On Eyebrows

What if being dissatisfied is its own kind of pleasure?

Rachel Simon
Gay Mag
Published in
12 min readJun 11, 2019

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Image: CSA-Printstock

II don’t remember the first time I pulled out my eyebrows, or how it felt; I’ve pulled so many over the years that there is no longer a beginning (and there has never been an end). I pull at night when nobody is looking and watch the hairs float into the keyboard, and the next day I find them peeking out of my Ls and my Vs. I pick when I write, mostly, or when I’m staring at my computer not writing and wishing I was. The eyebrows fall down one by one until sometimes there are so many piled in front of me I wonder if there can be any left on my face, and have to run to the mirror to check. When they cover my screen, the curved black hairs blocking words and empty space, I wipe them away but don’t watch where they go. I have eyebrow hairs in my keyboard like some people have crumbs.

Each time is the same. I isolate the hair, pull until it breaks free from the skin, hold it between my fingers, examine it before casting it aside. I let out a breath I don’t realize I’m holding and feel my body relax, like it has what it needs now. But before long that feeling comes back, so urgent it feels brand-new, like I need to reach up and pull that hair out, too, in order to be okay. And so I do it, and I am okay. For a moment. Until the next one.

I isolate the hair, pull until it…

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Rachel Simon
Gay Mag
Writer for

Rachel Simon is the Entertainment News Editor at Bustle. She’s also been published in Cosmo, Glamour, Mic, and the Huffington Post. Follow her at @rachel_simon.