Meet Instagram’s favorite unibrowed model

Meet Instagram’s favorite unibrowed model

Sophia Hadjipanteli is a 21-year-old Instagram model with over 150,000 followers. When one of her photos hit Instagram's "explore" page, it reached a million people, turning her into an overnight star. It's easy to see why: She's stunning, with long, golden-brown hair, sky blue eyes, a gorgeous smile, perfect cheekbones - and oh, yeah, a thick, bushy unibrow.

While growing up in Maryland, Sophia was often bullied by her peers for wearing quirky outfits. It was a conservative area, and most people conformed to the same popular trends. However, Sophia had an independent streak, which became a literal streak, when she grew that defiant furry caterpillar above her eyes. Now she's modeled for Italia Vogue's  website twice, and has hundreds of thousands of fans (as well as haters).

Sophia's mother was British and her father was Greek (of course). In an interview with Vice Magazine, she explains the genesis of her unibrow:

"Growing up, the reason I always paid so much attention to my eyebrows was because my mom would always tell me, ‘do not over pluck your eyebrows—your eyebrows are gorgeous the way they are'...

"I wasn't plucking my eyebrows because I didn't really have time—I was always swimming or something. So when I got back to my grandmother’s house in London, she told me how pretty she thought I looked, and I kind of realized I had a unibrow at that point. And I just left it...

"It really was a stubbornness thing, like: well, I like myself and I don't know why I have to do [pluck my eyebrows] if I don't like it."

A lot of people express their personality with a piercing, tattoo or crazy hairstyle. But a unibrow is pretty unusual. Sophia's fans love her for rocking such a bold look, and bucking traditional standards of beauty. We've seen plus-size models, and models baring armpit hair - why not unibrows?

"A lot of people will say, ‘well how come you groom the rest of your body?’ And I think it’s just a preference thing.I genuinely can’t describe it as anything else...

"I think it definitely looks kind of cool on some people. I love having mine black.  I just love the shock factor...

"Some days I think it looks so good on me, and other days I'm like, I think I should put glasses on because it doesn't quite look good with this look. But I love it whatever way it is and if I decide to change it tomorrow, I will on my own terms."

Of course, Sophie has to deal with her fair share of haters - and has even gotten some creepy death threats. The Internet is full of trolls who lead miserable lives, so they try to make themselves feel better by attacking others for perceived imperfections. But Sophia's gotten so used to the click-block-swipe-delete, she doesn't give their toxic comments a second thought.

"A part of me loves having that control over someone that they get so annoyed and mad...

"I don't like the criticism, but I also feel that you always get critiqued if you do things that are quite different...

"I think this is kind of just an ongoing battle against some beauty standards that have maybe stuck around for too long...there’s a big community that shames people for certain types of beauty and I think that’s wrong. So instead of just getting rid of beauty standards, it should just be more inclusive. There’s nothing wrong with filling in your eyebrows and plucking them—nothing wrong with that at all, it’s gorgeous."

Currently Sophia's majoring in marketing, while moonlighting as a model. She doesn't rule out shaving off the striking black follicles one day. But if she does decide to wax-on, wax-off, it will be on her terms - not anyone else's. "In the future, I may want to [shave it]," Sophie told Vice. "But I feel like in the future it’s going to become more a part of me. I just want nature to take its course."

In related news, the 'World's hairiest girl' shaves her face after finding love for the first time...