31-year-old Eldina Jaganjac got tired of seeing how women were expected to spend time and money on maintaining their appearance more than men.
In a bold move, a woman in Denmark has decided not to shave off her upper lip or pluck the hair between her unibrow even though people stare at her and pass outrageous comments. 31-year-old Eldina Jaganjac said, "I have noticed a few grown men stare at my unshaven legs and my eyebrows...If anything, I get more positive attention and I get to weed out the more conservative people from the beginning," she said. The tutor from Copenhagen revealed that there are some men, especially teenagers, who do not approve of her look, and get stared at from time to time as if she has a "third head." Yet, this choice has allowed her to get more positive attention than it did when she used to remove her facial hair.
If you're wondering, Jaganjac does not feel any less feminine due to her decision. On the contrary, it has given her more confidence. "In a way, I am more confident because I am not afraid to look different anymore and I've come to feel like I can make more un-traditional choices in general. It's also helped me to be more visually open and creative and have more courage," she said. According to the Daily Mail, the woman grew up in a small city where everyone was expected to conform to the beauty norms of society in order to fit in. Initially, Jaganjac followed what she was told but slowly grew frustrated seeing how women were expected to spend their hard-earned money and time on maintaining their appearance more than men.
"Before I let my unibrow grow out, I did feel like there were extremely limited options to how women were supposed to look. Compared to men, we are expected to spend much more time and money on our looks just to be deemed visually acceptable in society, especially when you are in public spaces," she noted. "If a man doesn't shave and doesn't pluck his eyebrows, no one notices or comments and it's nothing out of the ordinary," Jaganjac explained. "Just like many other women, I have learned to police myself. For instance, I used to not feel comfortable going outside unless my eyebrows were the accepted small size, and I wouldn't go to the gym unless my legs were clean-shaven."
When she finally stopped plucking her unibrow and removing her upper lip hair in March 2020, Jaganjac realized that she only felt less feminine with the growth due to pressure that societal expectations had created. "I used to feel less feminine because of my rather voluminous eyebrows. Growing up, I noticed that I was considered a brute when my body hair first started to grow as a teenager," she said. "I noticed most girls around me panicking around the age of 13 and 14 and starting to shave and pluck anything pluckable because they wanted to be accepted as female and tried to fit into their new role as a young woman. I eased slowly into it, so it wasn't like I made an announcement."
"Some of my friends said it was cool after I grew out my brows, some didn't notice, and most didn't care," continued the 31-year-old. After focusing on what she really wants when it comes to grooming, Jaganjac realized that she wasn't bothered by the way she looked nor did she care about others' opinions about her. "Now, I've chosen to focus on the tasks and goals that I need to have done and less on how I appear while doing them and whether people like me or not, because I probably won't ever see them again, and if I do, I still don't care," she said. "I don't care what people think. I don't want it to become this big thing - no pun intended - but it's a personal choice for everyone to make themselves, and I wish that people wouldn't care no matter how a woman chooses to look."
However, she did admit that while walking on the street there have been men who have shouted offensive remarks at her. "I've had people come up to me on the street telling me it was cool, and a few yelling at me. That was uncomfortable at first, but if some people have nothing to do other than yell at strangers, then so be it. I don't want to waste my energy on someone who clearly has too much time on their hands," she recalled. Thus, she advised, "I think you should do what you want to do. Of course, some jobs and places, you have to fit a description, so it's going to be a compromise. I would take it slowly and safely because you never know how people will react."
Urging others to be comfortable in their own skin, she said, "I would ease into it and see how it feels and what is right for you, but try it out and people might just not notice or you might end up feeling quite comfortable. I want to convey the message that we are all different, and that's okay. There's no right or wrong but every person, despite their gender, should have the right to do as they want with their appearance. Do what is comfortable for you and the right friends will stick around. I'm not pro or anti-shaving and plucking, but I am a supporter of everyone's right to choose for themselves."