Cyprian model and college student Sophia Hadjipanteli is sparking an online conversation about beauty and nonconformity by loving her unapologetically bushy eyebrows. Hadjipanteli, the founder of the #UnibrowMovement, has garnered more than 284,000 followers on Instagram by embracing her own aesthetic unconditionally. No one, she says, should feel ashamed for pursuing their personal, natural style.
“I am not really doing this to show people that they have to like [my unibrow], I am more so doing it to show people that they can get on with their lives by having a preference,” she told Harper’s Bazaar. “I personally think my face looks better this way. Others disagree, and that’s totally cool. I am not trying to get anyone on the unibrow bandwagon. If I like this, just let me like this.”
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I wear makeup because it is fun. I have a unibrow because it is a preference. I wear makeup and have a unibrow because it is what I like. Don't put me in a bubble. Just because I embrace one natural part of me doesn't mean I'm a hypocrite for wanting to enhance other parts of who I am. I thought I would just put this out there just as a blanket statement. I'm who I am because I want to be this way. When you judge others for wearing makeup, dying their hair, altering parts of their body or inner self, JUST BECAUSE YOU DON'T, makes you just as toxic as a lot of societal norms and pressures we are constantly faced with. AT THE END OF THE DAY just do you cuz imma be doing me whether you like it or not. 🖤
While many have stood up to praise Hadjipanteli, she has also weathered mocking comments from thousands of social media users telling her to “fix” her eyebrows. But the model says that regardless of what people do or say, she won’t allow the negativity to impact how she sees herself.
“I think it’s kind of bizarre that people who fill-in their eyebrows, not that I’m hating on people that do at all, but they’re annoyed when I don’t fill mine in and leave them as they are,” she said. “We are both trying to achieve the same standard of beauty, but in a different ways. It upsets me that it’s frowned upon in one way and glorified in another.”
In a recent photoshoot, Hadjipanteli posed as another style icon famous for her fabulous unibrow: the late Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. The experience of dressing as the outspoken countercultural painter, she said, helped her feel more confident in continuing to highlight her eyebrows in her modeling work.
“After doing that, I feel like I have labeled myself as someone who is embracing being myself and isn’t necessarily being natural, but instead just doing what I want,” said Hadjipanteli. “I look at [my unibrow] like it’s winged eyeliner or red lipstick. In five years I might look back and think, ‘That was a cool phase!’ But until people start to accept others for this specific feature on their face, I won’t feel ready to move on from it.”
Read the full story at Harper’s Bazaar.