holes in their shoes.”) But, being 2016, the digital article caught the attention of Crocs, and the brand sent 500 pairs of its finest plastic clogs to the school, according to the MSHS Facebook page. When students realized that these free Crocs were actually a money-saving ploy by the brand to use $17,500 of free inventory as an advertising campaign that would have alternatively cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, and attempt to recapture the disinterested youth market the students represent, they respectfully declined to take part.
Ha. Just kidding. No one can say no to free stuff. Reported WOWT News, “A lot of students resisted the idea at first, but most of them changed their tune when they found out they’d be getting free shoes.” Around 300 people showed up to prom wearing Crocs, which — on the bright side — means there were at most 200 students who resisted the idea that seminal moments and memories in your life can be bought for $35 of plastic. What did the adults in the situation have to say about this? Prom adviser Erick Taggart said to The Star Tribune, “This is definitely unique.” (As an FYI for non-Minnesotans, “unique” is to Midwesterners as “bless your heart” is to Southerners.) “It’s showing the power of the press. It’s showing individually you can do things. It seems kind of silly — it’s Crocs — but it is an accomplishment, something impressive, and students will get to see that. It’s a teachable moment.” Roger that! Lesson learned: If someone offers you something for free, you should probably just take it because it costs zero dollars and makes an interesting story, even if the non-financial costs to your ability to be a rational independent citizen trying to maintain your humanity in a consumerist world are arguably worth much more. Is that class available for AP credit, Mr. Taggart?