It's Lucky to Have a Hairy Daughter

By Bhairavi Thanki

Okay, let me cut to the chase. I hate my eyebrows. I hate them from the point they almost touch in the middle of my forehead to their ends on either side that are never rightly aligned. I hate their bushiness. I hate that they make every picture I was in between the ages of 1 and 16 nauseating to look at.

I hated them so much in my teens that I took measures to avoid looking at my them in the mirror including getting Zooey Deschanel bangs that made me look like an overgrown child. These bangs worked until a particularly windy day came along. I was just walking down the street, minding my own business when a strong gust hit me in the face and my bangs got swept aside. My mom looked at me and laughed a little. I hadn’t gotten my eyebrows done in over 2 months.

My eyebrows aren't the only hairy part of my body. It's everywhere. My arms, my legs, my back. Sure, I know everyone has hair but not everyone has visible hair. And all those people complaining about their bodies being rain forests have not met me. Hermione Granger after taking the cat hair-infused Polyjuice Potion has not met me. Robin Williams has not met me. If I let go for even a day, I could stab someone with all the pricklies. So I am really doing everyone a favour by shaving.

Looking back at old pictures of my mum, I can confidently say I get it from her. She’s hairless now but she once told me she got waxed all the time and has no hair at all. Cool, mom! Can you also give me your strength so I can actually go get waxed? After my last waxing at the age of 18, I haven’t been able to do it. Bloodclots all over my arms. Yes, that happens. Go look it up.

My parents once told me that they were fortunate to have a hairy daughter. It brings good luck they said. Excuse me, what?! I thought they were trying to make me feel better after one particularly gruesome waxing session. But then I heard it from one aunt and then another. Clearly, I needed to find out more. I asked why and the only answer I got was "it’s just the way it is". There really was no logical backing to this made-up fact, not even in a holy book somewhere. So I took to the internet. The only results I got were some wacky porn sites. Apparently hairy daughters are a turn on? Gross, humanity, gross.

So I kept telling myself that I am hairy because the universe intended my parents to have all the luck in the world without any logical explanation. I continued cursing my eyebrows as I brushed my teeth each morning and tried to shape them myself. That didn’t work obviously. And as I sit here writing, no, complaining about my eyebrows, they’re sitting there on my forehead, plotting their revenge against me, slowly creeping dangerously towards each other.

I try to make myself feel better about my gorilla arms and man legs by covering them up or shaving them everyday. But my eyebrows are too unruly to get done every week. And tweezing them gives me ingrowns that are a bitch to treat. Just ask the Korean lady at my nail place. She complains and then scolds me for trying to clean them up myself. She means well but I am scared of her.

In my last ditch attempt, I recently took to fashion mags and blogs to see how other people are dealing with their eyebrows. One particularly optimistic blogger said that thick eyebrows are in. They are all over the runways apparently. Well, shit. I am not doing my eyebrows anymore then. I think thick eyebrows would be in for me if I could afford a professional facial hair groomer who would follow me around and pull out strays whenever needed. Unfortunately, I live off a budget that can barely afford razors.

I almost gave up until I read Tina Fey's autobiography ‘Bossypants’. I realized that even if I can’t embrace my hairiness and my beautifully wild eyebrows, I have to accept them as a part of my family’s legacy.  Because if I can’t accept the one thing my parents leave behind, then what kind of a hairy Thanki does that make me? And if Tina Fey can talk out loud about her hairy ancestry and her ridiculous eyebrows, why can’t I? In one particularly hilarious chapter, Tina describes her appearance in as much embarrassing detail as possible. She wrote, “[I am grateful for my] Straight Greek eyebrows. They start at the hairline at my temple, and left unchecked, will grow straight across my face and onto yours.”

Clearly, she wrote all my pain away because I am sitting here writing this for you to read. I'd high five her but I have to go shave my underarms first.