Date of this Version
February 8, 2008 in The China Beat http://www.thechinabeat.org/
I live in Southern California where I always have to look my best, so I get my eyebrows threaded at Vinita’s Beauty and Threading Studio in Tustin. Vinita’s is owned and largely patronized by South Asian women. I’m frequently the only white woman in the place, but I get a sweet deal: a full eyebrow threading for only 5 minutes and 6 bucks! In case you suffer through waxing, you really need to know about the wonderful process of threading. It’s literally done with a sewing thread: the “threader” holds one end of the thread in her mouth, wraps the middle around two or three fingers in her left hand, and manipulates the other end like a pair of scissors in her right hand. This way she can grab a whole row of eyebrow hairs and yank them out before you even notice; it’s only a little bit painful.
Although in the US and UK most enterprising eyebrow threaders are Indian women, in India the work is done mostly by Chinese immigrants. Still, there is virtually no consensus on its exact origins; there are claims that it originated in Iran, India, China, and Egypt, and it is practiced all over the world, on both male and female clients. It seems that, no matter our nationality, we are all obsessed with shedding our simian roots through depilatory arts!
Perhaps eyebrow threading does in fact allow us to change our very nature. Sohu.com has a feature that describes your personal character and destiny according to the shape of your eyebrows. So when you get tired of your Big Dipper brows (beidou mei) giving you an overactive libido, or when your Rebel brows (luohan mei) are making it hard for you to find your soulmate, you can go for a threading and adopt the forthright friendliness of Sleeping Silkworm brows (wocan mei).