The World According to Layne

Stand Up to Eyebrow Maintenance

When it came time for college, I thought I had it all figured out (who doesn’t?). In terms of being a “girl,” I thought I had the basics down.

I’m not a “girly girl” in an overly obvious and annoying kind of way, but I knew enough to get me through those awkward teenage years.

Hair? All you gotta do is straighten it, and when you feel fancy (like you’re going to the Oscars or something), you curl it.

Makeup? All you really need is mascara, and when you feel fancy (like if you’re going to the Oscars or something) then you put on eyeliner, too.

So I knew (or thought I knew) all the basics of being a female, but one month into college, I had a rude awakening.

I was sitting with my first-year roommate and a friend of hers, and they were talking about “girl” stuff — mostly makeup and boys — all the while braiding each other’s hair.* I was only half paying attention but all of a sudden the topic changed to eyebrow maintenance. As they discussed their tactics for keeping their eyebrows shapely, I violently interrupted and said, “Wait…we’re supposed to do stuff with our eyebrows?”

Well thanks, Judy Bloom, because I was never warned that maintaining my eyebrows was an essential part of femininity. Honestly, what part of our bodies can women just leave alone? I was under the impression that eyebrows were the only thing us gal pals could leave be and not worry about…ever.

To stand up against this absurd (and unbeknownst to me) rule, I have left my eyebrows alone for the past two years.

Yet one night when my current roommate and I were playing beauty shop (you read that right), she decided to pluck a few of those gems up there. Since I’m pretty much half a boy anyway, I figured I could take the pain. But let me tell you, there is no pain that could ever compare with the agony I felt that fateful night.

For a hot second, I thought she was attempting to shave my face off because two eyebrow hairs plucked was far too many.

I understand the need to pluck if a girl (or guy) has a unibrow or something, but honestly, why do we ever need to fuss with our eyebrows otherwise?

“As someone who’s been personally victimized by eyebrow maintenance, I think it’s stupid and I hate it,” said biology major Melissa Caceres.

So it’s not just me; other girls feel attacked by eyebrow maintenance.

Being a girl is hard enough as it is — trying not to burn yourself with the flat iron, trying to count carbs but inevitably failing, being the only girl on the boys T-ball league…you name it. Since birth, I have failed at being a girl. Why am I expected to do all this B.S.? Because boys won’t like me? Trust me, once a boy meets me, he is already running for the hills.

It’s time to let it all hang out (that’s right — I’m talking about going bra-less), because I’m tired of all this maintenance. I’m tired of crying, dammit (due to the plucked eyebrows). I am now making an oath that I shall never pluck nor perform other heinous acts to my eyebrows.  And unless you enjoy the searing pain of losing your eyebrow hair, I suggest you join me.

Because that’s the world according to Layne.

*If you actually think girls have slumber parties full of gossiping and hair braiding, then you are completely right. It’s written in the girl code book that all slumber parties require hair braiding, nail painting and giggling.

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Layne Hillesland is a senior communication student at Loyola University Chicago and the current Arts & Entertainment Editor for The PHOENIX.

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