In Defense Of Thin Eyebrows

by Elisha Beach
An up-close picture of a woman's green eye, she is plucking her eyebrow hairs
John Slater/Getty

Thick, bushy eyebrows are the current beauty trend that bloggers and beauty gurus are obsessing over, and everyone seems to be jumping on the bandwagon. But just because this eyebrow trend has been given the stamp of approval from the so-called beauty experts doesn’t mean it’s for everyone. Some folks are just fine sticking to thin eyebrows, whether natural or not, and there is nothing wrong with that.

Eyebrow judgment and shame have always been a thing. Remember back in the late 90s and early 2000s when pencil-thin brows were all the rage and ladies with thick bushy eyebrows were shunned? And now people are doing everything they can to accomplish the naturally full brow look.

Overall, keeping up with current beauty trends can be quite an expensive endeavor, and thick eyebrows are no exception to the rule. Now, if your brows are naturally thick and luxurious, then kudos to you. But for many, achieving the perfect full brow requires anything from a special eyebrow pencil, to brow gel, to bi-weekly appointments with a brow specialist, to brow tinting, to microblading, and sometimes even having new brows tattooed across your forehead.

I have even seen people on social media using Elmer’s glue sticks to shellac their eyebrows to their face. And apparently, you can get your brows “laminated” which basically means you slap a perm on your eyebrows to straighten the hair. All that adds up to a whole lot of time and moola, and not everyone is willing to make that kind of investment in their brows.

As a former victim of the thin eyebrows trend of the ’90s, I totally understand not wanting to go through all of that trouble to alter the natural state of your eyebrows. Personally, I have always had more of an unruly version of brows with random thin spots that require quite a bit of grooming to achieve any trend. And back in the late ’90s a makeup artist took some tweezers to my rebel brows and plucked them into submission leaving me with about 10 hairs on each side.

I was left to my own devices to learn how to pencil in the remainder of my brows. And, frankly, thin brows didn’t look good on my very round, babyface. And my lack of talent in the makeup department made it even worse. But thank goodness mine were able to recover and grow back for the most part.

Much like me, many people were not lucky enough to have the super thin eyebrows that were all the rage at the turn of the century. Just like not everyone is lucky enough to have the full, bushy brows that are popular now. And not everyone’s brows survived the late ’90s and early 2000s. Some are left with unnaturally thin brows from over-plucking, waxing and shaving their brows into oblivion. Just as some of you will be left with full brows for life because you have permanently microbladed or tattooed eyebrows onto your face.

The fact is the shape of eyebrows have changed multiple times over the decades… arched, round, thick, thin, natural, and even completely shaved off. There has been a trend for almost every decade since the dawn of time. Over the centuries, we have seen everything from bold, painted brows to no brows at all. And it’s inevitable that another brow trend is coming our way sooner rather than later.

If following the current trend is super important to you, by all means, go for it. But really, no one should feel forced to sacrifice their natural brows just to follow a beauty trend. Because, contrary to what the beauty industry and social media would like you to believe, the thickness or thinness of your brows doesn’t define your beauty.

So if you naturally have a full bushy brow, lucky for you (at least for the time being). And if you have thin eyebrows, think twice before you go and do anything costly or long-term. Because frankly, the best trend of all times is to do you boo. If a thin brow looks good on you and it makes you feel good about yourself, then do it. Because at the end of the day, the only opinion that matters is your own.