Monday, June 15, 2009

The Great Topsy Tail Debate of 2009

You guys remember the Topsy Tail, right?

This magnificent inside-out ponytail was THE hairstyle of the early 90's, and sweet mother of god, did I yearn for one. It is possible that I yearned for a Topsy Tail even more intensely than I yearned for AJ McLean of the Backstreet Boys, and I once wrote him a letter in which I described my fantasy of moving to a deserted island with him and happening upon a shipwrecked barge full of asiago bagels, so yeah, you do the math.

As this tragic story goes, though, I never got a Topsy Tail or AJ McLean. I missed out on my Backstreet Boy because I was an awkward 13-year-old and he was a rich pop star with meticulously groomed facial hair. And I missed out on my Topsy Tail because my mom sucked at doing hair and refused to buy me the damn Topsy Tail tool.

So you can imagine my delight when I was sitting by my friend Meg at her birthday party this weekend, and her friend Martha sidled up behind us and asked, out of nowhere, if we would like a Topsy Tail. Meg said, "Of course!" while I believe my answer was, "Ghheeeeeee!"

Martha is so immensely talented that she created these Topsy Tails without even using the official Topsy Tail tool.

This is Meg's perfect, luminous Topsy Tail:

And mine, which is a bit messier since my hair is shorter and I was so excited I couldn't sit still:

As I sat there dreamily feeling the texture of my new 'do, Meg began--for lack of a better phrase--talking shit about the Topsy Tail, saying it was itchy and unflattering and blah blah blah. I was appalled, but since it was her birthday I refrained from slapping her and instead challenged her to a civilized Topsy Tail debate, which unfolded as follows:

Point: Topsy Tails represent the height of creative hair fashions.

Counterpoint: That is the problem. Nobody wants the HEIGHT at the NAPE of their neck.

Point: I do!

Counterpoint: So does your great aunt.

Point: Topsy Tails will score you a hott man.

Counterpoint: George Washington had a Topsy Tail and all he got was the first Presidency.

Point: Topsy Tails are tres chic!

Counterpoint: Sarkozy's wife begs to differ.


Counterpoint: You don't even know politicians.

Point: A Topsy Tail will further your career, probably.

Counterpoint: There's a good chance that you will be mistaken for George Washington.

Point: This Topsy Tail is actually kind of itchy.

Counterpoint: My chest hurts.

Other partygoers' opinions were split, so we'd like to turn the debate judging over to Daddy Likey readers. Please take a second to vote, and may your tails always be topsied!

Which side of the inside-out ponytail are you on?
Point--Topsy Tails rule!
Counterpoint--Topsy Tails are itchy and ugly.
I've never cared about anything less. free polls


Jenni said...

This is too freakin' funny. Can I come hang out with you and your friends?

Kim said...

I don't have any experience with the topsy tail, though I did long for one in the 90's as well. I did however, see a commercial for "Bumpits" on MTV yesterday, which means they are the new coolest accessory for hair. I may or may not have ordered one.

Rosie Unknown said...

I think they sound awesome, but I only like them when they look sleek.

ms. spinach said...

they kind of have a interesting-but-not-TOO-obvious charm about them. kind of like the little braid. i say yes!

on a related note, i do believe the EZ Comb is the most hideous as-seen-on-TV hair product ever in existence. even if it offers the benefit of being able to sunbathe without your lumpy ponytail getting in the way. ew, ew, ew.

Sal said...

To speak ill of the Topsy Tail is blasphemy, pure and simple.

Sarah Von said...

I welcome any new hairstyle into my very limited repetoire of a) high messy bun b)low messy bun. I'm in!

WendyB said...

Damn my too-short-for-Topsy-Tail hair. Damn it to hell! *shaking fist at skies and hairdreser*

DaisyChain said...

I remember these. Oh yes. I broke so many with my super thick hair and clumsy nature.

Suzy said...

alas i never owned a topsy tail tool, but they're so easy to do that i rocked an UPSIDE DOWN topsy tail through much of middle school. i had long hair, so it spilled over the top of my head like a fountain. oh, the glamour of being a preteen.

Kate Coveny Hood said...

I was a teenager when the topsy tail first made its appearance, so I feel that I'm an expert on this. It has a definitely cache, but you should never attempt to topsy your tail unless you have the bangs to back it up. Since bangs are all the rage - this look should work well for uncounted topsy tail enthusiasts. This would not include me though as I don't do bangs. Or topsy tails.

daddylikeyblog said...

Oh my goodness, I'm definitely yearning for a bumpit nowadays. Let me know how you like yours when it may or may not arrive. :)

Sarah Von-
Wow, you just perfectly described my hair repertoire too. I like to think my messy bun's have become my cool trademark style, rather than just a sign of my laziness and ineptitude.

I might build a time machine just to go back to 1995 and try to be your friend. Amazing.

hahaha great advice, noted.

Bekah said...

I used to have topsy tail half-up-half-downs (moves the height away from the nape of your neck!), topsy tail pigtails and straight up topsy tails
I recently went on a crazy ruin-everything-in-my-path search for my topsy tail tool (it was BRIGHT pink!) and couldn't find it, so now maybe I'll go on another one instead of study! yessss!

Bekah said...

oh, also
if meg starts talking shit about topsy tails again, hit me up and I'd be more that glad to back you up on the topsy tails rule side

Bobbie said...

Oh. My. God.

So, when we were little (I just typed we like I wasn't alone, but as an only child I totally was... though now I've decided to leave the we as a royal we to legitimize all this rambling), our (my, if I'm feeling less royal) grandfather MADE us (me) a topsy-tail out of a coat hanger he bent.

I was both ecstatic at having the tool and moritified that it was the ghetto backwoods homemade version... (when everyone asked, I denied, denied, denied it... claiming instead that it was totally legit... which bumped up my status because at this point you still had to order them on the tee-vee, ya know). Embarrased at its true nature or not, I used it every day for almost an entire year. And I looked awesome. After the above comments, maybe I'll start again... I've still got the bangs.

alternativearmywife said...

i SO HAD ONE of these in like 8th grade. And loved it. And cried when i lost it because my room was always so messy I couldn't even tell you what color carpet I had.

Except I had nappy-curly italian hair with no bangs that was sort of Christmas Tree shaped when it was down. So when I did this it was like a mass of hair with this tight little knot and then another mass of hair. Hideous.

Trixie said...

Bwahahahaha! I was the hit of the lunch line back in the early 90s the first time I did my hair with that nifty device.
“There! Look! She’s done her hair with it!” they yelled all crowding around me touching my fabulously designed hair
I think it broke the third time I went to use it. My fifteen minutes of fame were thanks to that thing!

Peajai said...

I remember this commercial. LOL $13 for a wire hanger?! Seems pretty easy to replicate.

BTW, They sell Bump-its at Walgreens and EZ Combs/Hairzings are actually quite awesome! (And you can find those at Bed, Bath and Beyond).

chic said...

Such a blast from the past, I love it!! I totally had a red plastic topsy-tail needle thingy that allowed you to execute the perfect topsy-tail hairdo! But of course, one can rough it and do it by hand too. But it's just not the same...


Ayah said...

man! i totally topsy tailed my hair without the tool while reading this post. we didn't have much $ when i was a kid, but my dad helped me make one out of a coat hanger... sweet memories.

carol said...

omg, i KNEW that was the back of meg's head!

Knitwear M. Groundhog said...

I made a coat hanger one, did it by hand, and finally did end up with the real damn thing. I'm pretty well convinced that the reason this took off like crazy was because of Belle's hair in Beauty and the Beast.

echidna girl said...

Sadly they don't work for really curly girls, but it looks fabulous on you!

Meg said...

I hope each one of you is voting based on the merit of our arguments, not on your nostalgia.


Anonymous said...

In that video, the hairstyle at 0:31 sec looks slightly phallic....just saying.


Joanne said...

Wow, I had no idea they were a worldwide phenomenon!! I live in England and I want one of these SO BADLY when I was in primary school but alas, my mum wouldn't fork out for one either. But then one magical day my friend's dad made one out of an old wire coathanger. Amazing.

Katie said...

yes! i'm digging out my topsy tail right now!

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