Kriston Capps is a staff writer for CityLab covering housing, architecture, and politics. He previously worked as a senior editor for Architect magazine.
Don’t be silly! Try on a flower fascinator.
[*dazzling lights and noises*]
Welcome to the digital House of Fascination! How may I be your servant?
Hi. So, I read this story in The New York Times about how people in China are, like, wearing plastic sprouts in their hair. I had to check it out for myself.
Hooray!! Yes, you are shopping for a plantenna! I’m so happy!
This thing is real? People are rea—
Alright, what is a “plantenna,” even?
Plantenna sprouts from your head, silly! [*digital giggle*] Let’s see, are you meng meng da flower, vegetable, or fruit?
You are feeling meng meng da! 萌萌哒! Of course you are, yes, very cute! But, hm, is it flower? or vegetable? or fruit? >>RESPOND TO QUERY.
Oh, I, okay. . . I’ll go with flower?
Flowerr!! I knew it I knew it! 🌱 🌺🌱🌸🌱🌹!!!
Wait, I couldn’t make out that last thing you said?
At House of Fascination, our Flower Fascinators come in an appealing variety! Choose your favorite plantenna, clip it to your hair [*digital giggle*], then take a selfie with meeeee! You and me, cute like Jay Chou!
But you are a touchscreen—
>>CHOOSE THE FORM OF YOUR FASCINATOR.
O-oh-okay. [*clips on bean sprout*] So, this is an actual trend? Are people really doing this? The Times makes it sound like every other person in Beijing is wearing a clip-on sprout on the top of their heads. But The Times also says that technicolor beards are a thing in Brooklyn.
You ask such silly questions! Please watch this instructional video.
Okay. I’m willing to believe this is maybe something happening in Chengdu (“a city in southwest China known for its laid-back lifestyle”), but it can’t be that widespread. Can it?
Silly question! Does not compute.
I mean, listen to the sound of this guy:
“I think this comes more from Western culture,” said Qiu Chuanhuan, a student at a college in southern China, who was visiting Beijing. He wore two bean sprouts and a gourd atop his mop of hair while strolling through South Luogu Lane, a once-hip neighborhood in Beijing that has been inundated by tourists, and headwear sellers.
Does not compute. 😑😑😑😑😑
Look: I figure this plantwear thing can’t possibly be the next selfie stick. The story even nails why: it’s the holiday week for National Day right now, so everyone’s traveling to Beijing. People are feeling festive. Clipping-sprigs-of-clover-to-their-heads festive. Plantennae are Beijing’s holiday vuvuzela.
Please purchase a plantenna.
We can forget we saw this. These trends move too fast to even trend. As soon as it’s happening on Instagram, some teen is declaring it over.
[*disconcerting whirring sounds*]
Like, are pet lizards even wearing tiny pink backpacks in Beijing anymore?
Silly, nooo! Not at all like plantenna. Pets don’t wear accessories now, so embarrassing. That’s so last week! 😋