Me and my eyebrows go back oh, say, 20 years. Truthfully, I’m pretty attached to them. Hah. I’ve been through a lot with my brows, and I wanted to give them due recognition.
My French heritage has always been a blessing and a curse. I’ve never complained about my thick, dark, curly hair, except when it’s in places I don’t want it to be: namely, my eyebrows. As a kid, my brows ran wild and free on my face, going every which way except way they were supposed to. They were unstoppable. I rocked a Frieda Kahlo for most of my youth without shame. Until the 4th grade.
In the 4th grade, seating was arranged by alphabetical order. I ended up sitting next to Chris B, who shall remain last-name-less. Chris B made it his goal in life to make me feel bad about myself. Yes, I was a hairy little girl. But we all were at that age. We weren’t even pubescent! Yet Chris made daily commentary about my eyebrows, my “mustache” and my hairy legs and arms. it got to the point where I didn’t even want to go to school because I was so ashamed of my excess body hair. Then my mother stepped in.
I’d love to tell you that my mother reassured me my brows, arms, and legs were perfectly normal, and that Chris B was a low-life piece of shit 4th grader who didn’t know squat. But, alas, she did not. She took me straight to the salon. Asian women crowded above me as I sat under bright lights. They marveled at the sheer excess of hair in broken English, and plotted the removal of my Frieda. Minutes later, I emerged from the back room of the salon swollen, red, and hairless. My mom took me for ice cream to ease the blow. My once bushy brows were transformed into a thin line of hair that only Clara Bow would envy.
I faced Chris B the following school day with pride. What fault could be possibly find now? I was hairless and perfect! I would soon find out that Chris B was just a bully. He made fun of me for being smart, for being a girl, for being lousy at P.E. I knew it wouldn’t end, so I just gave up. And for the next 5 years, I had my eyebrows waxed on the regular. They were nearly nonexistent by the time I entered high school. I didn’t care. I thought anything would look better than the hairy caterpillars that were my natural eyebrows. After year of waxing, my brows barely grew. They adapted to my incessant waxing, and killed themselves off. I didn’t give it a second thought.
Then came the Brow Revolution of 2011. As a freshman in college with time to kill and few creative outlets, I lived on Tumblr. i began noticing girls in fashion photos having thick, dark eyebrows. Then, seemingly overnight, all my favorite shops featured models with harsh eyebrows that would put Brooke Shields to shame. Somehow, it had become socially acceptable to rock thick brows. And boy, was I ready to get in on the trend. Except my brows wouldn’t grow! What happened to the thick, dark brows of my childhood? Had I forever ruined the possibility of having them back?
I decided to leave my brows the fuck alone. I tossed out my tweezers and watched my carefully landscaped brows grow wild and free. It was a test of will not to touch them, but I powered through. At the suggestion of a trusted friend, I began moisturizing and exfoliating my brows daily, brushing them with a soft-bristled toothbrush I had bought for that purpose. After a few months of only plucking errant hairs, my brows seemed to be recovering from years of over-waxing. They looked more normal, albeit patchy. To solve this problem, I invested in a brow kit that came with a brush, some brown powder, and a gel. I loved the end result. Thicker, darker brows just like in the magazines!
I am a hairy fuck. For years I went against nature and tried to fight my genetics. I am back with the flock now, and I promise to never over-pluck again. Even if the brow trend pendulum swings back to “thin and nonexistent,” I am rocking my thick bushy brows, and no nouveau Chris B will stop me. Brow pride!