By Rebecca Drew
AFTER years of over plucking this woman has embraced her unibrow despite trolls telling her it looks like she has the McDonald’s logo on her forehead and that she’d be ‘hotter’ if she shaved it off.
Model, Haylee Michalski (22) from Charleston, South Carolina, USA, started plucking the hair in between her eyebrows as a teenager as she was afraid what people would say if she let them grow into each other.
Haylee would spend hours over plucking the area to make sure her two brows were as far apart as possible. The process was exhausting and time consuming and fed up with the constant maintenance, Haylee decided to let them gradually grow closer every month.
It wasn’t until Haylee moved to New York City for a few months in summer 2019 that she decided to let her eyebrows meet and form a unibrow. Haylee found that people were always complimentary of her bold look in the big city but when she went back to her hometown months later, she received a different reaction entirely.
As soon as she touched down at the airport, people stared at her. The majority of her family, whilst largely accepting of it now, initially couldn’t understand why she’d want to have a unibrow.
Having a unibrow has not stopped Haylee from being able to find modelling jobs but it has made booking some jobs tougher – with some advising her to remove it. Despite this, she says that a lot of people in the beauty and fashion industry appreciate her unique look. On social media however, Haylee receives some hate for her look with people telling her that it looks like she has the McDonald’s logo on her forehead and that she would be prettier if she shaved it off.
Haylee doesn’t let these comments get to her because she is proud to be different and she hopes to be able to inspire others to embrace what makes them unique – even if it goes against society’s perception of beauty.
“I used to over pluck my eyebrows so they were so far apart because I didn’t know how to do my eyebrows. I was afraid to let them grow in close to each other so I would keep them as far apart as possible. It was horrible,” she said.
“However, over the years, I decided to let them grow in and they began to get closer and closer each month. Finally, when I moved to New York, I decided to let my full unibrow take shape.
“I was nervous before growing my unibrow in. I knew that it was something different – something that a lot of people did not like or appreciate – but there aren’t a lot of people who will wear their unibrow with pride, and I wanted to be one of those people who isn’t afraid of what society says about their version of beauty.
“I first began to embrace my unibrow in NYC in the summer of 2019. Before it became as bold as it is now, nobody really said a thing to me about it. Living in New York, a lot of people would compliment my new look.
“Not everyone was a fan of the unibrow when it came to modelling, but a lot of people did express their love for it. When it comes down to booking work I am directed to shaving and waxing it to get rid of the unibrow. I have been told, ‘the unibrow look is not the right look and nobody wants to book me because of it’. I have found a lot of people who do appreciate it though.
“When I moved back to South Carolina in October of 2019, I immediately got looks the second I landed in the Charleston airport.
“A few of my friends were very supportive but I definitely got more ‘ews’ and ‘nos’ than anything from my family and strangers here in the south.
“I get mocked mostly on social media sites like Tik Tok because of my look. People are constantly telling me that I would be ‘pretty’ if I shaved the unibrow. Some will just comment the razor emoji to shave it off.
“People tell me that I have the McDonald’s logo sign on my forehead. Some say I look like Anthony Davis’ twin sister. My favourite one is that my unibrow resembles Frida Khalo, which I actually appreciate because I view her as an inspiration and idol. I definitely get more hate than positive comments. Everyday there is someone new.
“I would definitely say that having a unibrow has made booking work a little harder but it has not stopped me from getting a job. Most people appreciate it if they are in the beauty and fashion industry. For those who don’t, they tend to cover up the unibrow with foundation. I have booked a handful of shoots because of my unibrow – they appreciate it.
“My unibrow has not affected my love life or dating life. My girlfriend is very supportive of my unibrow and everything it stands for. I would say that a lot of men will comment to both me and my girlfriend that I should get rid of it and shave it to be ‘hotter’. We both get a lot of hate in that sense.
“My parents both thought I was ridiculous for growing it out and they were afraid that my work would stop. My sister was supportive, but she has always been my best support system. My grandparents are still coming around. They do not favour the idea of a unibrow. My friends on the other hand are just as proud of it as I am. They love seeing my unibrow.
“How do I feel about myself? I feel pretty. I feel proud. I feel confident. I love my unibrow. I adore it. It’s unique and different. People are so afraid to be different, but isn’t that what makes you, you? There will always be someone to tear you down, but I am proud of my unibrow and I will always feel good about it.”
Haylee shares pictures of her unibrow on Instagram and she has recently set up a page called @unibrowpride to encourage others to embrace theirs and show it to the world.
“My advice is just to do whatever makes you feel comfortable. I never want anyone to feel pressured by society about how they are supposed to look,” she said.
“If someone wants to grow out their unibrow then by all means they should grow it out and embrace it. If not, then they do not have too. Everyone is beautiful with or without a unibrow. No one should ever feel ashamed to embrace themselves.
“I want to show people that it’s okay to embrace body hair, especially a unibrow. People are so scared of what others think but as long as you feel good and confident in yourself then who cares what others think. I want people to be proud of their unibrow.
“Be proud of your unibrow, otherwise we’d all look the same under society’s version of ‘perfect’ and that is no fun at all.
“I would like to say that I appreciate those who see my unibrow as something to love and be proud of. I adore all of those who embrace their unibrow.
“I have started an Instagram page for those with a unibrow who want to appreciate and embrace themselves. The Instagram page is @unibrowpride and it’s to show everyone out there that you should be proud of your unibrow.
“To have pride in something is to be especially proud. I want to people to have pride in their unibrows – to show them off.
“I love the way I look. I am proud of my unibrow and I can’t explain how much joy it brings me to have people tell me that my unibrow has made them feel more confident in themselves and has made them decide to grow their own.
“I have #unibrowpride and I hope everyone with a unibrow will have pride and confidence too.”
For more information see www.instagram.com/hayleemichalski_