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Flower Crowns are headbands or other hair accessories created by stringing a number of flowers together. On Tumblr, these floral accessories have become an exploitable photoshop meme by adding them to photos of males who would not normally wear them.
On June 3rd, 2011, One Direction member Harry Styles tweeted the phrase “I wish I was a punk rocker with flowers in my hair.” Though it went unattributed, it may have been a reference to the title of Scottish singer-songwriter Sandi Thom’s 2005 debut single. By July 2013, this tweet had been retweeted more than 55,000 times and favorited more than 32,000 times. Though it went relatively unnoticed at first, around March 28th, 2013, One Direction fans began tweeting photoshopped images of Styles wearing flower crowns in response to this tweet.
I wish I was a punk rocker with flowers in my hair.— Harry Styles (@Harry_Styles) June 3, 2011
One Direction fans continued to photoshop flower crowns on to photos of Styles using variations of the hashtags “Harry flower child” and “Harry flower crown” to share their photos. By March 31st, fans were bringing flower crows to One Direction concerts, presumably to throw on stage during the set. By May, fans were reporting that multiple people were bringing flower crowns to One Direction concerts and styles Styles eventually began putting on the crowns thrown at him (shown below).
By May 15th, flower crowns began appearing in fan art featuring characters from other fandoms, including Supernatural’s Castiel, using the hashtag “flower crown AU” as well as “flower crown” and “flower crowns.” Later in May, flower crowns began appearing on fan art of the television show Hannibal, with one photoset gaining nearly 1,800 notes as of July 2013. By June 16th, Tumblr users began to point out the prevalance of the trend, with Tumblr trend blogs thisweekontumblah and heres-what-happened-this-week-on reporting on it later in the month. On July 2nd, the single topic blog flower-crown-edits launched, posting edited photos twice a week.
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