One could argue that teaching daughters how to remove their body hair is a rite of passage. One could also argue that maybe waxing a young child’s eyebrows isn’t the best way to teach them how to love themselves. And that is exactly what the internet is arguing over when it comes to one mom’s viral TikTok where she waxes her young daughter’s unibrow.
The Texas mom, Leah Garcia, shared a video where she is seen waxing her daughter’s unibrow and making it clear that she stands behind the parental decision. And because it’s important to have all the context behind someone’s actions before judging them, Garcia says she was teased for having a unibrow as a child and her parents did not wax it—though she says she wishes they had done so.
“I don’t care! I don’t care!” she writes in the video caption. “I’d rather y’all call me a bad mom before I let my 3 year old walk around with a unibrow like my parents did!”
Right after the wax strip was removed, Garcia’s daughter yells, “Ow mom, that hurt me!”
“All right, girl, now you got two eyebrows!” Garcia replies.
While many people sided with Garcia and supported her decision (many of whom say they wished their own parents had intervened in similar ways when they were children), many others did not:
“I would just like to know did she actually have a problem with it or was it just you?”
“As soon as a parent points out a flaw it will stick with them forever.”
Garcia eventually posted a follow-up video about the waxing, after receiving thousands and thousands of comments on the OG video—which garnered over 22 million views and 3 million likes.
“Trust me, we teach her self love, but we also teach her basic grooming,” Garcia says.
The issue of waxing a child’s unibrow isn’t black and white
Though this viral TikTok has inspired a debate of whether the mom was right or wrong, it’s not really that simple. This is a great of example of “more than one thing can be true at the same time.”
As a grown woman who has had a unibrow since the day I was born, I do remove it regularly. I have been waxing/shaving/plucking it since 7th grade. I removed it myself when I was ready and because I wanted to.
My first-grade daughter has a unibrow as well. She came home recently and said someone on her softball team made fun of her for having a unibrow. I asked her how it made her feel, and she rolled her eyes and said, “I know I’m beautiful.” I agreed, and told her if her extra eyebrow hair ever bothers her she should tell me and we’ll figure it out together. (She has some amazing brows, so much so that it was the first thing the nurses commented on the second I pushed her out in the delivery room.) She nodded and went about her day.
And here’s the thing—it’s true that Leah Garcia was doing what she thought was best for her daughter by removing one potential reason her daughter may or may not be bullied in the future. It’s also true that lots of little kids who have unibrows probably do ask their parents to do the same thing at different points throughout their childhood.
And it’s also true that teaching our kids about beauty standards (of which hair removal plays a large role) is on us. For me personally, I won’t remove my daughter’s unibrow until she tells me she wants me to. Because I will not be the reason my daughter thinks she has a flaw or that something is “wrong” with her exactly the way she is. I want to be the one who helps shape her view of herself outside of society’s patriarchal standards so she knows what being “beautiful” really means.
I understand the impulse behind wanting to take control over something in your child’s life in order to protect them. That’s an innate feeling in parenthood. And when she wants to have two, clearly separate eyebrows someday I’ll support her choice and do her a solid by sharing my safe hair removal knowledge. Until then, I hope she stays as worry-free about her appearance as possible.