Jet-black, untamed and wildly bushy – they really are unlike any eyebrows you’ve ever seen.
Sophia Hadjipanteli has become known for her startling monobrow. But make no mistake: the 23-year-old model’s statement look isn’t to win followers or stand out from the crowd in the cut-throat modelling and fashion industry. “I personally think my face looks better this way,” she told Harper’s Bazaar. “Others disagree, and that’s totally cool.”
The Greek-Cypriot model says by rocking her bushy brow she wants people to understand that beauty can be cultivated outside of society’s norms. That’s why she’s launched her #unibrowmovement.
She wants to “normalise what society pressures us to hide or fix”, creating a “safe space for people who want to share something but are scared”. The movement, she says, is not limited to just brows but to anything: “freckles, body shape or colour”.
Sophia says full eyebrows run in her family. “Everyone in my bloodline has a unibrow. If you’re in a family where your brother and dad also have really nice eyebrows, you’re never really self-conscious of having thick eyebrows.”
From an early age her mom would emphasise the importance of taking care of her eyebrows but when Sophia, a natural blonde, got tired of having to tweeze, maintain and fill in her eyebrows she decided to dye them.
“I saw a video on YouTube where someone tinted their eyebrows. I tried it, and I must have messed up and made them black,” she recalls. But after her brother told her it suited her, she decided to stick with the darker brows and now she tints them herself when her blonde hair starts to sprout.
Not everyone’s a fan. The model has received constant backlash – some of it serious. “I get a lot of death threats,” she said in an interview with ITV’s Good Morning Britain. “It’s disgusting. You think, how is it that somewhere someone finds the way I look so unacceptable they have to threaten my life?”
Sophia, who appeared in shows during London’s Fashion Week 2020 and has modelled for brands including Guess Jeans and Polaroid, says she’s also been accused of having double standards.
“I shave my legs and my armpits because I like the way it feels, but everyone wants me to be in a box. ‘Oh, you leave your eyebrows, but you shave your armpits, you’re a hypocrite!’ I’m not a hypocrite, I’m just doing whatever I want, and that’s what I want to encourage other people to do,” she adds.
When it comes to trolls, she has a strict policy: ignore them.
Her focus, rather, is on her mission to champion unconventional beauty and it’s paying off. Her monobrow is so popular it’s acquired a nickname: Veronika. “A guy who interviewed me – a really good friend of mine – purposefully did that. It’s funny how people really do take my eyebrows so seriously. Like, why don’t you give it a name and a whole career?” she adds.
She says being happy in her own skin is thanks to her strong family roots and her experiences of being bullied at school. “You have to be your biggest supporter and protector. When I was at school getting bullied I had no one on my side. It was just me against the world. That’s where my strength comes from.”
Celebrating her “different” look has turned into a booming career for Sofia. She says the #unibrowmovement has allowed her to witness a lot of positive feedback and support from people toward each other. “That’s all I ever wanted growing up. That means a lot to me.”
SOURCES: PHOENIXMAG.CO.UK ,INSTAGRAM, HARPERSBAZAAR.COM, STANDARD.CO.UK