I have enough eyebrow stories to write a blog series … which is precisely what I am about to do!
Now before you cringe and skip this entry having convinced yourself that I am about to spout Beauty Advice, please note that these stories contain the customary amounts of humiliation that you have grown to love and expect.
The first story takes place in the summer before grade 8, long before I even understood that eyebrow care was a thing.
My eyebrows were on my face. They grew and did not connect in the middle. They weren’t massive or practically non-existent. They were just there and that was all I needed to know.
At least until that fateful day …
I was 13 and had decided to try Nair for the first time. For anyone who doesn’t know (Does anyone not know what Nair is? Or is Nair even still a thing?) Nair is a horrible chemical that removes body hair and smells like burning rubber. But none of that mattered because I was oh so very grown up and had seen a commercial on TV about this amazing product that removed hair without any mess or fuss (LIES!) and just knew I needed to try it for myself.
So there I was, hidden in the bathroom on a sweltering August day liberally applying hair-be-gone to my legs and sweating profusely in the heat. Finally after coating each leg in twice as much of the recommended dose (assuming that twice as much would make it last twice as long) I stood up and wiped the sweat off my brow, beginning the countdown until I could wash the crap off.
That was when the burning started.
I felt as though I had fallen into an ant’s nest and not even the nice kind that’s just after sugar. No, this was the burning of a fire ant nest, angry and hungry and unbelievably painful. The bottle had said nothing about burning!
I hopped from foot to foot trying to last another few minutes so I could finish what I had started.
And then the burning started on my face.
That fateful brow wipe had distributed Nair directly across my right eyebrow. I rushed to the tap as fast as I could and tried to wash away the lotion as it burned my face, desperate to minimize the damage.
I wasn’t fast enough.
Three weeks before the start of Grade 8 and most of my right eyebrow was gone.
It was not pretty.
It was, in fact, pretty awful.
In a fit of misguided decisiveness I tried to remove some of the left eyebrow to make them more even, as if that would improve things.
Instead I was left with two oddly shaped and barely-there eyebrows that took months to grow back in. I was teased mercilessly and managed to spend the first few months of my Junior High career looking perpetually surprised and as though I had a very large forehead.
Thus began the start of my eyebrow paranoia, something I carry with me even now.
Post Script: Dear Reader, of course there are pictures of this incident, but the pain is still too fresh to share them. It’s amazing how different a face looks without eyebrows …