Saturday, February 23, 2008

There but for the Grace…..

I stand in the queue and watch the other people who also queue.

One woman is tall and striking in appearance, beautifully turned out for a trip to Target. She is put together with style and flair, apart from her eye brows.

Her eye brows make her look cross. Luckily she is too far away for me to tell her this. I would be most unhappy if some lunatic stranger commented about my own eyebrows. Maybe she lacked a mirror when she drew them on or it was very early in the morning in harsh electric light?

I already know that it very hard to achieve a 3-D effect with a pencil when it comes to eye brows. I know this due to the unhealthy influence of other more sophisticated girls in my Boarding School at the age of 15. At 15 I learned that personal grooming included things other than washing, teeth cleaning and polish to the scuffed toes on your shoes. Young women were expected to have well behaved eye brows.

I don’t remember being particularly aware that I had eye brows, but other people noticed the hairy caterpillars above my eyes. They were in need of grooming, which didn’t sound too bad. I was as happy to brush my eye brows as the hair on my head, easy peasy. I then discovered that ‘grooming’ mean plucking. I discovered that plucking was painful, time consuming and that if you pulled out six hairs at once, you might easily mislay a sliver of skin at the same time.

I reflected on the other female influences on my life, my mother and sister. My sister went for the natural look, but it’s easy to choose that option if you are naturally hairless. My mother: ‘only tarts pluck their eyebrows.’

I choose a different speedier path altogether, one that avoided the sin of plucking. I simply shaved them. On a scale of one to ten, where ten would indicate success, I scored a one, possibly, depending upon which eye brow you scored. The right eye brow was bald and the left one had a small nick that leaked. I learned of a new hazard for the beautifully naïve, namely razor burn, which can be avoided by using shaving soap as opposed to a dry razor.

In the 70s many women plucked their eye brows to an excessive degree, such that they never grew back. I suspect all of them were in Boarding schools.

I look back to the woman who is too young to have been in Boarding school in the 70’s. I suspect that it’s deliberate act on her part. She looks cross, which makes her look unapproachable. Anthropologically speaking, I would say that it’s a very cunning self defense mechanism!

14 comments:

Karen said...

Katie and I both enjoyed this!

There's something for you over at my blog--

Angela said...

LOL!!! In my house we were only allowed to be vaguely feminine so it led to pretty lazy attempts after I moved out as far as plucking went. I need to do that now as a matter of fact.

Joker The Lurcher said...

oh that peer pressure thing! i caused much consternation among the other girls at school. i was one of the wilder girls (we won't go into that here) yet i still wore socks instead of tights and refused to pluck my eyebrows. i was taken in hand and shown how to tweeze, which i did for a while.

but slatternlyness and a dislike of pain soon put an end to it. i now go for the natural shaggy look and as my brows are pitch black i can produce a wonderful celtic scowl!

Mr. Bloggerific Himself said...

Uncle Leo had them scorched off and when they were drawn back on, he too, appeared angry. Ahh, Seinfeld.

Vi said...

Oh I flinched when I read your shaving experience! I never touched my eyebrows till I was 30. I'm lucky enough I only have to get them waxed about twice a year.

Little Britainer said...

That's a good story. I never went to boarding school but around 13 I went to a sleepover party for a friend's birthday. Someone encouraged me to pluck my eyebrows and I started one, from the top (which I later learned is a major beauty faux-pas, apparently they're supposed to be plucked from the bottom...) Anyway, I got bored and went to sleep before doing the other one. Ever since they've been wonky and mismatched...

The Anti-Wife said...

I tried plucking for a while in the 70's but got bored with it and gave up. Fortunately I never had that much to begin with.

Angela said...

If I shaved mine I am sure I would end up with nothing.
I prefer wax

frog ponds rock... said...

There is something for you at my place.

cheers Kim xxx

Hammer said...

I just shave in between mine. I leave one wild hair that sticks out at a crazy angle just because it bugs everyone.

Kaber said...

Great Journal!

Linda said...

I've never plucked a single eyebrow hair in my life and don't intend to start at the almost ripe old age of 50. I have, however, let me hair stylist have at them with some hot wax a time or two. Painful yes but also very quick!

Expatmum said...

Hi there. Just discovered you.
My teenage daughter has "caterpillars" - don't know where she got them from. I am trying to teach responsible plucking but the darn hairs are so think she can't bear the pain. Poor sod!

Zoning Out Again said...

My poor teenager is struggling with her eyebrows. Her sister has naturally beautiful eyebrows that we both envy. She on the other hand has a different look every month. This month is the Severly A-Symmetrical look. Poor thing!