A waitress recently went viral on TikTok after deciding to test a trending social media theory. The theory states that wearing pigtails in your hair to work results in more tips. Why? Well, it’s pretty obvious, but we’ll dive into that can of worms in a minute.
In the video Bella Woodard (@b_woodard) begins, “Okay so I saw the TikTok about this girl, she’s a waitress and I’m a waitress and how she gets more tips when her hair’s in pigtails for some weird, crazy reason.”
In the TikTok, she’s holding a tub of hair product in her right hand and then begins using her left to massage its contents onto the side of her head. “OK, so I’m thinking slick it back,” she says, confused about how to create the style she continues, “I just washed it so I kinda don’t wanna put this in my hair but too late now. So, I’m gonna part it, slick it back, and put little pigtails in.”
The video then cuts to her brushing the left side of her hair as she stares into the camera, “My hair isn’t that long so I don’t know how well this is gonna look.”
Again, the video cuts to her hair separated right down the middle, with two braids on both sides of her head. She pivots her head to show her handiwork and whips her hair back and forth Willow Smith style.
“OK I look insane right now so I’m gonna braid these pieces, and if this works I’m just gonna say like that is so weird and gross, but, I’m down for more tips,” Bella reasons. “So it doesn’t matter.”
The viral video was captioned “pigtails are a fan fav.” Watch it below to see if her hair made her more tips!
She ends the video in what we can assume was her post-work clothes, confirming that the pig-tail theory was a success.
“Y’all were not lying,” Bella says. “I got a hundred and thirty-five dollar tip by one guy tonight. Wear pigtails to work, I’m boutta be doing this everyday.”
So, why did this theory work?
Pigtails have always been associated with playfulness and youth in women. In media portrayal, pigtail hairstyles are almost always only seen on little girls, or female characters that are child-like and “innocent.” Characters in anime were some of the first to add a sexual twist to the hairstyle, appealing to the male gaze way more than it ever should have. Other sexualized characters such as DC’s Harley Quinn and early-2000’s era Britney Spears gave pigtails a whole new brand.
So, given that media and film portrayal of pigtails is so inappropriate, it adds up that men, and some women for that matter, would tip more to a waitress that was attractive to them. “Pretty privilege” is very real, and sometimes women can’t help but adhere to stereotypes in order to succeed.