'Glitter butts' are trending again for the summer music festival season

'Glitter butts' are trending again for the summer music festival season

It's summer music festival season, so get ready to break out all your hedonistic, boho-chic fashion: flowing dresses, crochet tops, fluffy flip-flops, rainbow-colored hair, flower boobs (yes that's a thing) and of course, a copious amount of glitter. If you aren't sparkling like a magical fairy from Candyland, you're doing it wrong. Do you even festival?!

Of course, 'glitter butts' are nothing new. People have been slathering their backsides with coruscating specks of plastic for decades. Your mother probably had a glitter butt at Woodstock '99. Your grandmother probably had one at Woodstock '69. And Betsy Ross probably had one when she sewed the American flag in 1776. (Rumor has it the blue section with the stars actually represents a glitter butt.)

The trend is gaining momentum once again for summer 2018. Glitter has long been a wardrobe staple for revelers at musical festivals. Whether you're in the blazing sunlight or the mystical night, it brings the perfect shimmer to eyebrows, lips, tongue, the roots of your hair - pretty much everywhere. And what better place than your derrière? The sun doesn't shine there, but glitter will.

By adding other jeweled embellishments like rhinestones and crystals, you can create customized, vibrant designs. If you're comfortable partying in lingerie, a bikini or a leotard, the glittery body art could even replace clothing. It's an alternative to wearing a top, and how often do you get opportunities to do that?

Go Get Glitter, a U.K.-based brand, has a lot of creative photos up on their Instagram account, if you need some inspo. (Or if you just want to totally rip off someone else's look. We  won't tell anyone.) They've created some dazzling outfits, expanding from glitter butts to glitter boobs to glitter catsuits. Sure, it'll take forever to wash off, and you'll still find specks of it on your skin for weeks to come. But every time you see that little sparkle, it'll bring back happy memories. (And no, they don't say if the glitter itches or how long it stays on. Roll the dice!)

Now, it's time to be a buzzkill: Glitter is damaging to our ecosystem, and scientists have actually called for a worldwide ban. See, glitter is composed of microplastics, tiny particles less than five millimeters long. They take forever to decompose, and can eventually find their way into our water. According to a 2014 study, scientists estimate there are between 15 million to 51 fragments in the oceans right now.

Although it seems innocuous to us, glitter poses a big threat. The tiny particles are constantly consumed by aquatic life - like fish, plankton, shellfish and seabirds - and when it collects in their stomachs, they die of starvation. And since we eat seafood, there's a chance those microplastics could eventually end up in our bodies. (Ah, the circle of life.)

But the good news is, there are forms of biodegradable glitter out there, if you want to slay at the music festival without slaying aquatic life (and the environment). Or you could just skip the whole glitter thing and go with a braided rose hairstyle. Your choice.