Eyebrows are basically the fancy frames around the windows to the soul right? Those two caterpillar-like things on our faces have always had some kind of cult status with endless trends slipping in and out of the picture and their maintenance is always highlighted. Eyebrows that are truly on fleek can definitely transform your face and that's the promise that drove an eighth grader me to a professional. I was ready to be a butterfly.
Back then, getting my eyebrows done felt like some kind of rite of passage ceremony. Some of my friends were getting theirs done and I wanted in. I was surprised my mom agreed so easily (thanks Ammu!) and I still remember to this day that I had gone right after hopping off the school bus. I recall excitedly settling down on the seat only to be reminded 10 seconds later that this is supposed to be somewhat painful. The women at the parlour seemed almost as excited as me which, in retrospect, is usually a bad sign. I remember having to pull the skin to make it taut and feeling little hairs rain down on my face as the thread did its magic. Did it hurt? Not as much as I thought it would (I had fairly tame brows and didn't have a lot of strays). Did my eyes water? From the joy of being able to experience this slightly painful beautification process, yes! Did I emerge as a butterfly? Well, my complexion looked a shade lighter and by our standards that's definitely an improvement. The fact remained, though, that I basically looked exactly the same.
I remember my girlfriends being ecstatic. For us girls, it was the parallel of shaving the baby mustache for the first time for guys I suppose. We'd talk about it in hushed voices and I remember getting a ton of compliments on how great they looked. Most people barely noticed. Apparently the fact that my eyebrows looked like a better version of the old ones was actually testament to the skills of my parlour lady and the beginning of my dependence on her for my monthly fix of fleek.
Fast forward a decade and I think my mom made a sneaky move that day. She saved my eyebrows before I could wreck them with the tweezers I was occasionally stealing. She drove home a lesson although I was rather slow in getting it — I didn't need to do my eyebrows and I wasn't thinking of a lifetime commitment. The few baby hairs I had as strays now grow back as angry, rebellious strays that stick out in random directions. Thankfully the boy brow trend has rolled around and seems to be here to stay. I have found my reprieve.