The Things We Grew Part I: Eyebrows
Where fashion and Gaby Hoffmann intersect.
The things we do to be cool rarely ever actually work — mostly because it’s the act of trying that renders us instantly uncool. Once the social hierarchy of the high school cafeteria has been stripped away, the measure of cool relies largely on personal comfort (though an innate sense of style doesn’t hurt), but as someone who works in an industry that revolves around the celebration of trends, it can be easy to find myself standing alone in the hallway, wondering if I too can pull off leather palazzo pants.
I typically decide I cannot. I will write about them and dissect their worth until my keyboard is broken and my fingers fall off, but my fear of looking like I tried too hard tends to override my desire to experiment with new looks. But then Fashion Week inevitably turns up and the stress over looking cool rears its stupid head. This season, I found my secret weapon.
I have always had gigantic eyebrows, ones that could possibly grow into my forehead and take over my face if I left them alone for long enough. In their natural state, before my mother finally let me wax them, my brows were the love children of Peter Gallagher and Gaby Hoffmann. This was a horrifying realization at age 12, especially in comparison to girls in my class getting their first arches done. But when I remembered my furry browed roots just a few months ago, it was a revelation. They were to be my best accessory come Fashion Week.
I know that sounds dumb. I knew it sounded dumb the moment I said out loud to Leandra that I was “growing my eyebrows out for Fashion Week,” as if they were highlights or those yarn wraps you’d get on a family cruise to Jamaica. But I stand by my word choice. For a girl who has spent her life plucking errant hairs with the obsessive compulsion of a neurotic basket weaver, this was huge.
So for one whole month I didn’t touch my brows. The awkward in-between phase was worse than bangs, because my hairs are so black and thick that when they start to grow in I look like I’ve spiked mascara above my lids. As some sort of defense mechanism I adopted a habit of immediately pointing out my project the second I ran into anyone or met someone new. “Don’t mind the wigs growing out of my face,” I’d say, pointing to my brows. Although absolutely every time, no one noticed anything strange or different.
I even started to get annoyed. This was supposed to be a drastically new me. The whole point of me reverting back to brow au natural was to eliminate the need for a new wardrobe come fashion week — especially in this white shit storm of a winter that eradicates the hope of wearing anything but a full body parka. See, in the history of hyperbolic moments, eyebrows are potentially having the greatest one and for once I can participate with absolutely minimal effort. So hello, can someone please notice?
But then finally, someone did.
“Your eyebrows look really good,” my friend said after I posted a selfie on Monday to Instagram.
When I went in for a bikini wax yesterday, the receptionist assumed I was there for my brows.
Then, just last night it was confirmed at dinner that the heavy brows made me look more “fashion-y” than usual, and after much prompting and cajoling and fishing for the very compliment I wanted, I got it. They told me I look cool. Er. Cool-er.
Whatever, I’ll take it, because I didn’t even have to try.
I think I’m going to keep the brows post-Fashion Week. Mostly because not doing them saves time and money. Next up on the fashion frontier that is my two facial caterpillars, however? Glitter a la Chanel’s last show, which is still so much cheaper than buying shoes.