Post 246

Another Thing You Don't Need:
Reflections on Eyebrows

More and more frequently, you see women with fake eyebrows. It’s called “microblading.” It’s like thick painted-on eyebrows except that it lasts for one to three years.

The other day, I was at a store and the cashier had them.

It doesn’t really work.

Even according to the standards of the world, it doesn’t work, because one of the basic rules is that you are not supposed to draw attention to your less attractive features.

Once you get your eyebrows drawn onto your face, you begin to draw attention to them and to the fact that you were unhappy with them — desperately. You tell the world that your eyebrow issues were so significant that you have made a commitment to walking around with that “improvement” for many months to come.

I never would have noticed her eyebrows or her lack of eyebrows, but now my eyes were drawn to them. I was looking to see what her real eyebrows looked like. Hmm. I see them. I see little dark hairs there, in the midst of the paint. Are there more? Maybe, but it’s hard to tell because the real brows are difficult to see against the black background. Hmm. Oh, it’s time to pay.

The problem is that the microbladed eyebrows are without texture. The deal with hair is that it’s three-dimensional. There’s a quotable quote, if there ever was one: “The deal with hair is that it’s three-dimensional.” That is why wigs and hairpieces are the way to go, if you really must. Nobody paints their head. Beardless men don’t draw on beards and moustaches. Consider the eyebrow wisdom from Leonard Nimoy, the actor who played Spock. In an interview for TV Times, he told Susan Lerner: “The makeup is a tough problem for me. It always has been. It’s tedious. It’s painful and it’s confining. The entire makeup takes two hours. It’s an extremely complicated makeup and it’s not just the ears. The eyebrows can take longer because they must be laid on hair by hair and cut fresh every morning. They are not one piece. lf they were, you would not get mobility. They would sit there and look unnatural.”

You see? Eyebrow mobility. It’s what you want.

The second problem is that even eyebrow styles change. Sometimes we favour the thinnest line and sometimes we favour a thick one. As a matter of fact, over-plucking, to suit earlier fashions, is why some women now find themselves tempted to have their eyebrows “fixed.” A moment’s reflection reveals the obvious: fashion cannot dictate what suits every face. The red head might have glinting blond eyelashes and brows. The Asian girl has thick hair, but it’s on the top of her head and not the face itself. Similarly, the Asian boy will one day grow only the wisp of a beard, if he decides to have one at all. Some faces are rounded and some are narrow. Can fashion be right when it dictates that the very thick brow with the unnatural squarish beginning is the look that will suit every face of every race? Yikes. Clothing is one thing, but facial redesign is another.

Eyebrows are the kind of thing that you leave alone as much as possible. Stop talking about how they “frame the face.” Enough already. Let sleeping brows lie, as they say. The most I’d permit is the removal of hairs in between the brows, if you have been blessed with what you consider an over-abundance.

And hey, I have an idea! You could donate them!