I know, I wonder about the strangest things. But seriously, I want to know what people, men and women both, think about shaved eyebrows. I first became aware of shaved eyebrows when I was in grade school and one of my mother’s friends had, what my sister and I jokingly referred to as, ‘Crayon Eyebrows’. She was a beautiful, well-dressed woman any time I saw her. Long Manicured nails, every hair in place but it was her eyebrows that you noticed first. Or at least I did. The oddest thing was, they looked totally different every time I saw her.
This woman’s daughter was my friend, so I had lots of opportunities to study this woman’s eyebrows. I even asked my friend about her mother’s eyebrows at recess one day at school, when we were in 4th grade.
“What’s up with your mom’s eyebrows anyway?”
“She shaves them,” was the simple reply.
“Because she has to.”
“I dunno. That’s just what she said.”
“If she didn’t shave them, she wouldn’t have to draw them on.”
“I know, I told her that.”
“So, why does she do it?”
“Because she has to.”
That was when my lifelong secret curiosity about eyebrows first began. I could never understand why a woman would want to shave her eyebrows off and have to draw on new ones. When I as in 5th grade, I was even curious enough to lock myself in the bathroom one day and shave my own off. Mind you, I had never shaved anything before. But I had seen my stepfather shave many times, so how hard could it be?
I grabbed his can of shaving cream, shook it real well like I had seen him do, and sprayed a big blob of it in my hand. I was so fascinated with the blob of shaving cream, I got side-tracked and sprayed some on the faucets and outlined the reflection of myself on the mirror too. It was my mother’s sudden knock on the door that brought my attention back to the task at hand.
“What are you doing in there?”
“Nothing! Just going to the bathroom. I’ll be out in a minute…”
“Well, hurry up!”
I quickly smeared some on my eyebrows in one swipe, from one side of my forehead to the other, and grabbed a razor. It took me about 15 minutes and two more knocks on the door from my mother, to get them both shaved off and the bathroom cleaned up. When I finally opened the door and came out, my mom was standing there waiting.
“What the hell did you do to your eyebrows?”
“Oh, I shaved them off.”
“Because I had to.”
“Because I had shaving cream on them.”
“But why did you put shaving cream on them?”
“Because I had to.”
“Because I wanted to learn how to shave eyebrows.”
“Because I had to.”
“Well what are you going to do for eyebrows?”
“I dunno. Draw some on?”
“No, you’re not! You’re just going to have to go around with no eyebrows til yours grow back! Are you stupid or what?!”
Going around with no eyebrows is NOT cool, believe me. It took about a month for my eyebrows to grow back in. My mother took every opportunity to point out my lack of eyebrows to anyone that stopped by our house and to tell the story to anyone that called on the phone. My friends at school asked me what happened to my eyebrows. I made up some story about working on a secret invention. When my eyebrows finally grew back, I told them my secret invention hadn’t worked. When they asked me what my secret invention was, I told them I was working on a way to make eyebrows disappear. “Why would anyone want their eyebrows to disappear?” they would ask. “I don’t know, but some women seem to want them to,” was the best that I could come up with.
As I grew up and went through my teen years, my curiosity about eyebrows continued. When I looked at pictures of women in fashion or makeup magazines, their eyebrows were the first thing I would look at.
I could tell that some were shaved off completely and draw back on and some were enhanced and shaped with a eyebrow pencil. Somehow it made me feel better to know that I wasn’t the only one who thought about eyebrows.
As I got older, my fascination with eyebrows dwindled as newer and more important things to think about surfaced, like clothes and boys for instance. During my makeup discovery years, I could understand enhancing the shape or color of eyebrows. But in the back of my mind somewhere was that question, “Why do women SHAVE their eyebrows off?”
It was a question I never had the nerve to actually ask a woman that did shave her eyebrows. First of all, I didn’t see that many women that looked like they shaved their eyebrow and secondly, I got the impression somehow that it would not be good manners to ask a woman about it, like it was some big personal private secret, so I never asked.
In fact, I even had a razor in my hand myself yesterday ready to shave my own eyebrows off. Several times in the last few months, I’ve stood before the mirror with razor in hand, ready to do it, but something keeps holding me back. Maybe its the memories of my mother’s friend, that as a child, her drawn-on eyebrows were the first thing I always noticed and stared at. Maybe its the ridicule I endured when I stupidly shaved mine off in 4th grade. Maybe its the lack of faith I have in my creative ability to draw two eyebrows that match, who knows.
All I know is that my own eyebrows no longer look like MY eyebrows. The texture of the hairs are different. They used to be short and soft and now some are wiry and growing longer. The color used to be dark brown and now some are brown and some are white. The shape and placement of them used to be perfect in relationship to the size and placement of my eyes. Now they basically have no arch or shape to them at all. Oh, I’ve tried plucking, trimming and/or filling in with eyebrow pencil. Spending hours working on my eyebrows is not something I want to have to do, not something I WOULD ever do. So, here I am again, razor in hand, ready to join the ranks of women that shave their eyebrows. No, I can’t do it yet! I just can’t…
I need more information. What are the benefits, if any, of shaving your eyebrows off? Would it only be trading one problem for another? What do men think of drawn on eyebrows? What does SOCIETY think of drawn on eyebrows? Seriously, my eyebrows and I want to know!