The Bible does not categorically condemn fads per se. Some popular activities may be appropriate despite their faddish nature. Jogging, for example, was considered a fad by some when it became popular a few years ago. But who can deny the benefits of wholesome, moderate exercise?—Compare 1 Timothy 4:8.
Nevertheless, some fads range from silly to downright dangerous. The warning of an ancient proverb is thus appropriate: “Anyone inexperienced puts faith in every word, but the shrewd one considers his steps.” (Proverbs 14:15) A shrewd person is wise, discerning. He doesn’t blindly follow some new trend simply because it is popular. Wisely, he weighs the consequences of his actions.
Cost may be one factor to consider. A Canadian magazine tells of a teenage girl who works in a fast-food restaurant. More than half of her hard-earned cash goes to keeping up with the latest clothing fads. “Money is for a protection,” says the Bible, that is, it’s a needed, useful tool. (Ecclesiastes 7:12) Can you afford to squander it on items that are, as one writer puts it, “designed to become obsolete within a season or two”?
Physical danger may be another factor to ponder. Break dancing was popular not too long ago. But it produced a crop of back injuries. What about today? An article in Rolling Stone magazine talks about the wild antics at dance clubs and rock concerts, such as “stage-diving” (leaping from the stage into the arms of cheering fans), “slamming,” and “moshing”—“dance” activities that are little more than violence set to the beat of music. “This thing has gotten way out of hand. I mean, really,” complains one youth. She describes how frenzied “moshers” will “commandeer the dance floor and let it rip, undulating in an ever-widening whirlpool, mindlessly bashing into anyone who has the misfortune of standing in the vicinity.” Such behavior may impress some of your peers. But will being in such places or doing such things gain the favor of God, who commands Christians to “repudiate ungodliness and worldly desires and to live with soundness of mind”?—Titus 2:12.
What about the health dangers of body piercing and tattooing—also gaining in popularity among youths? Doctors say that tattooing can pose medical risks, such as hepatitis and perhaps AIDS, if sanitary measures are not taken. Then there is the prospect of being permanently decorated long after the fad has passed out of style. True, some tattoos can be zapped away by a laser. But laser treatment involves several painful sessions, costing hundreds of dollars each.
Most deadly of all is the spiritual damage that can result from following certain fads. Many of them center on celebrities—actors, athletes, musicians, and the like. It becomes “cool” to dress and act like whoever is currently in the limelight. But how does Jehovah God view such hero worship? As a form of idolatry. The Bible thus warns: “Flee from idolatry.” (1 Corinthians 10:14) Many celebrities have no regard whatsoever for the Bible’s moral standards. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11) Such being the case, could God possibly be pleased if you act or dress in ways that, in effect, pay homage to such ones?