Unibrow renaissance sheds light on reclaiming cultural trends
Turning on your television in 2012 proved to be a pivotal moment for representation. While most of America was used to its facial hair looking a particular way, the rise of Anthony Davis completely changed this notion.
Davis was the number one college basketball player in the world, and him rocking a unibrow was revolutionary. This feat had no precedent and created an effect that went beyond just basketball.
Throughout the world, society has consistently deemed what is acceptable as social norms, and actions that contradict this foundation typically send shockwaves within their given communities.
Trends tend to be constantly recycled every couple decades, and our generation has seen this phenomenon in the rise of mom jeans, scrunchies and other memorabilia from the past. People’s tastes change and evolve with time, but there is a common theme of looking back to ideas in our past and revitalizing them to fit the current standard.
As we do this, old ideas become more of a staple in society and some people look at these trends with rose-tinted glasses. They tend to be inspired and created by youth culture, and adults emulate these updated old ideas by combining current trends to their own lives.
Even though they are not directly involved with the trend, they are still able to participate in it as a group. Trends typically start with a niche group of people and expand outward as their influence continues to grow.
Actions such as growing a unibrow are examples of reclaiming looks society is typically ashamed of. Eyebrow fashion continues to change throughout time, but the unibrow always makes a bold statement in the fashion world.
Within the media, there is a connotation of ugliness associated with the unibrow. Historically, women would keep their eyebrows thin and wax the hair away in order to accentuate their forehead.
Trends are rooted in oppression and used to promote beauty standards of an archaic nature. Women have historically lived as second-class citizens for much of America’s history and this has therefore inspired certain trends: They could be denied a credit card unless it had their husband’s signature on it, they could be arrested in the 1940s for simply wearing pants and they could not vote until the 20th century.
Due to this history of systemic silence, women rebelled against what was deemed as “acceptable” for them to wear in order to be given a voice in society.
By not adhering to certain beauty standards, people with unibrows can remove the cultural stigma that surrounds them and reclaim their identity with their heritage.
Another example of reclaiming a previously stigmatized trend is nameplate jewelry. While nameplate jewelry is typically seen as narcissistic and self-centered, people who wear this type of jewelry reclaim their sense of pride and create their own personal narrative which involves self-styling themselves.
Perspective also plays an important part in the setting of trends. While Americanization’s effects on the world can seem domineering and overarching, the world is a complex place, rich with experiences and viewpoints different from our own. Other cultures have their own traditions and customs, and within these rules are actions that typically prevent a certain group of people from expressing themselves.
As a culture, neglect seems to always bring out the best and most creative ideas of a society. Celebrities simply serve as the physical creation of these repressed ideas. People like Davis and RosalÍa represent the changing culture and fast-paced lifestyle we are all a part of.
Trends will continue to change and grow, and no law or enactment can suppress them until their impact has already been placed onto society.
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