An AP High School Teacher Warns Girls Not To Wear Their Hair In Ponytails When They Are By Themselves

Is this just another precaution that women shouldn't have to take?

Brynn Baker talking about ponytails on TikTok @brynnmariebaker / TikTok

A woman explained why she once received a warning from her high school teacher about a popular hairstyle among women and girls.

In a TikTok video, Brynn Baker recalled a cautionary message she once received from a teacher who claimed that women should alter their hairstyles when going out in public alone to help prevent them from being targeted by male assailants.

Baker revealed why her high school teacher warned girls not to wear ponytails while alone in public.

In her video, she stitched another creator who spoke about wearing her hair in a ponytail when she goes for runs by herself. Baker explained that while in high school, one of her teachers had advised all of the girls in the class to think twice about wearing ponytails.


"He was basically explaining how predators, specifically male predators, prey on women who are alone, walking, and specifically wearing ponytails," Baker said of her high school teacher's advice, adding that for obvious reasons, it would be easy for someone to grab ahold of a woman by her ponytail.



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She continued, saying that her teacher remarked that there is a "primal instinct between prey and predator," and that men will instinctively go after women in the same way a predator would go after a small or defenseless animal.

Her high school teacher had made the analogy of a prey's tail, such as a fawn, representing a woman's ponytail, and how it will attract male predators to attack. "Anytime I go on walks, I wear a hat or a bun, and again, I don't know how true this is."

As Baker pointed out, there is no validity in whether or not a woman wearing a ponytail will increase her chances of being assaulted, but it does highlight the copious amount of work that women seem to have to undertake in order to avoid facing a frightening encounter while out in public.

This reality of women having to alter their appearances just to try and keep themselves safe shows the unfortunate fact that women, more than men, are disproportionately affected by various forms of harassment, violence, and assault in society. An online survey launched by a nonprofit called Stop Street Harassment found that 81% of women have experienced some form of sexual harassment during their lifetime. 


The need for such precautions, including women not wearing their hair in ponytails, calls attention to the inequality and gender-based violence that persist in our society. It reinforces the fact that women can't enjoy the same level of safety and freedom as men, simply because of their gender. 

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In the comments section, many women voiced their frustrations at the level of precautions that need to be taken just to exist.

"The fact we have to worry about how we wear our HAIR [so] we have a lesser chance of being attacked," one TikTok user pointed out. Another user agreed, writing, "The way we have to do so much just to increase our chances of surviving a WALK."

It's a terrible reality that women have to consistently take these precautions when in reality, we should be able to exist in our own bodies freely without worrying about facing violence. This constant awareness of potential danger can also lead to increased stress, anxiety, and a sense of vulnerability for women.


In essence, the slew of defensive strategies that women often take to protect themselves from assault simply reflects the urgent need for broader societal changes.

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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.