On July 31, 2018, we began again.
Rihanna was the messenger, communicating to her loyal followers that things would not be as they’d long been. It was written on her face ― photographed for the upcoming cover of British Vogue’s September issue ― in two elegant wisps arranged atop her eyelids.
So scant, so sharp. Like a jeté dipped in ink. Like two spider legs, arched into delicate mounds. Like a barely audible whisper, hardened into a hiss.
The image was liked and shared and spread. As expected. As she knew it would be.
Rihanna devotees immediately understood. The time had come for pencil-thin eyebrows. No matter the shape of our faces or luxuriance of our eyebrow hairs: We would tweeze, we would wax, we would thread, we would do what had to be done.
First she told us thick eyebrows, and we dutifully obeyed. Then she said bleached, and some of us tried that out for a bit. Now we must pluck until we look like the Bride of Chucky. We will make our faces look perpetually nonplussed yet unimpressed. We will submit to the cycle once again with glee. We’re sure it will look as good on us as it does on her.
From a distance, her skinny eyebrows look almost like birds in the distance. Do you see them there, their two wings floating on the horizon? Waiting for a new day?