It is the new fashionable phenomenon in China. From young to old: many come out with a blade of grass or a young plastic soybean in their hair. But where does this new trend come from?
For now, the explanations are piling up without being able to distinguish the true from the false. According to some sources, this gesture of “tou shang zhang cao” (头上 长 草, literally “the grass on the head”) is motivated by the wish to return to things more simple, natural and sober. A sort of “anti-bling-bling” accessory… The phenomenon could have been triggered by the broadcast of a very popular Chinese cartoon, Pleasant Goat and the Big Bad Wolf, whose characters are characterized by strange hairstyles:
Others, however, see it as an influence of Japanese culture. It seems like it all started last summer, when a girl got inspiration from some manga. The site China-Information specifies in turn that the explanation could be found in the smileys used on messengers like WeChat which sometimes have a young shoot on the head (like the character called “yan wen zi jun” / 颜 文字 君, see below below):
The world and the economic magazine Caijing report that “this fashion could go back to the marketing efforts of a financial company in Shanghai, called Cai Miao Finance, whose logo represents a shoot, and which, for its promotion, had circulated, before the current fashion, photos of people dressed of a green shoot. ”
The emergence of a whole new market
Trend obliges, the gesture, unexplained as it is, has been followed by many Chinese but also by tourists. Sales have doubled, especially since the famous Taiwanese singer Jay Zhou and his young wife have promoted this practice: they had indeed published on their Weibo account photos of them wearing these funny vegetable hairpins!
The range of wacky items to put on your head has grown considerably, from a simple twig of grass to bananas, mushrooms or even… chicken legs! …sausages !! … And even cockroaches !!! It is difficult to say at this stage how far this new style will take, obviously far from the luxury products that are usually popular with the Chinese public.
According to Daily Mail, more than a hundred different models are available for a price of around 5 yuan, or a little less than 1 euro. Sold in the streets and even online on the Chinese site Taobao, this new accessory is all the rage and is likely to convince more new followers.