Assist! I Have Forehead Paranoia!

It took me some time to care about eyebrows. Once I was younger, I cared far more about having large boobs, and questioning if I might ever not be the shortest individual in a room. (Blissful to report: It’s occurred twice now!) Till, after all, someday in 2004, when A.J. Soprano awakened at a sleepover together with his eyebrows shaved off. I used to be my household’s A.J.: snotty, gentle weight fluctuations, and a disappointment on each degree to my mother and father. When Tony grabbed his son’s face and requested, “What’s completely different about you? Who did this?” that’s when it clicked. Dangerous eyebrows can disappoint a mother or father as a lot as a foul report card, and I wanted to present love and care to these puppies (and watch out whom I fell asleep round). It was additionally the primary time I felt true forehead paranoia—a bone-deep intuitive sense that it doesn’t matter what, I used to be making the flawed selection about my brows.

I quickly realized from my mates at college that we had been dwelling in an period of unibrow-fear-driven capitalism. Skinny, plucked, and minimalist was the best way to go. So I walked to Walgreens after faculty and bought my very own pair of tweezers. Later, when my mother got here dwelling from work, she was livid, a rage normally reserved for spilling one thing crimson on one thing beige. I used to be in as a lot hassle as Anthony Junior. No gabagool for Esther that evening.

By the point Glossier launched Boy Brow—a seismic second on par solely with Madonna kissing Britney—the pendulum had swung all the best way to thick, feathery, fluffy eyebrows. There was even a spot in L.A. providing “eyebrow rehab.” I purchased some castor oil, brushed clear mascara in an upward movement, and even ordered some biotin. I don’t suppose I ever bought any outcomes, however at the least I by no means needed to go to rehab.

I used to be resigned to dwelling fortunately ever after with plain, boring, do-nothing-bitch eyebrows. However with out warning, a couple of months in the past, the “skinny forehead” returned with a vengeance, because of an unbelievable social media PR workforce (they even bought Bella Hadid). My TikTok algorithm succumbed to a tidal wave of “attractive attractive ladies” displaying me learn how to get the proper small arch on a forehead I might solely see after screenshotting and zooming in.

Then issues grew to become nihilistic: no brows. Considered one of my favourite cool-girl comedians, Mary Beth Barone, bleached her eyebrows to nothingness. As she defined it, “I regarded like an alien. I’m too scared to dye my entire head, so this felt like a protected technique to meet within the center.” Abruptly I discovered myself feeling extraordinarily 2022. You recognize: open to new colours and kinds, relieved however not precisely completely happy to be alive, that form of vibe. Billie Eilish-ish.

My forehead paranoia ranges had been virtually excessive sufficient for me to boost my Lexapro dosage. What ought to I be doing with my brows? I lastly bought my reply after reaching out to Anastasia Soare of Anastasia Beverly Hills, who has been dealing with movie star forehead paranoia for 25 years. She defined virtually too sensibly that what’s good for one individual isn’t good for everybody: “Essentially the most flattering eyebrow form goes to be tailor-made to the person’s bone construction.”

Sure, after all. So what’s one of the best form for a thirtysomething girl with the bone construction of a sesame seed bagel?

Possibly I’m higher off dyeing them child blue and getting at the least half a viral TikTok out of it.

esther povitsky

Creator Esther Povitsky.

Ethan Miller//Getty Photos

This text seems within the September 2022 challenge of ELLE.

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