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Raising a fake eyebrow or two

“Honey, do you like my eyebrows?” I asked husband-head out of the clear blue while he was reading the newspaper.Husband-head slowly let down the paper and looked confused for a minute and then relieved.”Oh thank God,” he sighed. “I thought you were asking the ‘Does this make me look fat?’ question. I HATE that question.”I stood there waiting because he still hadn’t answered me.”Yes dear, I love your eyebrows,” he assured me. “I think they’re the most fabulous eyebrows I’ve ever seen in the whole world.”He rolled his eyes and went back to his paper.But the question had stemmed from an earlier conversation I’d had while talking with my best friend, Marianne, on the phone. I had confessed to Marianne that while having my hair colored recently, my hairdresser had suggested I do something with my eyebrows.”What’s wrong with your eyebrows?” Marianne asked curiously. “I’ve never noticed anything.”This is the sign of a very good friend.”Well, let’s just say I don’t HAVE any eyebrows,” I admitted. “I kind of look like a Chernobyl victim.”Marianne just laughed.”Mine are pretty sparse, too,” she pointed out. “But I draw them on with a pencil. Of course, as soon as I wipe my forehead or sweat, they come right off. Sometimes when I check my makeup, I’ll discover that I’ve been walking around with only one eyebrow all day.”I told her that my hairdresser had suggested a “permanent makeup” procedure in which “eyebrows” are tattooed on your head.”They can even do it with eyeliner, too,” I informed her. “Wouldn’t that be cool not to have to put any makeup on at all and just wake up looking great?””I used to get up early and sneak out of the bed to put my makeup on when I was with a new boyfriend,” Marianne confessed. “And then I’d go back to bed and when he woke up – voilà! There I was looking like a natural beauty!”Yeah, until an eyebrow rubbed off on the pillow.But eyebrows have been an important measure of beauty in a woman for decades. Celebrities such as Greta Garbo, Lauren Bacall and Marilyn Monroe had distinctive eyebrows. Vivien Leigh had “mad” eyebrows, Veronica Lake had “constantly surprised” eyebrows, Ingrid Bergman had “intelligent” eyebrows, and Elizabeth Taylor had “marry me” eyebrows.”When I think of exceptional eyebrows, I always think of people like Groucho Marx, Clark Gable or Clint Eastwood,” Marianne said. “And then I think of the guy down at the local bar who has this one, big long eyebrow thing going. It kind of looks like it belongs on a cyclops.”According to a book called “The Eyebrow” by Robyn Cosio, women have been wearing fake eyebrows since the 1700s. “It says they used to make them out of mouse hides to give themselves a perpetually surprised look,” I informed Marianne.”The mouse or the person who was looking at them?” Marianne mused. “I certainly hope they took the tails off … “More sophisticated eyebrow applications are now used, including penciling, stenciling and tattooing.”Stenciling?” Marianne said with surprise. “Like the stuff I put on the borders of my walls? So you could make them into little stars, or hearts, or lady bugs?”There are even “human hair” press-on eyebrows now, which are applied with glue – like a fake mustache or fingernails.”What if, like, one of your eyebrows became unglued and fell off at a party and you didn’t realize it?” I asked Marianne. “Or if it got caught on one of your fake eyelashes on its way down and the whole thing landed in your drink looking like a big, hairy centipede?” she added.We both sat in silence for a moment imagining the horror.”Maybe it’s not so bad not having eyebrows,” I decided. “Whoopi Goldberg doesn’t have any, you know.””Well, that’s not exactly who I want to look like,” Marianne insisted. “I think I’ll just stick with the long bangs and call it good.”A little while later, I put on my makeup to go to an appointment downtown and checked in again with husband-head before I left.”Honey, do these eyebrows make me look fat?”Heidi Rice is a Rifle correspondent for the Post Independent. Her column appears every Friday in the Independent. Visit her Web site at http://www.heidirice.com.


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