Can We All Just Admit That We've Jumped the Unicorn Shark?

We can have nice things. But then we smother them.

Pink, Mason jar, Drinkware, Tableware, Nail,
(Image credit: Instagram)

And with the creation of a second artificially colored and flavored Starbucks drink (opens in new tab)—truly, we have strayed so far from god's light—the inevitable end came. RIP unicorn trend, circa May 2016 –April 2017, cause of death: us.

Even while it began as gradient brows that "will make you feel like a magical unicorn," (opens in new tab) we all knew it'd happen eventually—because that's what we do. We name it. We make hair looks inspired by it (opens in new tab). Then the makeup (opens in new tab), the sugary beverages (opens in new tab), and the nail art (opens in new tab) pile on, until the whole Fran(ken)chise has been so bopped and twisted, it can't do anything but collapse. So we move on to the next mythical creature (bye, mermaids, maybe hello to griffins)? Or maybe just another form of strobing.

A post shared by UNICORN COSMETICS™ (@unicorncosmetics) (opens in new tab)

A photo posted by on

A post shared by LIME CRIME (@limecrimemakeup) (opens in new tab)

A photo posted by on

The real question is, can anything *not* get love-bombed to extinction after we've whittled it into brushes, smeared it on toast, and embalmed it in clear lipstick? Can we love what we love without loving it to death?

Right now, we're having a really rough go of it. Like a kid who kills his goldfish by overfeeding it or, in the words of Manila Killa, different kids "eating sugar, getting sick, repeat," we make our most beloved trends go belly-up by holding on too tightly. It's partly a reflection of the way we live: now over later, more over less, faster over slower, glittery over matte, tonight over forever. There's nothing inherently wrong with the fads themselves either, however juvenile or gauche they can be, so what's bad, or at least bad-feeling, must be how easily we let go.

I didn't even like them, but I'm giving a eulogy of sorts for unicorns. But this is more they'll get from the rest of the internet, where "KIMODO DRAGONS ARE THE NEW UNICORNS" stories are already being saved in draft. This is the new Space Race, except, instead of beating the Soviets and advancing humankind, all we get it a split second of digital glory and maybe a superficial sense of togetherness, as in, "Dude, our Instagrams were in a roundup together!"

I don't feel bad about playing a part in killing the unicorn and then mourning it—and maybe resurrecting it years from now when it can be safely displayed behind the vitrine of nostalgia—because we're all complicit in this murder. I would just like the time to enjoy something before we got rid of it. But maybe that makes me weird.

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Chelsea Peng
Chelsea Peng

Chelsea Peng is a writer and editor who was formerly the assistant editor at MarieClaire.com. She's also worked for The Strategist and Refinery29, and is a graduate of Northwestern University. On her tombstone, she would like a GIF of herself that's better than the one that already exists on the Internet and a free fro-yo machine. Besides frozen dairy products, she's into pirates, carbs, Balzac, and snacking so hard she has to go lie down.