Beauty / Trend

Skinny eyebrows: The most polarising beauty trend is making a comeback

skinny eyebrows

Skinny eyebrows are back. At this point, we can't deny it any longer. Some of you will receive this news in the same way as if we had announced the revival of the guillotine: with terror and foreboding. Others who have been following the sharp rise in Y2K trends like low rise and pop punk will have clocked this beauty style as inevitable.

Championed by the "it girls" at the turn of the century — think Paris Hilton, Drew Barrymore and Angelina Jolie — the style had many of us in a love-hate relationship with our tweezers. When the trend became a relic of the past as we grew mesmerised by Cara Delevingne's full brows, our own arches were in a state of stasis and struggling to regrow. Naturally this meant many of us vowed never go through that again. Not ever. But with some of our favourite models and celebrities deliberately embracing the look once more, and #thineyebrows having more than 135.3M views on TikTok at the time of writing, it has us wondering if there's something new to be found in the skinny eyebrow trend this time around?


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A post shared by Bella 🦋 (@bellahadid)

The most obvious is that for some, skinny eyebrows is providing respite from the demands of bold brows, with Bella Hadid leaning into the trend, having spoken openly about being insecure about her finer brows in the past. Other people of note like Jazelle from @uglyworldwide have fallen on the trend for its fluidity and promise of queer self-expression. After all, while skinny brows have drifted from the mainstream in the last decade, the queer community has kept them alive.

Still not sold? Here's the thing, I don't hate skinny eyebrows. In fact I love them, but as someone with bushy eyebrows that are one well placed strip of wax away from being a monobrow, I wish I could participate in the trend without razoring off what, for the first half of my life, I was told was unacceptable and in the years since have worked hard to appreciate.

Hair has historically been a subject used to shame women (at this point, what hasn't?). Too much of it in the wrong places and you're not feminine. Shave it off completely and you're not a woman. While in 2021, I'd like to believe that we've risen above these seriously archaic notions of gender and beauty, the true test of the last five years of body positivity and self-acceptance is the rise of the skinny eyebrow. Because while not everybody was born with thick brows, the people who have thicker hair are oftentimes not white.

The same can be said of low rise and the mentality that came with it, which was the source of trauma for many young girls, teenagers and adult women for the better part of the naughties. When low waists on curvier women can be embraced, and when a skinny eyebrow trend doesn't result in the belief that hair is other or less than, then we can tell we're on the right path.

The early naughties was a terrible time for women for a reason. Some are only just recovering (read: Britney, Paris and Lindsay). So, being nostalgic about the trends, clothing and general Y2K paraphernalia of the time should be fun, not exclusive. That's why if you've been isolated by the fuller and fluffier brow styles, this is an exciting new pivot in the realm of beauty for you. A reminder to embrace what you've got.

But if you're feeling anxious about the return of the thin brow, yet still want to get on board, it's time to get creative. In fact, creativity is at the heart of the trend. May I suggest foregoing the tweezers and instead, blocking out your brows with powder/concealer and drawing them on à la Barbie Ferreira?


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A post shared by barbie ferreira (@barbieferreira)

That's if you're not committed to the endless plucking and dreaded growing back that's needed to maintain the style. If you are, more power to you. It's time to experiment with shape and colour. As you can see, it's all about finding what works to you, and as trite as it sounds, knowing that you're in control, that it's your choice.


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Images: One, Two, Three