The Motley News

I Feel Bad About My Eyebrows


I only saw the real length of my mother’s eyebrows in the early morning.

Short, short stubs of eye covering. By breakfast, though, the brows were back, sometimes with a vengeance. She drew them on with a black pencil. I mean black. She may have had a steady hand but they were entirely too dark and severe for her face. Sometimes, she would try a different shape and I wasn’t sure if she was angry or very shocked!

This is her, and my older sister, going through what must have been the Claudette Colbert phase:

Here’s what I was born with:

Look at that! That’s what you’re working with, Toddler Charish, it won’t get much better from there . . .

 No, in fact, lately it seems I’m losing what I’ve fought to grow all of these years.

Or, my husband, Noah, thinks I might be losing my mind. It might actually be a bit of both. I’ve only become obsessed with this in recent months and I think I’m getting to that age where I’m worried about turning into my mother.

I talked to a friend about this irrational fear. We felt like women dreaded turning into their mothers more than men worried about becoming their fathers. We have no proof of that, we were just citing our own experiences.

Then I found this, “Women turn into their mothers by 32!” And promptly flipped the fuck out. I felt like Oedipus, finding out I no longer had free will. (mind you, there’s no actual science in this article and it’s from the NY Post)

This explains my trip to Sephora and getting my eyebrows filled in by a woman who looked like:

 I’m 28 and I must be getting ready to settle into living the rest of my life like my mother. Eyebrows are just the beginning of:

  • Becoming socially conservative
  • Loosening people’s tight ponytails without their consent
  • Sitting up straighter
  • Saying things like: “That’s a piss-poor excuse!”
  • Buying things because I’m bored or it will change my life!

The last “mom-ism” is what led me to buy the $20 eyebrow tool at Sephora. The woman with tattooed eyebrows said I wouldn’t have to tweeze or thread at his point, “it’s a matter of filling in what you’ve got.” Ha.

And now I, for the first time in my life, I have noticeable eyebrows. I have mixed feelings about them. It’s nice to finally see them and I believe they give my face some new dimension. On the other hand, I now have to keep it up. It might be really noticeable if I leave the house without my eyebrows. This is what it feels like to live a lie. I wonder if that’s how my mother felt when she was 28?

At night I wash my face of all makeup and look like a whole other woman. I look like her. While I stare at my face, I can hear her voice.

“My god, Charish. Don’t wear so much makeup, that when you take it off at night, you can’t even recognize yourself.”

Author: charishreid

Writer and Educator.

2 thoughts on “I Feel Bad About My Eyebrows

  1. Lol, cute story and baby picture! I know what you mean… my grandmother used to say the same thing about the make up. I think it's inevitable that we pick up things from our mothers/grandmothers, and turn into them a bit. Lol @ loosening people's ponytails. As long as we are conscious of certain things though, we can change the extent of it. I'm looking forward to that age where we wake up and just don't care lol. How about that for turning into them? lol


  2. YES! Ikr? I can't wait to be in my 80's and none of it matters anymore. I hope it come sooner though.


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