I completely shaved off my eyebrows and I’ll never look back
Sorry Cara, but this is the future
by Gabbi Virk
I have no excuse. My sleep cycle was a wreck, so I was awake at 3 a.m. scrolling through Instagram, caught somewhere between really wanting to sleep and simply not being able to. Instagram is so full of beautiful people, and with beautiful people come beautiful eyebrows. It’s incredible how many kinds of eyebrows there are out there.
You can have straight eyebrows or arched eyebrows, dark eyebrows or light eyebrows, thick eyebrows or thin eyebrows. Heck, some people have beautiful bright cherry-red eyebrows. In that moment, lying transfixed on my bed, I wanted all of them. And what better way to have all the different kinds of eyebrows than to shave mine off entirely?
Mine were growing into a weird shape anyway, so I grabbed a razor and… long story short, I now no longer have eyebrows and it’s been sort of liberating. Here’s why.
Con number 1: It made my forehead look greasy as fuck
Disclaimer: this can sometimes be a look. Your eyebrows will rarely look matte because they are no longer hair. They’re skin. And skin glistens and gets shiny, especially when you smear pomade over them. Most days, your dark eyebrows will look like you painted vinyl over them. Some days this is a pro, but other days it makes me feel like my face is a lot oilier than it really is.
Con number 2: You will always need an umbrella
I was in Oxford over the weekend, and it started to drizzle. My eyes started to hurt almost immediately. You know, the feeling you get when you open your eyes underwater in an over-chlorinated swimming pool. “Huh. Guess my eyes are extra sensitive today,” I thought to myself, wiping my eyes with the back of my sleeve.
Part of my eyebrow came off in the process. Part of my eyebrow. Right. I don’t have eyebrow hairs, which normally trap the bulk of the rainwater and divert it elsewhere. On top of that, wet weather will take your eyebrows off. I love the rain, but it’s difficult to love it when it no longer loves you back.
Con Number 3: Get ready to explain it over and over to everyone
“You did what?” was my father’s response. Most of my friends wanted to know why. Also, how and when. Was I having a meltdown? Was I planning to keep them that way? Did they feel funny? Why didn’t I just do the drag queen trick and glue them over? (The answer to that last one is that if there’s one thing worse than having no brows, it’s the feeling of three layers of craft glue on your face for a whole day.)
Pro Number 1: There are no rules
This is the main reason I got rid of my eyebrows, and also the main reason I enjoy not having them around. I get to have all the eyebrows. Some days they’re blue. Some days they’re straight. Some days they’re thin. There’s no limit to what you can do with your eyebrows when you don’t have any!
Also, gluing things to your eyebrows gets a whole lot less painful. Some of my favourite things to glue on are cut-outs of origami paper and fake flowers. When you do glittery eyebrows, you don’t have to worry about the glitter getting sucked into that deep, perplexing wilderness of hair. Whatever goes on your face comes off your face. No more discovering gold flecks in your eyebrows weeks after that one party.
Pro Number 2: Every morning is a creative exercise
Unless you’re feeling bold (or simply couldn’t care less what society thinks), you do have to draw on new eyebrows every morning. Or do you? Some mornings I’m too lazy to worry about perfect arches and whatnot, and I find myself creating looks I normally would never even think about. For example: eyeshadow that goes so high that it masks the need for eyebrows altogether.
Pro Number 3: Self confidence
Getting rid of my eyebrows hasn’t been the easiest thing. No eyebrows sometimes means a longer time spent in front of the mirror in the mornings, and being extra careful in wet weather. But an aesthetic change hasn’t been the only thing I’ve gotten out of the experience. It’s also been kind of eye opening.
I realise there are lots of people who live without eyebrows, and not because of choice, and my experience can’t even begin to compare to theirs. (Props to those of you who can hack it without eyebrows; you guys are truly amazing) I never really thought about how much emphasis we place on eyebrows, and on looks in general. It’s taken quite a bit of courage to get myself out the door with no makeup, to deal with the fact that without my eyebrows, I look a lot less like the girl society expects me to be.
Some days I really can’t bear the thought of going out without eyebrows, but that’s also forced me to wonder why. Why should we let others dictate what “healthy” and “beautiful” look like? Why should my eyebrows be a marker of my femininity? Why shouldn’t I be allowed to shave off my eyebrows and still be considered professional? This is by no means a call for you to shave off your eyebrows (although, if you’ve been thinking about it…) but it’s definitely let me see there are other types of beauty.