Bold Brows

Picture 9

Every season fashion magazines seem to declare the return of the full eyebrow. Honestly, have they ever gone out of style, regardless of fleeting trends? A recent study analyzed eyebrow trends found on models and actresses in fashion magazines since 1946, and observed a resurgence in the last 60 years of thicker, more masculine brows.  In contrast to the higher brows that declined after the 1960s, the popularity of the flatter eyebrow is attributed to a subconscious reflection of the changing gender stereotypes. Those conducting the study deduced that it may be “in part, a response to the increasing parity between men and women in the workplace. With eyebrow shape alone less able to convey femininity, the fullness or luminance [ability to reflect light] of the female brow may become increasingly important.”

This is not to say that thicker brows work for everyone, as the right brow shape and thickness varies from person to person. The overplucked Disney villain look of the 90s, however, does not flatter anyone. Repeatedly overplucking may lead the hair follicle to die, resulting in sparse brows. Eyebrow transplants and forms of eyebrow growth have increased in popularity, yet there are easier methods to shape and fill in to your liking, from brow pencils and gels, to kits.

Jean Harlow and Marlene Dietrich mastering the eyebrows of Disney's Ursula and Maleficent.

1920s and 30s: Jean Harlow and Marlene Dietrich mastering the eyebrows of Disney’s Ursula and Maleficent.

80s: Brooke Shields, the reigning Queen of the Bushy Eyebrow and Madonna, big eyebrows and even bigger hair.

1980s: Brooke Shields, the reigning Queen of the Bushy Eyebrow and Madonna, big eyebrows and even bigger hair.

1990s: Barely there eyebrows...and clothing.

1990s: Barely there eyebrows…and clothing.

2010s: Keira Knightley and Cara Delevingne are known for their full (and perfectly arched) brows.

2010s: Keira Knightley and Cara Delevingne are known for their full (and perfectly arched) brows.

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