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Tomboyish Ponytail

Action Hair for an Action Girl.

Basically using a ponytail to set off girls who are Tomboys, Ladettes, or at least don't act in a "proper" girlish manner.

This is Truth in Television for many tomboys in Real Life, due to being an easy to do style that gets your hair out of the way. In fiction, odds are that if a girl is wearing a ponytail (save for one paired with an elegant hairstyle), she's not going to act demure or feminine, at least not all the time. Bonus points if she wears overalls or is a Rebellious Princess.

Back when girls just didn't have boy hair, no matter what, ponytails were a way for tomboys to rebel against the curls their mothers wished they'd worn. At least this was the case in 60s-80s girl empowerment fiction.

Keep in mind that since not all tomboys wear ponytails, and not all "feminine" girls avoid ponytails, there isn't much point in listing aversions to this.

Compare Slipknot Ponytail, Girlish Pigtails, Braids of Action, Boyish Short Hair, Tomboyish Sidetails, Sailor's Ponytail and Samurai Ponytail.

Contrast Regal Ringlets, Ojou Ringlets, Long Hair Is Feminine, Prim and Proper Bun and Motherly Side Plait.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Bleach: Action Girl Yoruichi. She used to have short hair, but a hundred years spent mostly as a cat allowed her hair to grow out. Now she spends most of the time with it tied back in a ponytail while she kicks butt with the best of the men. Since her extremely high aristocratic rank wasn't quite high enough to be a Rebellious Princess, she also doubles as a Spirited Young Lady, too.
  • Subverted in the Pretty Cure franchise. Every team has at least one character with a ponytail who is mostly a white or blue Cures. And those said Cures are actually the most feminine members, though that doesn't stop being an (competent) Action Girl. The only blue Cures who don't have a ponytail in their Cure forms are Cure Marine (Erika) and Cure Beauty (Reika), but they wear sometimes ponytails in their civilian identities. Notably, Reika wears a ponytail whenever she practices kyudo. The pink Cure Blossom and the yellow Cure Peace have also a ponytail, but both are Shrinking Violets, while the pink Cure Heart is at least described as prince in her civilian identity, twice, both by a female and a male. The only ones who play this tropes straight are Cure Sword and especially Cure March who has also one in her civilian identity.
    • In The Movie, Reika cosplays Momotaro and wears a ponytail.

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 
  • Bait and Switch (STO): Captain Kanril Eleya wears her hair in a slightly messy ponytail, and notes in her narration that she could have never gotten away with wearing her hair that long when she was an enlisted woman. The ponytail keeps the hair out of her face, but it's not like there's much she can get it caught in on a starship's bridge.
  • Doing It Right This Time: Asuka starts wearing a ponytail when she decides to ditch her hairclips and try a new hairstyle. She's also masculine, brash, and she prefers fighting over stereotypically girlish hobbies.


    Films-Live Action 
  • In Mean Girls Ponytails are usually used in the film to signify a character being less concerned with their appearance. Cady wore her hair like this before she joined the Plastics but starts wearing her hair down as she falls in with the Plastics, and then goes back to the occasional ponytail after her Heel Realization. The Plastics actually tell her that they have a rule about only wearing hair in a ponytail once a week. Janis, the goth/alternative outcast, always wears her hair back. All the Plastics wear their hair down throughout the film, but Regina starts sporting a ponytail as she gains weight and is forced to wear less glamorous clothing. She is also wearing a ponytail at the end of the film, where she is a lacrosse athlete and has a more down-to-earth wardrobe.

    Video Games 
  • Lara Croft from Tomb Raider may be the Trope Codifier for video games, especially 3D action/platformers. It's not only practical in-universe for the highly-physical nature of what she does in the games, but flowing hair is still incredibly difficult to render in 3D, while a ponytail can be done with much simpler physics modeling.
  • Hilda (Touko in the Japanese version), the female player character in Pokémon Black and White, has a huge, voluminous ponytail, complete with Hair Antennae. Her look gives off a convincing Tomboyish feel, and fan interpretation commonly presents her as One of the Boys/a Lad-ette.

    Web Original 
  • Widget of the Whateley Universe, who is a tomboy and inventor who usually wears a ponytail pulled through a bicycle cap. And a Whateley labcoat. Despite that, she has a bad crush on Thunderbird and wishes Chaka hadn't snatched up Thunderbird when he was (apparently) available.

    Western Animation 
  • Applejack, a rough and tumble farmgirl from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, with a tomboyish streak a mile wide, to the point that she competes in events like racing and gate jumping, and gets dirty in her job all the time, has her mane tied up in a ponytail.

Alternative Title(s): Tomboy Ponytail