It's been said for years, decades even that industries like the beauty industry or modeling do a ton of harm to the self-esteem of girls around the world, convincing them there's something wrong with them if they don't look like these perfect bastions of beauty.
Even within those industries, though, are some people who are trying to make a change, putting their unique traits at the forefront of their brand so others know that it's okay to be different.
There's no debate that the beauty standards for women are unnecessarily harsh. There are so many boxes you have to fit yourself into, so many minute details the world convinces you you should care about even when they don't truly matter. It's stressful, it's exhausting, and it can really damage peoples' self-esteem when they're made to believe they aren't beautiful enough.
Thankfully, there are some role models and influencers out there who are looking to change that narrative, proving that traits the world considers 'undesirable' are still beautiful.
Standing Out From The Crowd
Meet Sophia Hadjipanteli, a 26-year-old model who rocks a rather uncommon feature, her unibrow.
She was born in Cyprus, then moved to the United States for school to receive a marketing degree. She then moved to London, where her modeling career took off and she became famously recognized for her thick, dark unibrow.
She had always been into fashion, always expressing herself through her clothes ever since she was a kid, though her young classmates did bully her for her unique style choices.
Choosing To Accept
Thankfully, she never let that stop her, instead embracing what made her feel special. This included embracing her unibrow, which until then, she'd been plucking and waxing to keep it at bay.
She became the creator of the UnibrowMovement on social media, a trend that encourages women with unibrows to embrace the look and stop over-editing themselves to fit societal standards. Sophia now has over 500,000 followers on Instagram, so she's able to spread her message far and wide.
"I choose to wear my eyebrows this way for the same reasons I styled myself in school – because the only preference that matters is my own," she explained in a post. "If my childhood taught me anything, it is that I love being different."
"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. I personally think my face looks better this way. Others disagree, and that's cool."
A Favorable Accident
"I am not trying to get anyone on the unibrow bandwagon. If I like this, just let me like this."
Some may be surprised to hear that Sophia's unibrow isn't completely natural, but not in the way you'd expect. She's a natural blonde, meaning her eyebrows were much lighter. "I saw a video on YouTube where someone tinted their eyebrows," she said. "I tried it, and I must have messed up and made them black. My brother was like, 'It kind of suits you.'"
She Feels Beautiful
She's now committed to tinting her whole unibrow as she really enjoys the bold look. She not only refuses to hide the feature she's been told to be ashamed of, but she's drawing even more attention to it by making sure it stands out on her face.
"It's important to show that preferences and differences are not polarizing, but rather unifying and ultimately meant to inspire. To be honest, I’m just out here like everyone else manifesting my lane and riding my wave."
Embracing Herself, Fully
Sophia is a gorgeous woman with a very important message to share with those who follow her. As she embraces her natural beauty, she inspires plenty of other women and girls who've been ashamed of a certain trait of theirs, unibrow or not, to do the same. Those who will judge for something as superficial as eyebrow hair or some other non-standard features are not worth keeping around, and they're especially not worth pandering to.
May she continue to be a role model for girls around the world, and may she continue highlighting her unibrow in spite of everyone who tries to convince her otherwise.
To have that same confidence that Sophia does is no easy feat, but that doesn't mean it's impossible. If you've struggled with confidence in the past, you're not alone, and there are tools that can help you boost your self-esteem.