Embracing My Eyebrows: A Hairy Tale of Beauty and Bullying

From Years of Struggle to Self-Love Embracing My Thick and Bushy Eyebrows

After years of struggle, I now adore my full eyebrows.

Author: Courtesy of the author

Image: Man posing with a dog at a park. Image

A Tale of Eyebrows: From Outdated to En Vogue

Once upon a time, in the late 1990s and early 2000s, there was a peculiar fashion trend that took the beauty world by storm – pencil-thin eyebrows. Yes, you heard it right, those barely-there, minimalist arches were all the rage. It seemed like everyone was shaping, waxing, threading, and even laser-removing their eyebrows to fit the mold of this “definitive” style. It was the battle of the brows, drawing lines between the well-groomed and those who, like me, couldn’t care less about excessive grooming.

My Hairy Heritage

Let’s take a moment to appreciate the genetics that cursed me with a pair of caterpillar-thick eyebrows. Thanks, Dad (the Indian immigrant), and thanks, Mom (the Puerto Rican and Italian American beauty). Growing up, I looked different from my classmates, and not just because of my curly hair, olive skin, and “foreign”-sounding name. You see, my classmates made my eyebrows an easy target for their mockery. The two hairy heroes on my face stood proudly, but I couldn’t help but crave the fashionable, barely-there arches that were so “in.”

A Trim Gone Terribly Wrong

One fateful evening, at the tender age of thirteen, I couldn’t resist the temptation any longer. I sneaked into my brother Ravi’s forbidden drawer, the one that housed his electric buzzer. It was a dangerous mission, risking both the wrath of my hairy sibling and a potentially catastrophic eyebrow trim. With unsteady hands and a trembling heart, I attempted to carefully crop the hedges above my eyeballs. But alas, my nerves got the best of me, and the buzzing trimmer took control. It plowed through my brows like a tractor in a corn maze, leaving behind thin, uneven patches.

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder. Sometimes.

With my handiwork complete, I stepped out of the bathroom, filled with a mix of excitement and apprehension, to show my mom my new facial style. Her reaction? A shriek of horror. “Oh, no! Honey, what did you do to your face?” Not exactly the response I was hoping for, and definitely not the confidence boost a teenager desperately needs. The next day at school, the bullying reached a whole new level. Kids pointed, stared, and mocked me mercilessly. Their hand-gestures imitated a razor, moving back and forth above their own eyes, accompanied by exaggerated stuttering. “St-st-stupid sh-sh-shaving sch-sch-schmuck!” they taunted. The embarrassment was suffocating.

Learning to Love My Fuzzy Friends

As the years went by and my adolescent struggles faded into the background, I gradually learned to embrace my distinctive facial feature. I realized that I didn’t need to conform to fleeting beauty trends. In my early 20s, I abandoned the experimentation, opting for a more minimalistic approach to grooming. A few touch-ups here and there to tame any unruly strays became my new norm. And guess what? It worked! I started to receive compliments on my once-mocked eyebrows. “You have a robust, natural look,” a woman hollered while I was browsing clothes in Old Navy. I was dumbfounded. Who knew that something I once despised could become a fashion statement with minimal effort?

The Moral of the Story: Fashion Fads Fade, Self-Acceptance Prevails

So, my dear fashionistas, hear me loud and clear. Trends come and go, but self-acceptance is timeless. Don’t let yourself be defined by fleeting beauty ideals. Instead, embrace the characteristics that make you who you are. Your unique features might just become the envy of others down the line.

And to my fellow eyebrow enthusiasts who have faced bullying and mockery, know that you are not alone. In a world filled with razors and conformists, let your brows be a symbol of your strength and individuality. Wear them proudly, my friends!

Note: Raj Tawney is a talented writer who weaves tales of race, identity, and food from his Indian, Puerto Rican, and Italian American perspective. If you’re interested in delving deeper into his journey, check out his memoir, “Colorful Palate: A Flavorful Journey Through a Mixed American Experience.”

Did you enjoy this hairy tale? Have you ever experienced a fashion trend gone wrong? Share your stories and thoughts below! Let’s celebrate our unique styles and support each other in our fashion adventures.