His are thick, hers are thin. His are curved, hers are bushy. Hers are tidy whereas his are wild! Hers are too close together – his, too far apart. Some people get theirs done and some choose to go au naturel. Some draw them on – hell, some people go that extra mile and get them tattooed on.
Eyebrows; they play a role socially (they are arguably the most elastic, expressive feature of the face), physically (they’re kind of like little eaves troughs for our eyes), and culturally, which is the aspect I’d like to talk about today. For the most part, what is considered to be an attractive eyebrow ‘type’ for women is a thin, arching, tidy brow shape. The slick, groomed look is most definitely a go-to. Now obviously there is a counter-culture of women donning thicker brows, filled in brows, darker brows, etc. To be honest – I think either is beautiful, the same way our bodies come in various shapes and sizes and are all wonderlands regardless. However, I find that no matter which way women choose to have their eyebrows, there is an overarching tendency to have total control over our eyebrows. Whether plucked thin, waxed, threaded, trimmed, filled in, brushed in the right direction, shaped, dyed to match our hair, there is an excessive amount of effort put into eyebrows. And when I say excessive, I do not say this from the standpoint of someone who is above all of that – I, like most of us, like to keep my eyebrows tidy and regularly pluck away any stray hairs that show up. That was always the extent of my eyebrow grooming though.
I was taken aback when my younger sister once pointed out that I needed an eyebrow trim – apparently my eyebrow hair grows quite long. Who would have known? I wouldn’t have, had my sister not pointed it out. She helped me trim them. The one time I tried to do it myself, I left an odd gap in the middle of my brow where the hair no long overlapped. Oops. My sister also offered me some eyebrow filler she had that was a tone or two too dark for her. Filling in my eyebrows? What a foreign concept, but I liked it. I still like it! Even though the powder is a little more red than my eyebrow colour. I wondered one day why the distal part of my eyebrows appeared thin when I looked in the mirror in my bathroom. Oh, probably because the skylight throws light down at me from above and goes right through my sparse eyebrow hairs. Right. So I should turn my face downward and out of the light to check if my eyebrows look good. The magnifying mirror is also good for checking that I have no hairs where they shouldn’t be.
So that’s me and my eyebrows now. I have on many occasions over-plucked and have been left with awkward, misshapen, uneven brows for a week or two until everything grew back. It stressed me out, because it looked silly to have one shorter eyebrow. And I really dislike the look of drawn on brows. I would try to leave my bangs down to cover it but that’s not convenient for working out or serving food at my last job.
A week ago I was in front of the mirror checking out my eyebrows. They’ve grown long again, and they don’t like to stay straight. I wipe my finger along them subconsciously self-consciously to keep them in line. (In fact, I just did so now, as I typed that!) And then it hit me – I know where I get my crazy eyebrows from. My grandpa had crazy eyebrows. While looking at a photograph of him last summer, my uncle said “He certainly had magnificent eyebrows”. They were thick, and prominent, and they were a part of his totally awesome, handsome face. They were remarkable.
You know who else had crazy eyebrows? None other than one of my artistic idols, Frida Kahlo. She actually had a bit of a moustache too! And if you read up about her – she was one sexy woman, desired by many! There was also Albert Einstein, Groucho Marx, Spock….. So basically many people with hugely wonderful minds ALL had awesome as hell, crazy eyebrows.
I’m starting to think it’s actually kind of cool to have wild brows, and to let them be a little wild.
Besides, with so much promotion of body-love and positive body-image stuff these days, I felt that it was about time that someone stuck up for the eyebrows of this generation as well.