The Latest Mandela Effect Has To Do With Richard Simmons And His Iconic Outfits

Anyone who's ever been Richard Simmons for Halloween is looking back at photos of their costume.

richard simmons and tiktok on his headband @kellymanno via TikTok / Kathy Hutchins via Shutterstock / Denis Sined via Canva

Coined in 2009 "to describe a collective false memory she discovered at the Dragon Con convention, where many others believed that former South African President Nelson Mandela died during his imprisonment in the 1980s" by author and paranormal researcher Fiona Broome, the Mandela Effect "refers to a phenomenon in which a large number of people share false memories of past events, referred to as confabulation in psychiatry."


The term has gained popularity in recent years as people begin noticing more and more things from their childhood not matching up with their memories from that time period. While there are many examples of the Mandela Effect in action, the most recent mind-blowing iteration of it revolves around iconic fitness instructor Richard Simmons.

The latest Mandela Effect involves Richard Simmons' headband — or lack thereof.

TikTok creator Kelly Manno, who describes herself as "TikTok's unofficial ambassador of GenX," started a debate when responding to a comment that read, "Wait until she finds out Richard Simmons never wore a headband."


“What do you think they did, went through the whole internet and scrubbed every photo of Richard Simmons ever wearing a headband?" Manno asks in the video. "That’s crazy,” she continued, before playing a slideshow of Richard Simmons photos showing him in his iconic gym outfit — without a headband. 



RELATED: Publishers Clearing House Confirms The Truth About Ed McMahon 'Mandela Effect'

Manno was shocked by the situation, then showed photos of people who replicated his famous outfit for Halloween. In all of the photos, they had headbands on. She also included pictures of Richard Simmons costumes now, and what they would look like if you had tried to buy one. You guessed it, no headband. 


“Why are they trying to rewrite our history?” Manno asked, making a reference from 'Back to the Future' and alluding to the constant changes we seem to be experiencing. She even mentioned that “they’re trying to make us look crazy,” and noted how some generations are going to end up in mental institutions. 

Did Richard Simmons wear a headband?

Simmons rose to popularity in the 70s when he began releasing aerobics videos on VHS, eventually opening his own gym. During that time period, gym wear was tight, bright and often featured — you guessed it — headbands and wristbands. For example, Olivia Newton-John is seen sporting a headband in her video for "Physical," released in 1981.

RELATED: This Alternate Reality Theory Claims The World Really Ended In 2012


However, a look at Simmons' official YouTube channel reveals that the iconic fitness instructor himself never actually wore a headband.

As with most memories impacted by the Mandela Effect, it's likely that we associate both Simmons and headbands with 80's era workout videos, and as such, fused the two together.

People are split on whether or not Richard Simmons wore a headband.

In the comments, many people agreed that they always remembered Richard Simmons wearing a headband, but some disagree and never remembered Richard Simmons wearing a headband. 


Many said that they remember a headband and wristbands that matched every outfit he wore, including red headbands, striped headbands, etc.

However, some said, “No he didn’t wear a headband usually. I agree” underneath a comment that said that they never saw him wearing a headband. 

Others wrote that, “They are messing with our minds intentionally” and that “someone time traveled and messed with our timeline”.

A lot of people agreed that the iconic outfit included a headband and wristbands but now, they’re scraped from the internet. Many said they would rewatch their VHS’s to see if those were somehow scrubbed as well.


RELATED: The Scary Thing That Happens When You Repeatedly Hear A Lie

Cortney Crowell is a writer and frequent contributor to YourTango from New Jersey who covers entertainment, news, and human interest stories.

Micki Spollen is a YourTango editor and writer, as well as a frequent traveler. Follow her on Instagram and keep up with her travels on her website.