16 May 2012

My Eyebrows...and other world problems.

I feel like I've been preaching a lot about major world issues like hunger and breastfeeding. So naturally this has led me to thinking about my eyebrows.

It's that time of year again when we all start making Must-Do and Must-Eat lists for our trip back to the States. While Adam is busy telling Charlotte about the wonders of Taco Bell and stores that sell bubble bath, all I really want to do is take care of my eyebrows.

Note: This is usually where I would insert a nugget of wisdom from Mama Youyou or Mamicho about the current topic from their perspective. But I am far too smart to walk into the minefield of asking secure, proud, naturally beautiful Congolese women how they feel about little white me getting my eyebrows shaped. By the way, they both have naturally perfect eyebrows.

When we lived in Egypt, we didn't go home for two years. I distinctly remember the first place I went when I got back to the States: The Beauty Spa for my eyebrows. My time in Egypt had taught me all about the ancient art of threading. (I actually have no idea if it's ancient. But isn't everything in Egypt ancient? I bet there are some great hieroglyphics of Nefertiti and her beautifully threaded eyebrows.)

Nefertiti Bust Restoration by GeometerArtist, on Flickr
Even Nefertiti's restoration required shaping up her eyebrows.
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License  by  GeometerArtist 

So off I would go with Adam to his very manly Cairene barbershop and after he was finished, the same extremely hairy, falafel-scented Egyptian man would run thread through his teeth and then work on my eyebrows. And they would still look pretty crummy--mediocre at best--certainly no where near Nefertiti's.

Just as it's the first thing I do after getting home, it's the last thing I do before giving birth. Both Charlotte and Annaïs were induced into this world. Obviously as soon as I found out I'd be having a baby the next morning, I went straight to have my eyebrows done. Because really when you're 9 months pregnant, there's no better accessory than shaped eyebrows to make you feel okay about yourself. I distinctly remember, on the last day of my pregnancy, lying on the table getting my eyebrows fixed and afterward the kind woman saying, "Your baby is moving like crazy. It's kind of grossing me out."

Newborn Charlotte

Newborn Ani

Looking back on these two photos, I realize my eyebrows don't even look that great. But at least I felt like they did. My guess is they probably looked fabulous the day before, but this goes to show how childbirth can mess up even the most perfectly shaped eyebrows.

--And while we're looking at these photos. Can I just point out the startling difference between a random South African nurse and Jill doing your post-delivery photo shoot. I distinctly remember labor and delivery nurse Jill taking this second photo as I'm thinking, "Please never show me that picture. I feel like a truck just hit me. Just put the camera down. Jill! Jill! Stop with the pictures!" And of course it turned out beautifully. Well after a bit of help...

Here comes the confession: I'm sure you're shocked at how rested I look after a hellish labor. Well I'm here to tell you that I Photo-shopped away the dark circles under my eyes. Yep, I said it. Come on ladies, I can't be the only one who's ever Photo-shopped their "happily with newborn" photo. Okay, I probably am, but I'm fine with that. Now if only I could figure out how to Photoshop better eyebrows...


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