Today, I pay my dues. I pay my dues for the thick, long, jet black hair on my head that keeps me warm in the winter and goes well with the groovy vibes of the summer.
I pay my dues for my flawlessly full, gorgeously shaped eyebrows.
And I pay my dues for the abundant, curly eyelashes that have spared me from experiencing the horror of using an eyelash curler and watching three eyelashes fall off during a single squeeze.
Today, I pay my dues by waxing the thick, dark hair from the undesirable parts of my body. Arms, armpits, thighs, legs, toes. Yes. Every three weeks I must pay my dues for my lush hair, eyelashes, and eyebrows. Because I can’t have it all. I can’t have fierce eyebrows and full eyelashes capable of delivering the most adorable butterfly kisses without that thick hair also growing on the parts of my body I don’t want them.
So every three weeks, I lay out a bed sheet on the floor, take out my waxing kit, and watch Gilmore Girls passively while I begin the sacrifice. At first, I found the experience tedious and painful.
But now, I’m used to it.
Because I’ve been doing this ritual every three weeks for 6 years (approximately 103 waxing sessions in my lifetime–so far). But I started to become numb to the pain. I came to understand why I had to do this, why this pain made sense (also I’m pretty sure my follicles are damaged after 103 sessions).
If I wanted beauty, I needed the pain. Something’s gotta give. No pain, no gain. And other cliches I repeat in my head to make myself feel better.
My world order was completely shattered when I joined Pinterest a couple of years ago. I began to notice popular beauty trends. Pin after pin was about filling in your eyebrows for the right shape and eyebrow pencils and how to make your eyebrows look FULLER. Fill in your eyebrows. To. make. them. fuller.
HELL NO. My eyebrows look good now but that is only through many years of trial and mainly error. Every time I moved to a new city, visiting an eyebrow salon was a mix of
My eyebrows look good now but that is only through many years of trial and mainly error. Every time I moved to a new city, visiting an eyebrow salon was a mix of intense empirical data (hours on Yelp) and a leap of faith. And I was paying my dues for these fabulous eyebrows! I was spending a whole afternoon every twenty-one days with sticky hands, legs, and arms for a whole 24 hours, inhaling artificial wax fumes, itching during the week and a half after the wax as the hair starts to grow back.
These light to medium eyebrow girls weren’t paying any dues! They probably felt like shaving was an option. And if they shaved, all they shaved was their legs. Hardly anyone shaved their thighs. And no one shaved their torsos.
I felt cheated. Like my eternal sacrifice for bomb eyebrows was in vain. I felt like lying on the sticky bedsheet to wait for the follicles to become stronger, for the hair to overcome my body, and when they find me in a forest of my own keratin I would tell them “you did this.”
But I had to go to a bridal shower the next day. And my arms were looking a bit dark and coarse.
So I waxed, took a shower to vigorously scrub away the remaining sticky residue, and didn’t look twice at my eyebrows.