Social media is dominated by trends and people trying to cash in on the zeitgeist of any given day. This means that when one popular video appears on YouTube, you can soon expect to see 10 million copycats trying to cash in on the same idea – just think back to the “100 Layers Of Makeup” challenge. Well, according to some websites, a “new” makeup trend for your eyebrows is here… but they’re totally and offensively wrong by saying it started on YouTube.
After some sleuthing on Google, we spotted a couple of websites talking about a brand new and “definitely strange” beauty trend taking over YouTube in which vloggers are using glue sticks to flatten their eyebrows.. The problem is that this trend has been a central and vital component of drag and theatre culture for decades – but no, apparently YouTubers just flipping invented it. So we’re here to say our peace and move on.
Here is world renowned drag queen Courtney Act showing us how to glue down your eyebrows… a year ago:
The first website to publish the story, which is apparently at the helm of popular culture and millennial interest, couldn’t look further than a YouTube channel to fact check their article claiming that a beauty blogger invented an entirely new method of makeup application. And then, because other websites want to get in on the hype train, the story has been blindly imitated across other websites to try and cash in on some Google search traffic.
Because of this, drag culture has been completely appropriated with zero credit to the original artists.
We did some research, and found a scientific journal discussing “Wigs and Make-up for Theatre, Television and Film” by Patsy Baker, first published back in 1993. They discuss using “Derma wax” or a “plastic stick” to “stroke the eyebrows firmly and repeatedly in the direction in which they lie until they are flat”. This is then followed by “the foundation colour”, meaning the artist can recreate brand new brows over the top. Sounds a lot like a glue stick, huh?
In another journal about drag culture, it discusses how “queens make a conscious decision to alter their brow shape” because “eyebrows are a vital component of performing gender and constructing drag identities”. So before you decide to claim that YouTube has kickstarted a brand new “WTF” and “weird” trend, please consider that it may have fundamental roots in other cultures. Not everything was invented on YouTube.
So whether you’re lining your lips, perfecting that cat eye or figuring out contouring, remember that people pioneered that craft many many years before YouTube did and it’s disgusting to label a new vlogging trend as “strange” all because you don’t understand where it came from.