e is for … eyebrows

Day 20:365 Gratitude Challenge and April 6th A to Z Challenge

internet _ eye browsToday I am grateful for my eyebrows. It is not because I think mine are extra special or better than anyone else’s; in fact, I have complained about and cursed mine for not being thick enough, not arched right, being uneven, having too many rogue hairs and so on over the years. As I get older and so increibly wiser (*cough*), I  have begun to see things in a different light especially in regards to my appearance. After all, at 52 years of age, what the hell am I going to do about it? I was given my features for a reason and, instead of tearing myself up with criticism about the way I look as I did many years ago, I have come to understand that not everything is about appearance. Sometimes it is about function and purpose and how our acceptance of beauty lies within that.

Take eyebrows for instance. Have you ever considered why we have our eyebrows? No? Well, me neither until recently. A Google search about eyebrows has changed my opinion and belief about my once cursed eyebrows; it has also led to a new appreciation of these when I was littleoften underrated rogue-haired beauties for the roles that eyebrows play on our face.

Apparently, we have eyebrows for two main reasons. The first is that eyebrows perform an extremely important function because eyebrows protect our eyes. Who knew?  All these years, I have have been plucking and shaping these little suckers never realizing that they were actually keeping sweat, rain, and moisture away from my eyeballs. By doing so, eyebrows help keep our vision clear. Amazing, don’t you think? This makes me think back to that time some years ago when a bird dropped a particularily runny bomb on the top of my forehead. Now that I think about it, the doo doo never ran into my eyes. And holy cinnamon gravy, I never ever even thanked my eyebrows for that. How unappreciative was that? Perhaps that is why I get the odd white eyebrow hair in my eyebrows every once in a while. Perhaps it is payback for my unappreciation of my eyebrows for their protection. Sorry about that old eyebrows. Things are going to change from here on in; I give you my word.

The second reason we have eyebrows is my favourite. Eyebrows are essential for nonverbal communication. We need our eyebrows to help us express our emotions such as happiness, surprise, anger or for any of the expressions below. Without speaking, we can convey exactly how we are feeling just by moving our eyebrows. Move them up for surprise, move them down for angry. As such, this nonverbal communication is a universal language because everyone knows what different eyebrow positions mean. 

Expressions  Expressions 2

One of my favourite expressions, especially when my sons were little cabbages, was to raise only my left eyebrow when I wasn’t quite sure if I believed their stories or not. If I remember correctly, we referred to this as the ‘evil eye’. The evil eye was effective and got my point across that I knew that they weren’t being quite truthful and that they were to cut to the chase and spill the truth. These days it is my hubby, Sauerkraut, who is usually on the receiving end of the evil eye especially when I know that he is trying to get my goat about something. This usually makes him quiver with fear (*snicker*) and makes him spill the beans about the truth of the matter.

You, too, can learn how to do the evil eye. Imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon this website http://www.wikihow.com/Lift-One-Eyebrow, a step by step guide on how to lift one eyebrow. By the ol’ snortin’ Norton, that Google is certainly an amazing research tool.

I also discovered that eyebrows are especially useful to speakers of sign language who contort their eyebrows to complement hand signs. This is a cool fact that I never knew before and elevates my regard for eyebrows that much more. How about yours?


Additionally, eyebrows even act as an identification card. Eyebrows are unique in that they do not change much over time, they stand out against the forehead and can be clearly seen from a distance (must be a helluva bushy set to be seen from a distance but, hey, who am I to judge?) — making them perfect for identifying people. Have you ever played one of those Facebook games where they ask you to guess the celebrity’s identity by just their eyebrows? It can be done.

Here are some famous celebrity eyebrows:


Elizabeth Taylor
Elizabeth Taylor


Groucho Marx
Groucho Marx


Cruella De Vil
Cruella De Vil


Bert from Sesame Street

Also, here are two photos of celebrities both with and without their eyebrows illustrating how important eyebrows are in terms of identification. If either of them wanted to go undercover or rob a bank, shaving their eyebrows off would work far better for a disguise than donning a pair of sunglasses would.


brad pitt

So there you have it. Eyebrows are more than just objects to be beautified. They serve a real purpose by protecting our eyes from bird poop sliding down our foreheads into them. They are great for telling others to stop bullshitting us just by giving them the evil eye. AND if you ever need a clever disguise for an undercover operation like say, robbing a bank, all you have to do is shave them off. How amazing is that???

Eyebrows: 1

Bird Shit: 0







  1. Wow. Who knew there was that much info available about eyebrows??? AND I can’t believe you didn’t post a pick of Whoopi Goldberg who has NO eyebrows. So weird. I think she looks like a black “Cowardly Lion” from the “Wizard of Oz.” Not being racist, just observant.. Also, yeah, how bushy do eyebrows need to be to be a source of identification??? So weird. My whole life has been simply a quest to never, ever have a unibrow.. And ya’ know. What about those chicks that tattoo their eyebrows on?? Is that some kind of gang initiation?? Great post. I love your site. It just makes me smile to come here. 🙂

  2. I keep getting weird white hairs in my eyebrows. I pull them out, but I’m worried that one day they will outnumber the regularly coloured hairs and then I’ll look like that Brad Pitt picture!

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