Kim Kyung Hoon/Reuters

Don’t be silly! Try on a flower fascinator.

[*presses touchscreen*]

[*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!

A what—

Kim Kyung Hoon/Reuters

A plantenna!

This thing is real? People are rea—

A plantenna!

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?

My wha—

Kim Kyung Hoon/Reuters

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—


Kim Kyung Hoon/Reuters

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.

That guy can’t be real. That guy is a 13-year-old luxury real-estate agent. That’s peas-in-guacamole–grade trolling.

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! 😋

Kim Kyung Hoon/Reuters
Kim Kyung Hoon/Reuters
Kim Kyung Hoon/Reuters
Kim Kyung Hoon/Reuters
Kim Kyung Hoon/Reuters

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. a photo of a full parking lot with a double rainbow over it

    Parking Reform Will Save the City

    Cities that require builders to provide off-street parking trigger more traffic, sprawl, and housing unaffordability. But we can break the vicious cycle.   

  2. Life

    Mapping the Changing Colors of Fall Across the U.S.

    Much of the country won’t see those vibrant oranges and reds until mid-October, which leaves plenty of time for leaf peepers to plan their autumn road trips.

  3. a map comparing the sizes of several cities

    The Commuting Principle That Shaped Urban History

    From ancient Rome to modern Atlanta, the shape of cities has been defined by the technologies that allow commuters to get to work in about 30 minutes.

  4. A photo of a police officer in El Paso, Texas.

    What New Research Says About Race and Police Shootings

    Two new studies have revived the long-running debate over how police respond to white criminal suspects versus African Americans.

  5. Transportation

    Why Are Little Kids in Japan So Independent?

    In Japan, small children take the subway and run errands alone, no parent in sight. The reason why has more to do with social trust than self-reliance.