From Kajol To Gul Panag, This Is How The Unibrow Became Appealing And Trendy
Before 2018 or so, eyebrows were considered a facial feature that has little to no effect on how you look and something you could totally ignore. Of course, it needed a little grooming and stray hair pulled out for a nice finish but that was about it. However, just a few years ago we realised that eyebrows truly make a difference and frame your face like nothing else. So, we started shaping, filling in and adding definition to our brows. But the wispy bridge between the two hairy twins is still controversial. We are talking about the unibrow. The historically complicated beauty trend which is unsightly to some and appealing to others. For years, unibrow has been seen as a personal choice more than a global trend. Frieda Kahlo had it and on the home turf, Kajol singlehandedly popularised the feature for Indian women. Many were influenced by her ungroomed brows and one of them was Gul Panag who recently shared a throwback picture sporting the ‘look’ for one of her first pageants.
The picture is from the late 90s when Kajol was one of the leading actresses who went against the grain and unapologetically sported her natural, single brow while the other celebrities donned the well-groomed, thin brows. It picked up as a beauty trend, maybe because of how unique and natural it was or maybe because of Kajol’s huge fan following. She challenged the status quo and inspired women to embrace their conventionally bountiful brows. Young women like Gul Panag apparently tossed their tweezers and ditched threading for the Kajol-inspired look. In her photo from her Miss Patiala days, Panag is flaunting the untouched-up brows.
She wrote in the caption, #throwback to my first beauty pageant .. Circa 1998. Which I didn’t win. I wore my cousin @simritkaur34 ‘s wedding lehenga ( wonder why she indulged me , and why I wore it @simranpotnis ). Any way, no sense of hair and make up as you can see. Also heavily influenced by the uni brow trend that @kajol rocked in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, which we bunked college to watch . In the same cinema hall. Well I can say, I have come a long way. At least on the hair and makeup front.” Clearly, women in the 90s were all about unibrows, at least some of them were. But in a way, unibrows always existed as a rebellious trend, among the ebbs and flow of eyebrow trends. Let’s take a look at how this feature has evolved in the history of beauty.
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In ancient Greece, unibrows were considered the sexiest feature in women and those who weren’t blessed with one, used to paint the bridge on using a marker in an attempt to look desirable and beautiful, just like we now use eyebrow pencil to fill the sparse areas and fake fuller brows. The concept of threading and having the clean centre between the brows was introduced by Persia (Iran) which also later made the naturally hairy centre acceptable and celebratory.
It was in the 1900s the women started keeping skinny brows to accentuate their forehead and the unibrow again became unappealing and untrendy. For long after that, eyebrow looks oscillated between being heavily tweezed and darker, fuller brows but there was seldom a sign of the au naturale brows with a wispy centre, until of course celebrities like Kajol and now the runway model Sophia Hadjipanteli embraced their unibrow. It also became a beauty movement on Instagram recently (no kidding) where the bloggers and influencers proudly showed off their bushy unibrows with the hashtag #unibrowmovement.
Unibrow may have the most complicated beauty feature and the question remains–to have or not to have but it’s entirely up to you. It’s not a fad and neither is an evengreen trend. However, women who rock the hell out of their powerful unibrow are always winners, be it Gul Panag, Kajol or the OG Frieda Kahlo.