Eyebrows—they have a life of their own! You’ve tried everything on those little fuzz boomerangs, but tweezers and wax have nothing on the ancient art of threading, in which each hair is yanked out from the follicle using lengths of cotton thread. If you’re getting that foliage uprooted for the first time, it’s likely to be one of the most painful and challenging experiences of your life—and as we all know, pain is the only way to grow as a person. Here are some strong female role models to think about through every stage of the experience.
For when you’re feeling trapped… Lisbeth Salander from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Whether it’s Lisbeth Salander struggling with her wolfish social worker in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, or just threading your upper lip, a powerful woman will at times find herself under someone’s thumb(s). As your aesthetician-tormentor begins to reshape your vision beards, her sinew of fire making tiny zipper sounds as it sets your forehead ablaze, you may feel powerless, immobile, and unable to respond. Is facial topiary really worth this level of pain? The room blurs, but you are resilient under torture; recall how Lisbeth succeeding in tattooing, “I am a sadistic pig and a rapist” on her rapist. Cool! Endure and have patience as you scramble to erase a culturally mandated amount of hair before your date. You will prevail!
For going the distance into the unknown… Imperator Furiosa
Strong women inspire with their intense, steely stares; picture Furiosa steering her War Rig with no sunglasses AND no hair (did she thread it all off? Such a boss!) Think of this focused femme as the overhead lights of the salon burn right through your closed lids, making you regret ever bringing your socket mohawks in for maintenance. You’re a match for this! Stare right back into those fluorescent suns, imagining you are storming the Capitol or driving to the Green Place, as your eye whiskers disappear row by row and you get closer to your goal of only having hair in the proper places.
For when your captor has no sympathy… Kamala Khan
Your threading professional is not impressed by your wails as she briskly prunes those overgrown planters on your brow. For perspective, think of female characters who balance physical and emotional strength with a marginalized identity, like the current Ms. Marvel, Kamala Khan, a Pakistani-American Muslim girl who juggles her cultural and religious background, her American identity, and teenage hormones with her responsibilities as a superhero. Yes She Khan! That’s more burdens than the bristles on your face, which should ground you enough to listen when your nemesis sighs, “You stop crying, I will finish.”
For when you wish you weren’t female… Mulan
Before you know it you’ve paid to have your upper lip, cheeks, and ‘burns done too; face-o’clock shadow knows no bounds! As your ex-fur-minator weeds every last dandelion in your facial meadow and you long for the release of death, connect to your masculinity and think of valiant characters who bend gender to achieve their goals, like Mulan. Androgyny is power! Channel masculine/feminine warriors as you brave this timeless ordeal of making sure people know that you are, in fact, a female human.
For when the work is never done… Buffy the Vampire Slayer
The hardest part of a threading session is often the last few itsy-bitsy hairs she missed, and she’s always finding more. But even then, you’re not done here. As long as you are alive and don’t get the laser, your supraorbital Furbies will return, just as you will to this chair. To make peace with this, meditate on Buffy’s never-ending struggle with the vampires of Sunnydale. She’s so strong and beautiful and has her body hair under control! Summon that strength as you stagger out of the salon, swollen yet empowered.
There you have it! A beautifully decimated face, all ready to go. You look so fierce!