All that glitters is bold

Glitter Brows1 web crop
Michael Drummond/Senior Staff

This is the ridiculous story of how I put glitter on my eyebrows, became a worldwide social media star (not really), took down some Twitter haters and came out all the better for it.

It was a sweltering summer day, and my friends and I were stoked for day two of Los Angeles’ Hard Summer Music Festival. I take any and every opportunity to splatter myself with glitter, and Hard was no exception. Inspired by the periwinkle, glittery masterpieces I had created out of my own eyebrows, my friends lined up and let me douse their brows with some serious glitz action as well.

An hour later, we rolled into the festival with glitter brows, each a different color of the rainbow, like the sparkly rave princesses we felt we were destined to become. I whipped out my phone to take a quick video of our super cute rainbow eyebrows and sent it to the official Hard Summer Snapchat account without a second thought. So when my phone started blowing up with texts in the middle of DJ Mustard’s twerkalicious set two hours later, I was totally shocked. My Snap video had been selected from thousands of Snaps sent to the Hard Summer account and was being broadcast to everyone in the world. Our glitter brows had gone viral.

Twenty-four hours, 5 million views and 1,000 screenshots later, my friends and I had become bona fide Snapchat celebrities! Our brows had made it to the big time. As congratulatory texts and tweets from our best friends and ex-boyfriends flooded our inboxes, we tried to comprehend the vastness of 5 million views and why 1,001 people cared enough to have taken screenshots for their own enjoyment.

Our initial giddiness lasted into the next day after the festival had ended, but it was cut short when we decided to type “glitter brows” into a Twitter keyword search on a whim. Lo and behold, tons of tweets popped up. Two girls in England had an extended conversation about how they couldn’t stomach even looking at our glitter brows. One lonely troll simply typed, “WTF ARE THESE GIRLS DOING.”

“WTF ARE THESE GIRLS DOING.”

Most of the tweets were mean, albeit riddled with grammatical and spelling errors. Yet it was still startling to feel the judgmental wrath of people who didn’t even know us.

I wasn’t exactly new to the glitter brow game, having first colored my eyebrows pink and green for a little extra luck during a term final last year — but apparently the rest of the world was new, and everyone and her mom had something to say about it. I love posting about my life on all forms of social media for my family and friends to see, but to suddenly become totally exposed to public critique, much of it negative, was eye opening. My one small moment of Internet notoriety had amassed a huge response, demonstrating the mighty power of social media and the Internet, and leading me to realize that this is how it must feel for celebrities all the time. The Twitter trolls felt limitlessly protected by the anonymity of the Internet — something we’ve all used to our advantage before. We have all been guilty of using the Internet to cast serious judgment with little to no regard for the effect we might have. The Twitterverse can be a very positive platform, but my friends and I also saw its capacity for maliciousness.

Happily, the supportive tweets and comments outweighed the petty. My friends and I had felt great about our glitter brows, and it felt even better to see other people asking us for tips or commending us for going outside the box. Perhaps, with a little glitter and the impressive power of the Internet, we might have made a little bit of a positive impact on the world or, at least, encouraged a few shy 15-year-olds to go out with glitter brows of their own.

So look out for Installment Two of “glitter brows gone viral” when the local Berkeley Snap story comes to town. Otherwise, if you’ve got an idea for the next outrageous body part I can slap glitter on, drop me a tweet.