Some servers swear that pigtails help them rake in more tips during a single shift, and have even documented the success that they’ve attained in trying out the hairstyle that apparently puts diners in a more generous mood.
Their decision to do so has been heavily scrutinized—not the servers, but the patrons: Because why are folks forking over so much more money to a woman in pigtails? Some have said that the bigger tips usually come from men who are “smitten” with the look of a more youthful, teenage-looking woman, spurring a number of folks to call the practice creepy and unnerving.
TikToker and server Faith George (@faithgeorge_) has posted about how her hairstyles have presumably affected her tips in the past—professing low ponytails as being gratuity kryptonite and were ultimately a bad idea as she ended up getting “no tips” after rocking that particular ‘do.
George ended up trying her luck with a dual-pigtail style, seeing what kind of money she’d rake in with this look instead.
She not only received love from customers, but from the kitchen staff as well. However, viewers were still left a little unnerved from the results of her experiment.
@faithgeorge_ #fypシ #fyp #server #serverlife #servertok #servertiktok #serverhairstyles #serverhacks #serverpigtailstrend #foryoupage #lol ♬ dance by deyluvkirby – KiRBY
George says that the restaurant’s cooks, upon seeing her in pigtails, called her “beautiful” and then ended up giving her a piece of chocolate.
After serving tables for 3 hours, she says that she made $99, totaling to about $33/hr, and she highlighted a comment in a follow-up video remarking that while subjecting oneself to rocking this kind of hairstyle and speculatively indulging a “kink” some customers may or may not have, that it’s ultimately worth it because you will “walk out w enough money for rent”
One commenter suggested a way for her to up her pigtail game even further, by putting them into plaits: “Pig tail plaits! Girl I made MONEY”
Other users who watched the clip appeared to be grossed out, however. But there were folks who couldn’t understand where the accusations of folks sexualizing this type of hairstyle was coming from: “I don’t get how it’s sad.. it’s just a hairstyle that both men AND women are sexual zing to get tips,” they wrote.
Another TikToker argued back: “It’s sad because it’s a hairstyle mainly worn by little kids”
A third user entered the discussion, saying: “I’ve seen more grown woman wear this than kids bffr”
Someone else said that they couldn’t understand why other hairstyles worn by children weren’t sexualized as well, like ponytails: “Thats really dumb since little kids also wear regular ponytails all the time”
Despite the aforementioned discourse, there are a lot of folks who would argue that braided pigtails are ultimately a trademarked children’s look. Ladyrefines writes: “Alright, not gonna lie, wearing pigtails can look childish. After all, let’s not forget this is the signature hairstyle of the 6-year-old!” Glaminati appears to agree with this take, stating: “Young girls where pigtails because it’s cute. Grown women rarely wear pigtails because it isn’t quite mature. It’s not a style that is associated with maturity, but with youth and innocence.”
And it’s difficult to leave out the part that media, art, and mass culture has when it comes to reinforcing certain ideas when it comes to particular looks or hairstyles. Britney Spears’ “Baby One More Time” music video features her sporting pigtails and a school girls’ outfit. Wednesday Addams, who’s traditionally been portrayed by children, has always rocked pigtails. Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz book is only supposed to be 11 years old, and is certainly portrayed as a naïve, young individual in the film that made Judy Garland famous.
Dazed Digital writes that while the hairstyle became a popular, no-fuss way for sailors to style their locks while they were out and about on the seven seas, that they were ultimately relegated as being best suited to children, presumably for similar reasons.
The Daily Dot has reached out to George via TikTok comment for further information.
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*First Published: Sep 1, 2023, 9:50 pm CDT
Jack Alban is a freelance journalist for the Daily Dot covering trending human interest/social media stories and the reactions real people have to them. He always seeks to incorporate evidence-based studies, current events, and facts pertinent to these stories to create your not-so-average viral post.