I kind of wish that it had been communicated to me through a phone call, that someone could’ve dialed me via landline when I was ten-years-old and said:
‘Sort your eyebrows out! Because they are going to very suddenly become a big deal.’
It’s easy to not care about your brows when you’re younger – just hide the thicket behind an adorably outdated front fringe and avoid the day that you have to hack through it.
Eyebrows never really needed to even be shaped that much at all.
We all floated by on a lackadaisical “who cares about brows” attitude until one day it just so happened that we did start to care a helluva lot.
Why did it happen? And why did it have to be EYEBROWS that everyone zoned in on?
For God’s sake, my lashes are fine, my freckles are in a vaguely regular formation, I have all my limbs and if you look at me in a Valencia filter, I’m almost on the level of Margot Robbie (almost – I do admit we resemble twins separated at birth).
I firmly believe – while simultaneously wishing it wasn’t so – that everybody has one very specific body area that they are sensitive about, and here mine was blown into a huge, damn craze that swept the world – from the Kardashians to Helen Mirren.
Why couldn’t the craze be about how many Skittles flavours I can single out in a mixed mouthful (all of them, #humblebrag) or how many dogs I could pat in a minute, OR EVEN a karaoke between me and the rest of the world to ‘Hello, World’ from The Saddle Club.
Isn’t that a more accurate judge of the kind of person I am?
Anyway, the trend was kind of subtle at first; just shape them so they don’t look like Hagrid’s younger cousin. Then, a little bit of filling in of the front bit above the eye (how good is my terminology – apparently the ‘front bit above the eye’ is called the ‘head’ which isn’t confusing at all), which graduated to the whole damn thing.
A full Picasso effort, head to tail (literally, those are the two sections of the brow) and it was mighty and fast and unexpected.
What is this sorcery??
And boy, did it expand: bedazzling, fading, and even shaping them to make them look like their original shape – pre-plucking.
There was the equally popular trend called ignoring, which worked really well for me, until the night before a deb/formal/valedictory/job interview when I freaked out and plucked myself to death, followed by a lie-down for a few hours to calm myself.
Don’t get me wrong – I love the trend! It’s the best to see girls figuring out ways to feel good about themselves. Who gives a damn if someone colours in their eyebrows? If they like how that makes them feel, it’s not up to anyone else to judge their masterpiece.
All this tosh about ‘take a girl swimming on the first date’ to see them without makeup is abhorrent and unnecessarily unfair; there is no shame in enjoying makeup, feeling good about yourself, and watching tutorials until 4am in the morning (including this lifesaver).
I am envious of the many gorgeous female Michelangelos that surround me.
I still struggled with the body-shame of that part of me: my full but still somehow impossibly overgrown brows. To see everyone else having beautifully-defined and shaped hair on their face was a miracle, but it was also a challenge.
How the hell could I ever make the two misshapen bales of hay on my head resemble a ‘faded arch?’ Well, as it turns out, I got the inspiration to embrace my brows, their shape, and the bravery to try something new from none other than the universally adored Emma Watson, who has spoken about her struggles to accept her brows.
Taking the step to feeling good about your body, no matter if you fill it in, change it, or leave it exactly as is, is always something we can all get behind – as well as accepting and supporting the decisions and facial artwork of those around us.