Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Eyebrow Shaving

Would You Shave Off Your Eyebrows in the Name of Fashion?

According to the author of this article, Courtney Dunlop, bleaching or waxing the eyebrows is becoming a new trend, the result of which is "a very bizarre, androgynous alien creature completely void of expression."

This look was featured on the Fall 2009 runways of Balenciaga and Prada, where beauty and fashion editors were apparently shocked that the top models had been convinced to bleach their brows. As Dunlop put it, "then came Brazillian bombshell Adriana Lima as a brow-free Marilyn Manson-lookalike for the latest Givenchy campaign." The August issue of Italian Vouge features model Kristen McMenamy, who also sports the browless look, and has apparently been doing so on and off since the late 90's.

"A great question was posed in this article from the Daily Mail about whether or not the non-conformist trend will trickle down to the masses, like punk did in the 1970s.

I'm sure a few lovers of the avant garde will give it a go, but I don't see how anyone else in their right mind would want to embrace the look," Dunlop says.

The Daily Mail article explains "how eyebrows are linked to sex appeal and pretty much every expression a human face can make, which is why people look so alien when brows are taken away."

First and foremost, I would like to address the quipping insults that I felt were not needed. Certainly there is going to be a shock when someone decides to remove eyebrows, and of course I can agree that the result is somewhat alien-like. However, I feel that the look suits some people, as they have other elements to the over all appearance where the lack of brows fit in. Mr. Manson is also definitely not the innovator of shaved eyebrows. Anyone remember when David Bowie rocked the whole Ziggy Stardust persona? In that sense, I can totally see the alien connection, but he just happened to be playing that type of character so it worked.

The first time I even touched my eyebrows with a pair of tweezers was possibly in eight grade. Being a student of a Catholic school, we were not allowed to wear make-up or what they deemed 'unacceptable' hair accessories [they did not like my single braid with plastic beads], but for some reason I felt compulsion to pluck a few hairs from my brows. That eventually led to more preening, to get them a bit thinner since I felt they sat too close for my eyes.

Then the razor came out and my eyebrows were completely gone by the time I was a junior in high school. If memory serves me correct, I did it for Halloween to wear these stick-on rhinestone jewels that were meant for the eyes, but I felt they looked better as replacement brows. After that, there was much face doodling of different shapes, designs and colors. Make-up was definitely another art form to me then [as much as it is now], so I enjoyed experimenting with different things and making the administration uncomfortable.

Drawing on brows with eyeliner

With much practice and patience, the shape eventually became one I felt fit my face and did my best to replicate this when applying make-up. For special events or nites out at the club, I would get a bit more artistic and pretty much do whatever I felt like. Obviously there were many reactions by the public, with plenty of laughs and rude comments slung my way. However, there were also people who gave compliments, the best one being if my eyebrows were actually tattooed on. To me, that just meant I was doing such a good job that people could not tell if it was make-up or permanent ink.

Using make-up to give the effect of brows.

To be completely honest, it took some time for me to get used to seeing my reflection in the mirror and not have eyebrows. However, at some point, it no longer seemed like something out of the ordinary, and shaving them off became routine. There were a set of eyebrow and anti-eyebrow piercings I received in '02 I want to say, but not being happy with their symmetry, they were subsequently removed. While the scars are minimal, I still would like to have them done again in the future.

Subtle make-up and no brows.

My thoughts have turned to having permanent eyebrows, which is something I have been considering for about five or six years now. The first idea was to have cosmetic tattooing, so that the shape I wanted would always be there to serve as guide, and I could adjust color and shape as I desired. Then I met a few people who had what I like to call 'tribal dots', which are pretty much what they sound like; bold black circles that serve as replacement for the hairy eyebrows. Again I feel that this suits some people and not others, but of course it's all personal choice and do what makes you happy.

If curiosity leads one to wonder as to why I have not taken the plunge, I give you the honest truth. Tattooing my face is something I take very seriously. While I have facial piercings, they are usually kept at a small gague out of personal preference. My large ear lobes, neck tattoo and hand tattoo are most likely the things that get attention from the general public, and I cannot tell you how many times I hear whispers about how big the lobes are and other assorted nonsense. It's as tho I am somehow completely unaware of the things I have done to my body and people feel the need to point this out. Oddly enough, it is never to my face, but they sure talk loud enough for me to hear them. In any event, I have sat on the idea of facial tattoos for as long as I have to be absolutely sure it is what I want.

The trademark 'face dots'.

Memory fails as to the first time I ever made 'dots' on my face and looked in the mirror, wondering if they were something I wanted to see there on a daily basis. They started out small, more as accents to the blended colors of whatever make-up I had applied, and then evolved into more defined shapes as exampled by the image above. For the most part, the 'top dots' match whatever my hair color happens to be [it is currently black and will likely stay this way for a long time], while the 'bottom dots' either coordinated with the eyeshadow or color of whatever outfit I am wearing. Once again, I have had many people ask me if they are tattoos, and I have managed to even fool some of my friends.

Going back to Dunlop's article, I would like to say with much pride that I am in fact somone of sound mind who readily embraces being eyebrowless. There are plenty of women out there, mainly in subcutlures, who either tweeze thier brows or shave them off completely and draw them on in a variety of ways. As far as I know, this practice is not some widespread lunacy, but rather a concious choice made to please personal aesthetics. If people do not like it, they can simply direct their attention elsewhere and leave us expressionless aliens to be happy in our lack of brows.


  1. Thank you for giving props to Bowie!!

    I personally don't know why (the writers of that article) are just realizing this now, because I think people in the fashion industry (or anywhere) have been doing it for decades.

    I'm so sick of people acting like Manson is some kind of pioneer, even though he just stole styles from several other artists (like Bowie & Cooper). He's not original at all.

    I know exactly what you mean by getting used to seeing yourself without brows.
    At first the thought of being browless is kind of scary (a brave kind of scary), then I said to hell with it & just shaved them off. Five years later I can't imagine what I'd look like with my real brows.

    As for getting your brows tattooed on. I don't really like the idea.
    I do like some (very minor) facial tats, but brows. .. The idea of the artist fucking up on them frightens me. And even though I don't plan on growing my brows out anytime soon, what if you were to change your mind down the road.

    I also love the option of being able to draw them on any way I like.
    I think it's awesome how you utilize that aspect to it's fullest & have such a variety of brow styles (I love your dots!).
    It's nice to have the option to be able to intertwine your brows with your eye liner & shadow too. ..and to make them match your hair color.

    I'm sorry it took me a moment to read & reply to this. You have a lot of good points.
    And fuck what the general public thinks, you & I wouldn't be the same if we had listened to them. And who says aliens aren't sexy!!

  2. Haha, I loved that last sentence.
    My ex shaves her eyebrows, and I still remember the first time I saw her without them
    I was in between laughing and running away
    That was until I realized how much she could play with them
    She is also a make up fan and can spend hours trying different things in front of the mirror so in time I ended up loving the fact that she didn't have eyebrows because she could draw them fitting her face better than the real ones and even play with shapes and colours
    I have to say I didn't like it when she didn't have them drawn, either way, it's a weird look I can get used to but I still don't like
    Awesome blog, BTW, I'll be looking forward for more