recent article in the fashion section of our metropolitan newspaper
raised my eyebrows. It confided that one of the focal points of
the Fall 2006 look for American women was a well-defined eyebrow.
Arched, with hairs spiked upward, it would glamorize the eye and
balance the other makeup must do for Fall bold
this presents a problem for me. Having spent my formative years
in the fifties and sixties, I was familiar with the well-defined
eyebrow. All the role models on TV had plucked and penciled brows
that they artistically maneuvered to convey surprise, skepticism,
or astonishment. Think about Lucille Ball and Donna Reed. They
never made an entrance without first facing the tweezers and a
sharpened eyebrow pencil.
concession to the standard to beauty was emulated in my home,
where my two older sisters tweezed and penciled eyebrows of distinction.
Being an idolizing baby sister, I couldnt wait to be allowed
to do the same. Especially since my eyebrows resembled two caterpillars
at war over my nose. Theres a photograph of me at age thirteen
that verifies this condition. Not even my snazzy aqua pleated
skirt and matching V-neck sweater could compensate for the hairy
line of brow that cuts across my face.
when permission was granted to pluck away, I did. Under the brow,
for that expressive arch, and between the brows, to show I really
did have two eyebrows, not one. I especially kept after those
pesky, thick hairs that seemed to want to revive the caterpillar
war. I tweezed and tweezed, and as with most things I do, I got
carried away. My early years of determined eyebrow care resulted
in arches that vanish just after they peak and a broad open field
where the caterpillars used to face off (no pun intended). And
since I never got the hang of penciling in realistic-looking eyebrows
(it looked like Id used my nieces brown Crayola),
I decided to embrace the new counter-culture look. I minimized
my skirts and let my bangs hang out, thus leaving my eyebrows
with most flower children, I outgrew the era and moved on. My
hemlines dropped and my hair is decidedly shorter. Thus my dilemma
with todays fashion news. Theyre still lurking there,
only now my eyebrows are even thinner, and specked with gray.
To make matters worse, my genetic makeup has started contributing
random hairs that grow to alarming lengths, sticking up at odd
angles across the brow. My trusty tweezers are always at the ready
to do battle with this latest invasion. But I wonder if I should.
be tres chic this fall, I will need eyebrows. An eyebrow pencil
is out. My niece gave up Crayolas twenty-some years ago, and my
skills have not improved. So, grasping at hairs, Ive made
a list of possible remedies.
Mousse makes hair look fuller. It could also achieve that spiky
look, since mousse stiffens my hair to industrial strength. Id
just have to stay out of damp, humid weather or my brows could
turn from might to fright in a walk from the car.
over. Taking a trick from hair-challenged men, I could allow my
genetically-produced eyebrow hairs to grow even longer and then
carefully comb them over the arch of each brow and down the side
to cover the bald spot. Windy days could be a problem, however.
Nothing worse than having your eyebrows blowing in the breeze
at a football game.
toupees. With a little makeup glue and some false eyebrows (courtesy
of our local theatrical group), I could amass a dazzling array
of brows to choose from. I might even be able to match my hair
color, something I havent been able to do since high school.
plugs. After all the pain of plucking, do I really want to establish
new hair follicles, even if it is (to paraphrase a popular TV
commercial) real hair that I could take for a dip in the pool
and get trimmed by my favorite stylist? Perhaps a new spa package?
Manicure, pedicure, and a trim around the eyebrows? What?
You want me to get rid of your caterpillars?
much for tres chic. Guess its time to again let my bangs
hang out. Far out, man.
Michaud-Kay began a career in writing because she was curious.
She found writing provided an excuse for digging deeper into subjects,
both human and academic. She turned this personality quirk into
a 30-year career in corporate communications. Now retired, she
lives in Tennessee
still exploring where curiosity leads.