Model who went viral for her incredible thick eyebrows speaks out on body positivity
A Greek-Cypriot model aims to challenge your ideas of conventional body types by posing for photos with a unique facial feature - her thick, bushy unibrow.
Sophia Hadjipanteli, who was born in Cyprus but has since moved to the United States, reveals that she lets her eyebrows grow naturally as a tribute to her heritage, and despite receiving a torrent of abuse online, Sophia has nearly 300,000 followers on Instagram.
"It’s important to show that preferences and differences are not polarising, but rather unifying and ultimately meant to inspire. To be honest, I’m just out here like everyone else manifesting my own lane and riding my own wave." she explained to Dazed Digital.
The 22-year-old also revealed that she is starting a movement on social media - #UnibrowMovement - to help people become more comfortable with the hair that grows on her face. It's something that she's found out about herself after putting down the tweezers, and she's super comfortable with how she looks.
"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," Sophia explains. "If my childhood taught me anything, it is that I love being different."
Sophia also took the time to speak out about the abuse she can receive for her eyebrows online. "When people say it’s disgusting, it’s like what is disgusting about hair on your face, or anywhere?" she said to New York Magazine. "You are probably across the world right now, you will never probably see me in your life."
"I think a lot of Middle Eastern people, anyone really, could relate to being hairy and always being told to take it off. I really wanted to push people to look at me and to look at a unibrow that they’ve been conditioned to think was kind of weird or maybe something you should get rid of, for them to still say that I was beautiful."
Speaking to Harper's Bazaar, Sophia explained that her unibrow - which she has affectionately named 'Veronika' - isn't doing this for acceptance at all. Rather, Sophia believes that we should all be happy to wear our facial hair in any fashion we like.
"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. I am not trying to get anyone on the unibrow bandwagon. If I like this, just let me like this."
"It upsets me that [referring to eyebrow presentation] it's frowned upon in one way and glorified in another," she continued. "We are both trying to achieve the same standard of beauty, but in a different ways."