The continued recognition of portrayals like that of Sailor Moon in a blue center college sailor uniform, and Britney Spears dressed as a horny schoolgirl within the music video of her hit track “…Child One Extra Time” — each of them in pigtails — remind us that schoolgirl fetish has by no means light away. And now a recent social experiment on TikTok means that feminine employees within the service business earn extra ideas from their male patrons if they’re sporting pigtails. As many of those ladies identified, sexualization and infantilization of younger ladies and women have lengthy been manifested by wearing pigtails.
“Sadly, ladies are going to be fetishized in several methods by what they appear like,” mentioned one 25-year-old server who shared her outcomes of the experiment on TikTok. “If altering my hair up goes to have an effect on that in a optimistic means, then it’s one thing I’m going to present a shot.”
The schoolgirl fetish is deeply rooted in sexism, reflecting some males’s views that younger, naive and submissive ladies are hypersexual.
To some, this will look like a foolish — even when unsettling — development, but it surely perpetuates hurt towards younger ladies and may finish.
The schoolgirl fetish is deeply rooted in sexism, reflecting some males’s views that younger, naive and submissive ladies are hypersexual. It’s a product of the patriarchy in our society and a sort of sexist view that encompasses the discrimination, prejudice and stereotyping of girls as being weak and infantile, undermining their abilities to shoulder important responsibilities in society as adults.
And for ladies of shade, the compounding power of racism and hypersexualization has led to additional marginalization. For instance, East and Southeast Asian women are sometimes fetishized and seen as being petite, docile, submissive and tolerant. It’s an unhealthy exoticization that makes them vulnerable to potential gender-based violence. The killing of six ladies of Asian-descent within the tragic 2021 Atlanta-area spa shootings is one such instance.
The stress of social media conveys a transparent and easy message to ladies: Make yourselves look youthful, sexier and thinner with a view to achieve success, to be beloved, and cling to the anticipated norms in our society. These norms embrace seeing males as having the higher hand.
Within the TikTok experiment, now we have seen that girls in service industries who sport pigtails are hypersexualized, by male prospects and by themselves, in trade for extra ideas. (Against this, schoolboys aren’t usually portrayed in a hypersexualized means by heterosexual ladies.)
It solely provides to some ladies’s false consciousness that folks — specifically males — all the time choose a ebook by its cowl. That male gaze can have a detrimental impact on ladies’s well-being. It may possibly present itself in a myriad of the way, together with rising self-objectification, experiencing physique disgrace and social physique anxiousness. Hypersexualized younger ladies and women typically have other health problems, too, corresponding to melancholy, low vanity, consuming problems and an incapacity to develop a wholesome and healthful sexual self-image.
We ought to be actively combating towards that — not including to it.
Social media platforms corresponding to TikTok and Instagram have gathered huge momentum to affect our day by day lives, significantly younger folks. The hypersexualization of younger ladies on social media offers an impetus to the sexism ingrained in our society. It places ladies, particularly ladies of shade, in a harmful place, the place males, particularly male predators, seize the chance to lurk round on-line and goal ladies in several pernicious methods. Social media creates a vicious circle for ladies and women to legitimize, internalize and self-hypersexualize themselves.
It’s not misplaced on me that the feminine tipped employees within the TikTok experiment have been caught on the horns of a dilemma. It was both they put on pigtails to get extra tricks to make a dwelling, or they cease carrying them to point out their denouncement of the sexualization of younger ladies and women. Nonetheless, no girl ought to be put on this dilemma.
And what occurs if carrying pigtails for extra ideas right now isn’t sufficient to work for tomorrow? For instance, if extra younger ladies begin to put on the coiffure, the attraction of it may put on off for male prospects. Does that imply these ladies have to do much more to please their male viewers for the guidelines? It isn’t unrealistic to see how issues may escalate.
One of many optimistic issues about this social experiment is that it brings extra consciousness and acknowledgment to the truth that many ladies are sometimes confronted with an unsettling selection: security or dehumanization to earn a livable wage. When the pigtails development ceases to be a subject of dialogue, let’s be certain that this disturbing truth doesn’t fade into obscurity.