‘Arch Enemy’ on what’s new pussy cat brought back terrible memories of the one time in my life I was foolish enough to mess with my eyebrows.
It must have been six or seven years ago (God that makes me feel so old) when I decided on whim that I felt the need to pluck my eyebrows, for they had been bad, bad hairy monsters for too long.
Being a complete wuss-pot, and stingy to boot, I took myself down to the local beauty college where torture was going for a song. There was no reason for this self inflicted damage, I did not have a ‘big date’, job interview, three page photo spread in Elle magazine; rather the distorted view my little blonde eye protectors were caterpillars crawling across my face. At the time I may have also been slightly brainwashed by far too many sources telling me ‘you can open up your whole face’ by plucking the crap out of it.
Anyway, off I went, coin purse in pocket for my date with beauty and sophistication at the beauty therapy suite attached to the local college (that for reasons of nostalgia I will not shame).
Now, I was not totally unprepared for the experience of pulling single hairs out of my skin, roots and all, as I had tried and failed in the comfort of my own home. However I did truly underestimate the nightmare experience I was about to endure.
I sat on the ‘bed’ waiting for my beautician (although I use that world begrudgingly, she was no beautician, more sadist). I listened to the sounds of the others cooped up in there. With an atmosphere more like a hospital ward, and curtained off areas to set it all off, I was beginning to feel a little less than comfortable. Then my ‘beautician’ appeared, she was no taller than a small pixie and must have been about 12 years old. I lay down on command.
She practiced her best ‘chit-chat’ in an attempt to reassure me; the 5’10” woman she was about to bloodily attack. I tensed at the first brush of her tweezer across my sensitive brow. I had read, never pluck from above the arch – but she did.
As our ‘appointment’ progressed I soon realised the pain I had imagined was nowhere near the reality. Each tweeze was like having my skin pulled away from my bone. Rip, rip, rip as she progressed across my brow. ‘Oh! This one’s getting a bit red now, I’ll swap and do the other side for a bit’. She moved round, not satisfied with paralysing my left side, she now wished to carry out her sadistic ritual on my right. Rip, rip rip. The pain was intense. ‘Oh dear, here, press this against your eyelid, there’s some bleeding.’
Even now the memory of this turns my stomach. What the HELL are you doing to me? I should not be BLEEDING! I lay, still, grinding my teeth, clenching my jaw. I was mad, and in pain, and I had no fucking clue what this 12 year old was doing to my face, yet the ward-like atmosphere, and my personal embarrassment at causing a scene, suppressed any desire to attack.
Finally, over an hour after we started, I was passed a mirror, gingerly. I slowly turned it to look at my reflection, knowing in the pit of my stomach that something was wrong.
The reflection staring back at me resembled a boxer more than the familiar, caterpillar faced, girl. My eyelids were bleeding, and raw and swollen. There were scratches where she had plucked my skin as well as my eyebrow. I got up, I paid, I had no idea what else to do. I left.
My eyelids had scabs on them for weeks. I have never attempted to change them again.
My experience with eyebrow modification may have been a bit extreme, but it was almost worth the pain and scabbiness as it was one of the early triggers that opened my eyes up to my now staple mantra “your having a laugh if you think I’m going to put myself through that in the name of ‘beauty’ “.
As you can see, I have fully recovered. My eyebrows are naturally thin and blonde so you can’t see them anyway – sometimes I wonder what I’m thinking!