Write for The Iranian
Editorial policy

Abroo kamoon
Battle of the eyebrow

By Niki Tehranchi
July 9, 2001
The Iranian

I was born outside of Iran, before the revolution. In the hospital, people were not as used as they are now to "ethnic" looking babies next to their properly bald Western babies. My dad and mom had no difficulty picking me out at the nursery for I was the only one there with a massive unibrow. A candidate for those old Charles Dickens tales of baby switching I was definitely not.

Fortunately, as I grew older, I started to grow a little more into my eyebrows. (i.e. the ratio of eyebrow to body length became a little more proportionate) but finally, as I lost the innocence of childhood, I increasingly got the feeling that something was not quite right about my face, a certain je ne sais quoi that made me different than the rest of my female classmates.

I went home one day determined to resolve the problem once and for all. I went to the bathroom, closed the door, and before the mirror, I started studying my face. I tried to maintain direct eye contact and not to blink so I wouldn't lose my concentration. Suddenly, I had a sixth sense that the problem resided in the upper part of my face. I gently placed one hand on the top of my head, and slowly extended my index finger downwards, poking around the area in the hopes of eventually hitting the jackpot. When the finger finally rested on the exact point where my forehead ended and my nose began, I noticed a strange change in my face. Uncontrollably, my jaw muscles had begun to move, forcing my lips into a pretty smile.

Alarmed at this turn of events, I removed my finger from its position and watched in horror as the same mechanism turned my smile into a frown. I repeated this experiment several times before, like Homer Simpson, a light bulb finally was switched on. "DOH!" I exclaimed. I had literally put the finger on my problem: I had... a unibrow!

This was an immense relief as I thought the problem could be resolved very simply (Ah! I guess I had not lost my childhood innocence entirely!). I made sure the bathroom door was locked and I opened the cabinet, removing a pair of golden tweezers from my mom's "beauty" bag. With tremendous excitement and also a lot of fear, I chose the longest blackest hair right at the middle and, after holding my breath, I gave it a big pull. The sting was only momentary, and the result was already a 150% improvement.

So one by one, I plucked away at all the hair in the middle of my brow until I was quite satisfied. When I was finished a huge grin rested on my face. This grin quickly evaporated as soon as I opened the bathroom door and came face to face with my mother, who had been standing behind it for quite some time wondering what I could possibly be doing in the bathroom for so long and ready to call 911 if she stopped hearing the sounds of my regular breathing.

One look at me and she screamed out, half-way laughing and half-way in terror: "Khodaa margam bedeh! Ey vaay! Akheh ki ejazeh dadeh abrroohaatto becheenee? baabaat biyaad khooneh mikoshatet!"

With the cool reserved only to teenagers I replied nonchalantly: "Mageh unibrow-eh hamsaaye boodeh ke baayad ejaazeh meegereftam?" Boy did I get a screaming later on when daddy came home. But eventually they said nothing and the single entity was forever split in two.

Over the years, I found out that things were not as simple as they seemed. My initial experiment with my eyebrows became a daily task, the bane of my existence. Like Sysiphus pushing his rock up the mountain only to have it tumbling down the hill again, the battle against my constantly reemerging unibrow gave way to such disastrous experiments as the "hook look" (two straight lines that curve downwards towards the nose), the "Oh really? look" (two straight lines with the edges curved upwards at the nose giving you a perpetually surprised look), the "GRRRRRR" look (two diagonal lines pointing down at your nose giving you a perpetually angry look). It was a horrible daily battle made only worse by knowing there would be newer tougher soldiers the next day to pluck from the earth of my brow.

Well at least, I didn't have to go through what my poor mom went through. For some reason, she had been blessed with a perfectly beautiful, thick (but not too thick: a la Ali McGraw in "Love Story") pair of eyebrows (no unibrow!) but on the day of her wedding, the lady at the beauty salon decided "In ke mode nist! Azizam, bezaar man to ro messle aroosak dorosst konam." Her idea of aroosak was to completely pluck out ALL of my mom's eyebrows and draw in a pencil thin arc "a la Greta Garbo I vant to be ahlone" look.

My poor mommy had no idea what had happened. She washed her face in the sink and looked up, she saw that she was completely brow-bald and she had no idea how to draw them in again! She never regained her beautiful eyebrows as for some reason they never grew back! (Wish I had THAT problem)

Many years later, she had her eyebrows tattooed (yes you heard it! My mom got a tattoo before I did!) in Iran. Let me tell you, I almost crashed the car when I came to pick her up at the airport. She had been Iranified: Bleach blond hair with even blonder highlights, and a pair of oddly rectangle shaped dark eyebrows made the scariest of contrast under the yellow airport lights. *sigh*

The worst thing happened a year ago. After years of hell, I finally I found the pearl, the deity who would get rid of the bane of my existence, the one we referred affectionately as the Eyebrow-Lady (for invoking the Lord's name in vain would be a sin). She wielded a magical combination of tweezers, razors, cisers, and wax as skillfully as Leonardo da Vinci except you came out looking much better than Mona Lisa. Isn't fate cruel? Only a few weeks after I had found her, I had to pack my bags and move to the other end of the earth. I have now retuned to climbing my hill, pushing my rock, until I find my once again my salvation.

Next Episode: Nobody talks about it but Everybody has one..you know what I mean... the unpronounceable... the unthinkable... it's a shadow... it's a wrinkle... No! it's the hair on your upper lip!

Comment for The Iranian letters section
Comment for the writer Niki Tehranchi

By Niki Tehranchi

Bigger is better
A pair of perfect bouncy hips

God's way of preventing Iranian women from ruling the earth


Eat, sleep, nose job
Iran could hold the world record in plastic surgery
By Najmeh Fakhraie

Ali's nose job
His nose defied all laws of physics
October 30, 2000

Blind date
With an Iranian feminist
October 17, 2000

Persian Male Syndrome
December 27, 2000

Features archive

* Recent

* Cover stories

* Feature writers

* Arts & literature

* All sections

Flower delivery in Iran
Copyright © Iranian.com All Rights Reserved. Legal Terms for more information contact: times@iranian.com
Web design by BTC Consultants
Internet server Global Publishing Group