Unicorns are ever-present in popular culture, forming the basis for many a successful brand in fashion, business, and entertainment. They are such an ever-present that children could be mistaken for not knowing that they are simply a myth and a character.
Considering that there is nothing outwardly unique about unicorns compared to other light-hearted mythical creatures, why is it that they are just so popular? Read on to find out more as we take a look into where the unicorn myth emerged from, what propelled them into the modern-day spotlight and how this has reflected in product trends.
History of Unicorns
As with many popular modern-day characters drawn from mythology and legend, the original texts from which Unicorns originate were far more mysterious in nature than the colorful creatures adorning children’s tv screens.
Mesopotamian society speculated that by drinking from a unicorn horn, a person would be protected from ailments such as stomach trouble, epilepsy, and poison. Their descriptions of the animal were remarkably similar to the popular culture version seen in the present day.
With references to unicorns being recorded as far back as the Mesopotamians, thousands of years BC, their legend has since appeared in the texts and artworks of cultures across the globe – so it’s not as if the trend appeared from nowhere at all.
Unicorn product trends
As detailed above, unicorns existed in mythology for thousands of years before the current culture boom – however, they were by no means as popular as they are now until around 2016.
Observers have logged that searches for unicorns began spiking around that year, and they speculate on what exactly fueled it – with many pointing to a rise in popularity sown in the successes of the My Little Pony franchise in the previous five years.
Many attribute social media with increasing the spotlight on unicorns, with viral food trends leading to a Unicorn Frappuccino being released by Starbucks in 2017.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to unicorn products, with essentially any item you can think of available adorned with the shiny single-horned creature.
It’s a trend that has pierced global culture, too, with anything from unicorn gifts in Australia to unicorn ski helmets for kids booming in popularity.
What made them popular today?
When discussing what is so captivating about unicorns in modern society, people are quoted talking about memories from their childhoods, and being reminded of that same beautiful innocence.
The famously bright silver/white coloration, usually accompanied by bright contrasting colors such as pink and blue, makes a striking image that no doubt catches the eye of younger viewers – while the creatures are also associated with sparkles and glitter, making for entertaining and stimulating viewing.
For older viewers that still hold fond feelings towards unicorns and the presence they had in their childhood, the reality-busting, pure fantasy nature reminds them of the escapism that is central to that feeling of freedom as a child.