“What does a woman think of when she chooses how to do her eyebrows? And how old is she when she makes that decision?” I asked my wife, Mary these questions several months ago and she responded by saying that she didn’t think most women styled their eyebrows. But then we have raised only boys.
I’ve always had some sort of fascination with eyebrows. Maybe it stemmed from the fact that my mother had heavy brows that would have met over her nose had she not regularly plucked them. I have somewhat a similar problem and certainly now that I am older, I find I have to trim them or they would get way too bushy.
|John L. Lewis|
Maybe the bushiness is part of my fascination. At an early age I was impressed by the eyebrows of John L. Lewis, probably the only person who defied FDR and Truman that my father didn’t admire. Later in life I remember Mary’s Uncle Mike, who was one of the Dental Board members I had to work through to get my Wisconsin dental license. His brows were equally as impressive as John L.’s, but in a nice, warm, Irish way, which suited him well in his acting avocation. Although I never saw him do so, he probably could wiggle them as effectively as Groucho Marx.
Eyebrows however are a woman’s realm. The stylist who has cut my hair and Mary’s for thirty years was more informative when I asked her the eyebrow questions. She said most girls, when they are around fourteen get interested in defining themselves and eyebrows are one of the ways they do that. Most work with nature and just shape them, accepting what they have as a base coat. This would be true of many movie stars, such as Audrey Hepburn, Heddy Lamarr, and Elizabeth Taylor.
Others may want to try to improve on nature. One example might be Paris Hilton. My favorite improver is an actor I just saw recently on an episode of Bones, Carla Gallo. She has severely trimmed her brows to provide, not only interest, but also some definition of the character she feels is Daisy Wick: naïve, impulsive, sensual and open, all at the same time.
I doubt if Mary ever gave much thought to defining who she wanted to be as a teen. She remains interesting and attractive, mostly because she is totally herself, using her talents and natural beauty without need for embellishment.
And not every movie star feels the need to define themselves, or if so, not at the age of fourteen. Two examples come to mind. I had the good fortune to work once with a casting director, who worked with the rising star, Abigail Breslin, shortly after she did “Little Miss Sunshine”. She said that Abigail is a delight to work with, modest, fun, and totally without ego. I find her brows kind of cute.
|Lohan - 2006|
Another actor, from a different mold, is Lindsay Lohan, who started out with almost the same eyebrows as Abigail when she was in “The Parent Trap” but has radicalized them and her life since then.
While I don’t think eyebrows are defining in their own right, they do represent an indication of how we see ourselves, and how we deal with our own personal demons. What do you think? Send me a comment.
In my next post, I’ll share with you a story I learned on my last visit to the Farmer’s Market. Unless I’m mistaken, you’ll be surprised.