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Help, I Feel Personally Attacked by ‘SNL’s Grey Adult Pigtails Sketch

Hello, future me.

Aidy Bryant and Kate McKinnon in "Grey Adult Pigtails" sketch on SNL.

The 47th season finale of ‘Saturday Night Live’ was an emotional one, as veteran cast members Aidy Bryant, Kate McKinnon, Pete Davidson, and Kyle Mooney all bid farewell to the iconic late night comedy series. If you’re a life-long SNL viewer, you’ve no doubt watched as countless comedians rose to fame, from featured players to cast mainstays to teary-eyed farewells. When high profile stars depart SNL, there is a bittersweet feeling for audiences, not just that the actors are leaving, but that time has, inevitably, passed. We’re older, creakier, and we’ve seen some serious shit.

When Kate McKinnon first joined SNL, I was a freewheeling 20-something writer. A decade later, I’m a married, less-freewheeling mother of a toddler. DJ, play Green Day’s “Good Riddance”. But some things haven’t changed for this “geriatric millennial”. I still wear Spider-Man t-shirts, I still care too much about comic book movies, and I still feel young. At least until my back starts hurting. FUN FACT: Once you turn 35, your back WILL start hurting. You can’t escape it. Welcome to the suck.

But as we age, we start wondering what the future will hold for us. What does a nerd girl look like in her 60s and 70s? Will I be a Grace or a Frankie? How will I be different and how will I be the same? In Bryant and McKinnon’s final sketch of their tenure, they answer these questions with three simple words: grey adult pigtails.

The future is coming, and ladies, it’s grey adult pigtails. McKinnon describes it as “the number one hairstyle for whimsical women of a certain age”, while Bryant adds “you want people to see you and think: got it.” She continues, “because you never stopped smoking pot. Why should your hair?”

Ruh-roh. It me. I’m a few tender years away from embracing my future as a senior lady rocking grey adult pigtails. How did I not see it before? Have I really been so blind? Hasn’t my lifetime of artistic appreciation, marijuana enthusiasm, and general eccentricity been leading me to this all along? I feel deeply seen, and I don’t care for it. And pairing it with a Cranberries t-shirt? Honestly SNL, how dare you. I thought we were friends.

Almost all the women of SNL appear in the sketch rocking their own adult grey pigtails, including host Natasha Lyonne, whose polyamorous boyfriend Richard (Kyle Mooney) rocks a beard-hair pigtail combo of his own. Even Japanese Breakfast’s Michelle Zauner stops by to lead the group in singing Joni Mitchell’s “The Circle Game”.

At least, once I inevitably hit “grey adult pigtails” years old, I won’t be alone. I know plenty of friends will follow me into this Portland/Santa Fe hairstyle, and more than a few The Mary Sue staffers as well. Get your paint-splattered overalls and your Ani DiFranco vinyls ready, ladies. We’re almost there.

(featured image: screencap/NBC)

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Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.