You may have heard the recent, albeit predictable, news that if a woman wants attention from a man—or at the very least, if she wants him to retrieve her dropped hankie—she’s better off wearing high heels. Stilettos, short skirts, and push-up bras are all associated with garnering male attraction, but after spending a day with my hair pulled back in two low ponytails, I now think pigtails are the real sex trigger for guys.
My outfit was certifiably man-repellent that day: giant black puffy down coat snapped up to the chin, flat boots, and fuzzy gloves. (When it’s 30 degrees outside and the nearest subway station is a 15-minute walk, you do what you have to do.) Except for the low pigtails tied behind my ears, I looked like a North Face ad. But as I was leaving for work, my cohabitating boyfriend stopped me abruptly and asked: “You’re going to cover those things up, right? There are construction workers outside!”
Since these were pigtails, not pasties, I naturally thought he was crazy and continued walking. Maybe my boyfriend had primed me for some kind of Baader-Meinhof phenomenon, but on my trek from apartment to office I noticed a marked uptick in leers, head turns, unsolicited remarks, and weird stares. I asked a male friend to explain. “It’s that girl-next-door, innocent youth thing,” he ventured. When I pointed out that was a little creepy, he disagreed. "It kind of walks up to that slightly pervy line, but it doesn't cross it. The fetish assumes that there's an adult woman to go along with the pigtails."
So there it is. Pigtails are the hair equivalent of a schoolgirl uniform with fishnets. That doesn't mean I'm going to stop wearing them—they do keep my hair out of my face without giving me a ponytail headache. But next time, I will definitely arm myself with noise-canceling headphones.
If pigtails aren't your thing, check out more hair ideas here:
• A Month of Pretty Party Hair Ideas
• How to DIY the Cool-Girl Blowout, According to Mark Townsend
• The Lazy-Girl Holiday Hair Idea We Swear By
PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES