In many ways, Sophia Hadjipanteli is like any other regular model – she’s beautiful, fashionable in that avant garde way and she knows which angles work best on her. But click through almost any Instagram post and you’ll notice she’s also in possession of a fantastically big, bold unibrow, stretching from one corner of her forehead to another. As any woman who is has undergone puberty will tell you, this is a brave move. But Sophia, who is also a marketing student at the university of Maryland, is used to her unconventionality, telling fashion website Man Repeller that, while partial to the odd tweeze, she’s proud not to pluck, thanks, in large part, to her mother.
“My mom’s brows are insane, but they’re also really shaped. She over-tweezed her brows when she was young and regretted it. Hers came back, but even still, she encouraged me to leave mine alone,” she says.
“Before a school dance, I remember having a tweezer in hand as my mom randomly opened the door. I said I wasn’t doing anything, that I was “just plucking my nose hairs.” She didn’t believe me. I told her I didn’t like my brows, and she took me to get them threaded — but I’ve never gotten them waxed.”
It was only a year ago that Sophia, who is Cyprian, embraced her unibrow, after an accident with dye left them black and she decided to leave them that way. But this doesn’t mean she’s above grooming them, using castor oil at night to condition, and Boy Brow from cult beauty brand Glossier to fill them in.
“Every day I brush through them. If I don’t, they look so bad,” she says. “I use a toothbrush to do that. If I want to look extra, I’ll fill them in, which is like a big black bar across my face.”
And while Sophia is in favour of body and brow positivity, she understands it’s not for everyone, telling Harper’s Bazaar, “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 totally cool.”
Not so cool are the thousands of negative comments she receives on her posts, but Sophia, who was bullied in high school for how she looked, is not one to ignore them.
“If I’m in this position because I inspire people, which I see from the comments — young girls in middle school who say, “I read everything you write,” I’m not going to let some troll say that I look dumb, because what if someone else sees that and it affects them? Sure, you shouldn’t give attention to negative thoughts, but I don’t want to ignore it.
“I want to normalise this thing. I’m here to change people’s perspective.”