I’m 24. Which means the last time I wore pigtails was about 10 years ago (it was a Seventeen Magazine tip on How to Make Him Like You. It didn’t work). I still spend a lot of time worrying about being too young to be taken seriously by employers, so the idea of dressing up like a 10 year old is a little weird for me. Still, inspired by Jordan’s recommendation I’m willing to try out pigtails. Worn low. Without ribbons. In a manner that’s more Holly Golightly, less Pebbles Flintstone.
And damn, they make getting dressed awkward. Turns out, pigtails look like shit if you try to wear them with daily office attire. In a button down white shirt, purple pencil skirt and belt (an outfit which always looks appropriate with my hair straight or in a ponytail) I don’t look like a snappy dresser. I look like I have fashion schizophrenia.
With a sundress, they work better. Much better. And I’ll admit, they do some pretty flattering things to your face. My cheekbones do look awesome.
Still, though, I can’t get over the connotations of pigtails, and they make me feel uncomfortable. I keep thinking of barely legal porn where women who are CLEARLY in their twenties are awkwardly made to wear pigtails and cheerleading costumes and I always think “jeez, that must make them feel old.” There’s something about pigtails that make me feel almost as though I’m trying to trick people into thinking I’m younger than I am, which is something I wasn’t planning on worrying about until the Botox years.
And I feel silly going out. I sort of feel like I’m trying to show off how cute I am to everyone, in a look-at-me-I’m-girlish! way that’s not my style. That said, walking to work, I don’t get cat-called more than usual. The guys in the elevator seem more interested in how America is going to place in the World Cup than the extent to which I may be channeling a kiddie porn star.
Which is when I decide that absolutely no one is taking me less seriously because of my pigtails. Well, except for me. I can’t quite seem to silence the voice in the back in that says “you are not 12. You are a grown up with health benefits. You look ridiculous.” But my cheekbones do look amazing. And I look summery, right? Maybe they are completely fun to wear, and I should just go with them.
I decide to give into my summery, youthful feeling and run down to the bodega to buy something girlish. Something like the same latte I always have, but this time with my hair in pigtails! And I’m in line behind some chatty woman who asks if I live in the neighborhood. “No, but my office is next door” I reply. She stares at me kindly and says “Oh, that’s nice. Where are you interning, dear?” And just like that, the pigtails come out.