Are you just another trendy sheep?

It’s been around for quite some time, but I’m a bit slow with picking up this sort of thing, so I only very recently noticed the trend; people seem to be keeping the silver store stickers on their caps.

The first time I picked it up was at the Cape Town Tens tournament last month.  Spending the day out in the blistering sun, I thought it was just absent mindedness: the fellow had simply neglected to take the label off the cap he had bought that morning, and was now wearing to avoid getting  himself sunburnt. But then, it would seem that were an awful lot of absentminded folks at the Tens that day…

I began seeing it everywhere! Caps – trucker caps specifically – clearly worn by time and experience, with their silver shop stickers still peacocking on top of their cocky peaks. Why would anyone do this?

I asked a few fashionistas why they followed the trend. Was there some sort of significance, some secret message, understood only by other trucker cap wearers, attached to keeping the ridiculous silver sticker on? Most of the folks I asked couldn’t answer me. They simply said, “it’s a trend,” or “I don’t really know, but everyone does it.”

I consulted the oracle, that is Google, with my problem and found that there IS a meaning to keeping the sticker on! The answer makes good sense too: cap wearers who support the New York Yankees often keep their silver stickers on to prove that their hats are authentic supporter merchandise, and not knock-off cheapies bought off the street corner from poor immigrant salesmen trying to eke out a living.

As they get older, and suffer wear and tear, trucker caps, with straight peaks, hold stickers better than caps with curved peaks.


Photo: FreestyleXtreme

The authenticity sticker trend has since rubbed off on to other aspirational brands. In America, Puma caps with stickers, Adidas caps with stickers, all proved to be the real deal, as indicators of social and financial status.

So then, why on earth, if you live in Cape Town, would you keep the sticker on a Pep, or Pick ’n Pay trucker cap, that has no fanciness attached to its brand? Because you’re a dumbass, and you blindly follow trends, that’s why.

Before all the trucker cappers call me a hater, let me just take a minute to mention some of the stupid trends I’ve followed to try and convey coolness. As an impressionable nine-year old, I fell prey to Spice Girl shoes. In my teens, it seemed like a good idea to get a tramp stamp tattoo on my lower back.  Later, I became one of thousands of women taking  #selfies (with and without make up), and just now you caught me using the word “hater” in a  sentence. So… I’m a trend-following dumbass too.We all want the world to think we are cooler than we really are, and sometimes we fall into deeper trend trenches than others.  (It’s easier to remove a sticker from a cap than a tramp stamp from a back).

However,  following any trend if you don’t know what it means could have embarrassing consequences. Imagine if keeping your sticker on your cap didn’t mean you want to show off its authenticity. What if it actually signified you were a member of a gang that shoots blind orphans and small animals for fun? Wouldn’t you have wanted to know that before you decided to keep sporting that silver sticker on your old hat? I guess what I’m saying is, if you are going to follow a trend, at least know what it means before you sign yourself up.


Author: Anna Greenfield

Anna is a creative writer with a background in radio and theatre. One day, when she becomes a proper adult, she will direct and produce movies and have a big boat and a little baby with her dashing (and also height appropriate) husband Dean.

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