Eldina Jaganjac grew up in a small town and like many others, spent much in hair removal. The 31-year-old tutor recalled that she had to spend more to pluck her eyebrows and upper lips, but despite the cruel comments when she stopped doing that, she’s done with it.
Since she let her brows merge, some people would stare at her like she’s grown a “third head.”
Based in Copenhagen, Denmark, Eldina realized that she got more positive remarks when she tries to fit in. But she was very frustrated at the beauty standard that demands her to spend so much time and money on hair removal to maintain her looks.
“Before I let my unibrow grow out, I did feel like there were extremely limited options to how women were supposed to look.”
“Compared to men, we are expected to spend much more time and money on our looks just to be deemed visually acceptable in society, especially when you are in public spaces. If a man doesn’t shave and doesn’t pluck his eyebrows, no one notices or comments and it’s nothing out of the ordinary.”
“Just like many other women, I have learned to police myself. For instance, I used to not feel comfortable going outside unless my eyebrows were the accepted small size, and I wouldn’t go to the gym unless my legs were clean shaven.”
She stopped removing her hair in March 2020 and so far, she’s never felt any less feminine than herself, but societal expectations made her feel so.
She’s had men insulting her on the street and the occasional stares. But she has better priorities, “Now, I’ve chosen to focus on the tasks and goals that I need to have done and less on how I appear while doing them and whether people like me or not, because I probably won’t ever see them again, and if I do, I still don’t care.”
“I don’t care what people think. I don’t want it to become this big thing – no pun intended – but it’s a personal choice for everyone to make themselves, and I wish that people wouldn’t care no matter how a woman chooses to look.”
“I used to feel less feminine because of my rather voluminous eyebrows. Growing up, I noticed that I was considered a brute when my body hair first started to grow as a teenager,” she shared.
“I noticed most girls around me panicking around the age of 13 and 14 and starting to shave and pluck anything pluckable because they wanted to be accepted as female and tried to fit into their new role as a young woman.”
“I eased slowly into it, so it wasn’t like I made an announcement. Some of my friends said it was cool after I grew out my brows, some didn’t notice, and most didn’t care.”
“I’ve had people come up to me on the street telling me it was cool, and a few yelling at me. That was uncomfortable at first, but if some people have nothing to do other than yell at strangers, then so be it.”
“I’ve had some rude comments here and there, but very few were from grown-ups. Mostly it has been teenagers on social media telling me how to perform the art of personal grooming. Or just commenting ‘unibrow.’”
“Yes, I have had a few teenage boys yell at me in the streets, but nothing big. I think it’s hard to understand gender roles when you are a teenager and you are growing up, so I think seeing a woman doing something that is considered less feminine confuses these teenagers and they let it out on me because they start to question their own norms and understanding of what it means to be a man.”
In her love life, this has helped her weed out the bad batch who would stare at her leg hair and unibrow. She shared, “If anything, I get more positive attention and I get to weed out the more conservative people from the beginning.
She now encourages people to do whatever they feel comfortable with – whether that’s letting them grow, or shaving them.
She advised, “I think you should do what you want to do. Of course, for some jobs and places, you have to fit a description, so it’s going to be a compromise. I would take it slowly and safely because you never know how people will react.”