Trends were once made popular by fashion magazines and red carpet events but with the popularity of reality shows converting cast members into celebrities, they’ve become the ideal spokespeople for dozens of industries. They’re paid to promote everything from sneakers to protein shakes, but it’s the styles and habits that they aren’t cashing in on that seem to influence the public the most. While many of these trends have us opening our wallets and dropping cash like Trump was paying us child support, they’re now considered some of the worst trends in existence.
Those most guilty of starting terrible trends are the Kardashians, who always seem to know the secret to dropping pounds and achieving that flawless look. However, it’s not just the Kardashians who are guilty of starting trends, as many were started when Kim K was still just organizing celebrity closets. Her old bestie, Paris Hilton, makes the list as well, starting a rather shocking trend that Kim actually took on to achieve her claim to fame.
While not all reality star-inspired trends have people regretting any evidence that they’re guilty of jumping onboard, most certainly do. The reason for this is that reality stars are famous for doing... well, nothing. This means that they promote items and rock styles onscreen that they wouldn’t typically stand behind if they weren’t being paid to. They have a way of making it seem like they started these trends accidentally, when in reality, contracts and marketing plans were put in place to sell us these products. Every now and then, however, reality stars start awful trends that are simply based on their arrogant and senseless natural habits that make them so entertaining.
15 The Snooki Poof – Nicole (Polizzi) LaValle
When MTV brought film crews to the shores of New Jersey, the world got a glimpse into the lifestyle of Guidos and Guidettes alike, which included an array of extreme styles that quickly made their way into stores. Snooki, the outspoken meatball most known for her inability to find the beach, made her way into fame by fist pumping her way into our hearts on the popular reality show, Jersey Shore.
Aside from her loud animal print wardrobe and her love for pickles, Snooki was also notorious for her larger than life hairdo. Likely her intention was to add a few inches to her below average stature, but the Snooki poof quickly became a thing and girls all over the country would rock the look on a typical night out. Whether indulging in just a small bump or a full out six-inch poof, this trend has thankfully run its course and women are choosing to keep their hair a bit closer to their heads these days.
14 The Tape - Paris Hilton
The original queen of reality television, Paris Hilton, made more than just pink lip gloss and silly catchphrases a trend. She created a formula for stardom that includes the infamous sex tape she made with Rick Salomon, which was conveniently released right before her reality show, The Simple Life, debuted. Paris claimed not to have given consent for the tape’s release which was entitled, 1 Night in Paris.
While the reality star might not have made money from the tape directly, she certainly benefited from the tape’s release. Paris went on to become one the most recognized socialites in Hollywood, starring in a slew of reality shows and racking in the cash doing appearances. Many other reality stars have taken note of how well this worked for the heiress, and have released their own sex tapes in hopes of gaining the same recognition. Farrah Abraham, Kim Kardashian, Heidi Montag, and even Bam Margera.
13 The Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge
Back when Kylie Jenner was still denying having indulged in any cosmetic procedures, swearing up and down that her clearly enhanced lips were some kind of side effect of puberty, many tried to achieve her look through means of suction. Girls were using shot glasses, water bottles, and basically anything they could get their hands on to get bigger lips. See, by attaching a round opening that fits around the lips to one’s mouth and sucking in, the pressure buildup swells up the skin around the lip area.
For some, this odd beauty technique worked out and they temporarily achieved the look they were set out to. However, for most, this trend caused massive irritation, bruising, and even some scarring. Those who attempted this trend tactic more than once were left with more severe and permanent side effects. Thankfully Kylie has come out and admitted to having gotten lip injections, which put an end to this dangerous trend.
12 Cleavage Contouring – Kim Kardashian
Likely a well-kept Hollywood secret for years, Kim Kardashian and the rest of the Kardashian ladies brought cleavage contouring to a whole new level this year. It wasn’t enough for the star of Keeping Up With The Kardashians to just tape the girls in place, but she needs to have them contoured as well to achieve perfection. She even went as far as hiring a professional contour artist to achieve the look which has inspired dozens of tutorial videos.
The trend seems to have been passed down to Kim’s younger sister Kylie who hasn’t had the same luck with her own contouring makeup artist. She was recently photographed on the red carpet of a Nip+Fab event that indicated she hasn’t gotten the technique down quite yet. With contouring being a trend that is dead according to Kim K, perhaps cleavage contouring will come to an end as well, sooner than we thought.
11 The Blowout – Pauly D
Back on the shores of New Jersey, Paul DelVecchio, aka Pauly D, brought sheer hilarity and entertainment to the Jersey Shore house. A fan favorite, Pauly was able to keep viewers entertained without being at the root of drama. Aside from his witty catchphrases becoming mainstream, his overdone hairstyle did as well. While Pauly certainly rocked the blowout well, those who followed suit never quite got it right. Guys were popping up everywhere looking more like Sonic the Hedgehog than anyone with a sense of style.
While the trend has faded, the memes they’ve inspired are thankfully here to stay. Guys tried to mimic the DJ’s look for years, creating a marvelous photo collection of copycats preserved on the internet so that the world may enjoy them for years to come. Pauly has now matured his look with a shorter hairdo and still appears on reality shows from time to time, most recently on E!’s Famously Single where he met his current girlfriend, Aubrey O’Day.
10 Orange Spray Tans – Nicole (Polizzi) LaValle
Speaking of Jersey Shore, it should be no surprise that Snooki was responsible for more than one trend back when the show was at the height of its fame. She rocked an orange glow from day one, and even brought her own spray tan contraption to keep up the look. While the whole cast spent more than their fair share of time at the tanning salon, Snooki seemed to take it just a bit too far, giving her a seriously unnatural coloring throughout the series.
Her short stature and orange skin gave her the appearance of an Oompa Loompa straight out of the original Willy Wonka movie, but for some reason, both guys and girls alike took this trend to the same extreme. Since becoming a mother, this reality star has adopted a more natural appearance but she’s still well known in the tanning industry. She has a line of tanning lotions, naturally titled "Snooki" and contains a bright animal print packaging.
9 Kate Gosselin’s Mom Hair - Kate Gosselin
Most known for her reality show, Jon & Kate Plus 8, Kate Gosselin and her family have been targeted by the media since the show first hit the small screen. Everything from Jon and Kate's parenting tactics to their decision to raise so many children was scrutinized for sheer entertainment. Kate rocked a very specific look that became popular among middle-aged women, specifically mothers. The short hairdo was often associated with her not-so-pleasant attitude toward, well, everything and her constant resting bitch face, giving the style a bad reputation.
While other celebrities rocked similar looks, it was Kate that inspired the trend to spread across America. This style has since been put to rest, and the reality star now sports a longer hairdo. She may no longer have a reality show, but she continues to make waves in the tabloids, most recently being accused of exploiting her son’s special needs for attention from the media.
8 Paris’ Catchphrase - Paris Hilton
As the original queen of reality television, it’s no surprise that Paris’ sex tape wasn’t the only trend she started that we’re glad to be rid of. While filming The Simple Life, Hilton unintentionally made “That’s hot” a popular catchphrase after using it repeatedly when talking to her costar, Nicole Richie. The phrase was used in practically every conversation and seemed to implant itself in the minds of fans as it suddenly became the thing to say to express that something was cool.
Not only did the phrase become a trend, but her whiny voice behind the phrase did as well. There wasn’t a person around that wasn't imitating her sheer stupidity that she demonstrated on the show, likely the only factor that kept it going for five seasons. Well, that and the fact that both she and Nicole were pretty easy on the eyes, running around in skimpy outfits for thirty minutes while attempting to perform laborious work that they usually screwed up. It was entertaining, to say the least.
7 The Waist Trainer - Khloe Kardashian
As Khloe Kardashian has recently gone through a complete body reformation, she’s the ideal spokesperson for something like the waist trainer, which she has been promoting on her social media pages. Clearly a paid advertisement, it still has many wondering if the corset actually works. Apparently, it does not. Additionally, it can be extremely dangerous, even if it’s used properly.
Research has been done by doctors who have gone on record to say that theses waist trainers can make breathing difficult as well as cause permanent damage to the stomach muscles as the corset provides a false sense of core body strength. Regardless of theses clear warnings, all of the Kardashian sisters continue to promote the product and women continue to wear them and similar products on a regular basis. Khloe looks great, but it’s likely due to exercise and healthy eating. Hopefully, this unhealthy trend will be on its way out, sooner rather than later!
6 Feather Hair - Kesha
Kesha may have started her career as a spunky pop star with a lot to say, but her singing career came to an abrupt halt when she accused her music producer, Dr. Luke, of sexual abuse and rape. Understandably, she no longer wanted to work with him but a judge ruled in Dr. Luke’s favor, forcing her to stick to her contract. During her hiatus, she allowed MTV to follow her around creating an intimate documentary series called Kesha: My Crazy Beautiful Life.
While her career didn’t start out on television, her feather-haired trend has done more than enough to stick her on this list. Girls mimicked her look in adorable fashion with neon colored feathered extensions. What makes this one of the worst trends is that it has something that has become acceptable for adults to indulge in this fashion statement as well. Middle-aged women were sporting hot pink and green feathered extensions in their hair, which was not quite as adorable.
5 The Robertson Boys’ Backwoods Style - Cast of Duck Dynasty
The cast of Duck Dynasty made their claim to fame by developing a duck-calling device, as well as other products used by hunters. The show attracted viewers by exploiting the cast’s religious views and backwoods way of life, and became a hit with ten seasons under their belt. Each of the Robertson men wore long, unkempt beards that quickly became a trend among men. True, these men have gorgeous wives, but it’s more likely that these women are interested in the family’s money rather than their husbands' looks.
Regardless, men took this trend to the extreme, letting their facial hair grow wild and topping off the look with some camo accessories. Beards may still be a popular look, thankfully they’re more groomed these days. Supposedly the long beards and camo were just for the reality show, and the men actually appeared well groomed when they weren’t filming. Thankfully this trend died along with the show when one of the main cast members, Phil Robertson, made some anti-gay remarks in an interview with GQ and A&E pulled the plug.
4 Black Streaky Hair - Nicole Richie and Paris Hilton
Nicole Richie’s look changed drastically throughout filming of The Simple Life. When she first walked on set, she seemed to embrace more of a rebellious rock star vibe, or at the very least, the vibe of the spoiled daughter of a rock star. The reality star’s hair was part of her signature look and while it changed quite often, the thick dyed streaks quickly became a popular request at the salon.
Traditionally, she wore her hair bleached blonde with thick black streaks peeking out and layered throughout. Richie also added red streaks from time to time, and eventually just dyed half of her head black. Perhaps this is only one of the worst trends to have been made popular due to the fact that hair that is dyed black is practically impossible to dye, and women all over the country were forced to either chop off their hair to allow the dyed sections to grow out. It made quite the interesting look for years after the trend had come and gone.
3 The Original Basic White Girl - Lauren Conrad
Lauren Conrad first made her way into our hearts as a bubbly teenager on Laguna Beach as Kristin Cavallari’s rival. Fans then got to watch her work toward her goal of working in the fashion industry on The Hills, a reality show that ended up being not as real as we all thought. Always one to keep up with styles and trends, Lauren likely never thought she would unintentionally start one. The “basic white girl” might be a newer term, but the style started when leggings came back in style over a decade ago. After leggings came back, Victoria’s Secret came out with yoga pants and celebrities started walking around in UGGs, and the rest seemed to just fall in place.
While Lauren was one of the first to wear the basic white girl apparel, she certainly wasn’t the only one. Most of the cast of this reality show were guilty of throwing on leggings and a pair of UGGs to get a cup of coffee, which has now become the standard uniform for anyone heading to Starbucks.
2 The Situation’s Abs - Mike Sorrentino
Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino got his nickname from his ridiculous washboard abs that he wasn’t shy about putting on display in the clubs along the Jersey shore. As a cast member of Jersey Shore, one of the most notorious reality shows in existence, Mike has attributed his nickname to his physique on more than one occasion. On Live With Regis and Kelly he explained, “I walked by a girl with her boyfriend. She’s holding her boyfriend’s hand and as she walks by me…she’s like, ‘Oh my God, honey! Look at his abs!’ And my boys are like, ‘Dude, that’s a situation right there.'”
Whether or not this is true, Mike’s habit of lifting his shirt to show off his abs has likely been the cause of similar situations all over the country. Guys seemed to think this behavior was acceptable and started following his lead, regardless of their body type. Thankfully this trend disappeared along with The Situation’s career.
1 The Selfie – Kim Kardashian
We’re all sick of hearing about the Kardashian crew, but for some reason they seem to break the Internet with every selfie they post. They take selfies to a whole new level, always having staff on hand to ensure they achieve the perfect photo. Not only do they have their hair and makeup done professionally for these photos, but they bring in a lighting crew as well. They might not even be the ones holding the phone that’s taking the photo.
This attention seeking behavior has brought selfies to a whole new level, as girls are now following suit. Filters aren’t enough anymore to achieve the perfect look. Now we need the ideal lighting, flawless makeup, and a selfie stick to catch an angle that makes us look ten pounds lighter and three years younger. Only time will tell how long this trend will last, but likely it will be around as long as the Kardashian’s can hold their looks.