Many children of the 70s and 80s are feeling extreme disappointment today after seeing the phrase “Alex and Ani bracelets” trending on Yahoo News. When first seeing the phrase, many in their 40s naturally thought that clicking on the link would lead to information about bracelets depicting two television stars with absolutely no credentials who used to dole out psychological advice to pre teens and teens. Decked out from head to toe in goofy 70s bell bottoms and sometimes strange overalls, Alex and Annie starred on a show called Dear Alex and Annie where they handed out generic advice in the form of singing and dancing. The show was a short segment that would air in between programs, especially during the famous “after school specials” that used to inform children about everything from drugs to abortion. When Alex and Annie would come on during the commercial break, it was like getting a double dose of life advice, albeit sometimes frightening and disturbing.
No such luck; the Alex and Ani bracelets of modern times are apparently just some dumb charm bracelets that women are supposed to wear and bear no resemblance to the awesome 1970s television spots. Finding out that Dear Alex and Annie is not having some glorious yet bizarre comeback has resulted in extreme disappointment for fans of the odd, quirky TV show. Whoever is behind the bracelets sure has some bang-up marketing department, though. How can average charm bracelets be trending on Yahoo News, and more importantly, why would they even be classified as news? A glance at the Alex and Ani website makes it clear that the bracelets are not really anything special, though to their credit, a portion of the proceeds of the bracelets do go to charity, something that the real Alex and Annie would probably find really groovy.
Still, no amount of altruistic motives on the part of the company’s officers will ever match the glory of the television show Dear Alex and Annie, which can claim responsibility for an entire generation; after all, without their spot-on dating advice, how would a new generation of children ever have been born in the first place? Clearly, the show trumps the Alex and Ani bracelets by a mile.
Of course, teens never questioned the advice that Alex and Annie used to give; although as those teens got older they began to wonder whether Alex or Annie were really psychologists or had any formal training whatsoever in child development. As it turns out, both characters were played by actors with no experience in the field of mental health. At the end of each episode, however, a disclaimer was given explaining that the program was guided by an actual psychologist.
Looking back, research reveals that both Alex and Annie were supposed to be teenagers on the show, which is kind of disturbing given that the actors looked as though they were both well into their 30s at the time. Mercifully, the days of casting full grown adults in kids’ roles seemed to have passed and now genuine teens rule the airwaves.
Alex and Ani bracelets trending on Yahoo has resulted in extreme disappointment for the folks hoping for an exalted resurrection of the real Alex and Annie. However, those who are dealing with the blow of finding out there will be no bracelets depicting the 30-something teens should harken back to the words of wisdom Alex and Annie used to give: “Find something to take your mind off it! …Just be yourself!”
Opinion By: Rebecca Savastio