The Rat-Tail: A Fond Look Back

I do not know if there even is a country where the rat-tail hairstyle doesn’t exist but if you were born there, I cannot trust your understanding of the world as accurate. Seeing the haircut changes a person for the rest of their life and I can say, without hyperbole, that my childhood would not have been the same without the deep and profound effect the rat-tail had on my perception of reality. It doesn’t use some girly hair-tie, it needs a dirty rubber band. It can be free flowing or in a braid so tight that it can never be unbraided. My enemies had them, my friends had them and two of my teachers had them. I even think I remember one of the Presidents in the early 1990s having one. President Dusty, right?

It doesn’t even matter. The point is that not a day goes by that I don’t look back fondly at the rat-tail. I may not have ever had one or thought they were in any way flattering, but it continues to be a source of never ending joy for me. If anyone wants to relive the good old days of BMX bikes, haircuts that don’t play by the rules and no-sleeve shirts, here is a seriously disturbing website that celebrates boys that still support the rat-tail lifestyle. I’m not sure if it is supposed to be funny, I am only sure that it is.

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52 Responses to The Rat-Tail: A Fond Look Back

  1. It’s…it’s…rat-tail porn! That is very disturbing!

  2. You’re right about that being a disturbing website – I got the creep vibe from it :) But I really liked your post!

  3. prenin says:

    I wear the rat tail to this day – it really pissed off my dad! :)

    God Bless!


    • Posky says:

      Don’t cut it. While I don’t understand it and NONE of my friend’s moms (or mine) let us have them, I think it’s totally okay for anyone to have any hairstyle they want. We don’t all need to look the same and wear the same outfits, so I’m glad to know that you express your individuality via your style to this day.

  4. subWOW says:

    I dare not go to that site. I once was lured into visiting the website celebrating Zubaz pants. I have not yet recovered…

  5. itssrijana says:

    i absolutely agree !!!

  6. Sally Panayiotou says:

    There was just one boy in my primary school who had a rat tail – he was three years above me, but I still remember it and his name (and clearly not for the right reasons!)

  7. *shudder* Did anyone else hear the banjo sound from Deliverance or was it only I? Egads. Please pass the mind bleach.

  8. clownonfire says:

    Funny Posky,
    I did a post not too long ago about the hairdos I proudly sported throughout the years, and le rat tail was one of them. I did. Yes. I. Did.
    Le Clown

    • Posky says:

      It’s an important style. I always though it would be cool to get a lightning bolt shaved into the side of my head.

  9. You can’t have been to New Zealand recently. The Rat Tail and the Mullet are both still alive and well!

  10. Mac'N'Cheese Dinner says:

    Reblogged this on Sink the Boat and commented:
    While I think I had something like a rat-tail in the very early 90s, it’s not as hilarious as the chumps who rocked them in the mid-90s… CHUMPS!

  11. asoulwalker says:

    I love BMX bikes and the kids who ride them. I love watching them try to fix their bikes with a rock. It makes the rat-tail thing so much better.

  12. Haircuts that don’t play by the rules – hysterical
    Great ode to the redneck ponytail!

  13. Is a thin ponytail the same as a rattail?
    When are you done with Cat Diary part 10?

  14. Hey now…

    In the early ’80s, I recall following the “trend” exhibited by many of my girlfriends: It was a bi-level haircut. With a tail.

    I was HOT.


  15. yuppie class waannbe considered ex hippes(no way)think they’re making their white boy hip, Maybe at the mall and soccer but it stops there.

    • Posky says:

      I’ve seen it on just about everyone and I feel like it is a look that looks equally good on all races, sexes and age groups.

  16. I was all geared up to write something clever and then, doing due diligence, clicked the link. Wow. WTF was that. Whatever it was, it totally cleaned my clock. Gummo moment. I have nothing else to say.

  17. Jeff Mazurek says:

    Dear … ugh. That link!

    Before I strayed there, I was going to tell you: I wore a rat-tail for part of a summer as a kid. I only remember it, I think, because my grandfather razzed me about it every day–with good humor, though I believe he hated it a lot more than he let on. When I had it cut, I taped it to a piece of paper and gave it to him. He proudly displayed it on his refrigerator for some time, a memento, perhaps, of his victory over the atrocious fashion sense of a youngster.

    • Posky says:

      Jeff, if I walked into someone’s home and saw a severed rat-tail taped to their fridge I’m not sure if I would think it was undeniably cool or subtly upsetting.

  18. drawandshoot says:

    Well, you were right about the link; seriously disturbing. I’ve never really thought the rat tail was a thing of beauty but now it has a whole other awkward thing going on…

    Nice to see you um…, popping up on Freshly Pressed, Posky. As a science blog, no less! You have new street cred! =)

  19. The Spinster says:

    The author of that blog has taken a really strong stance on braided rat-tails for someone who has a blog about rat-tails.

  20. howdoyouspellthat says:

    That website is a little creepy. Nice blog though.

  21. WSW says:

    I’d be willing to bet that at least half of those kids cut their own hair. They look all nail-scissored.

  22. HAHA! Here in our place it’s called “tingkoy”. And it’s considered cute by the majority, in toddlers at least. XD

  23. Be honest…you had one too, didn’t you Posky?

    Yeah, I knew it.

    • Posky says:

      I’ve had roughly the same hairstyle sine I’ve been ten and, before that, it was short on the sides and combed neatly over to the side.

      • I feel like you’re not telling me something….like the fact that you also had a long whisp of hair that started at the nape of your neck and fell gracefully down your back.

        I feel like you just need to be honest about it… ;)

  24. Diane says:

    They all look like white trash punks. I can just see their mothers, skimpily clad, leaning lazily against the open door of the family double-wide, her favorite cigarette dangling from her lips with a mason jar of whiskey in the other hand, yelling obscenities at the boy’s father in yesterday’s wife-beater covered in grease hiding under the 20-year old Chevy up on blocks in the front “yard”.

  25. thecorngoblin says:

    I had a friend who wore won of these. Who moved to the uk after stealing my Pokemon cards…

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