Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Eyebrows: Not Just a Plucking Ground

Many envy the full eyebrows of stars  like Emma Watson.
Many envy the full eyebrows of stars
like Emma Watson.
Image: s_bukley / Shutterstock.com
Have you ever plucked your eyebrows? I know I have, as have many of my (male and female) friends. Women have plucked their brows thin and at the same time envied the full eyebrows of stars like Brooke Shields, Emma Watson, Natalie Portman, and Jessica Alba. Unibrows are typically avoided, lest society judge you (despite the fact that the magnificent Frida Kahlo wore hers proudly).

Over the years, humans have evolved significantly. From apes to modern human beings, our environment has shaped our bodies like any other creature that has adapted to survive. Whereas our Neanderthal ancestors were much hairier and apelike, today we have lost much of that body hair and stockiness.

Our eyebrows, however, have stuck around. Why, when many people simply pluck them out anyway, haven’t our bodies stopped making them? For one thing, they have gotten thinner. However, many scientists believe that eyebrows still provide a unique and needed function: they shield our eyes from sweat, rain, and other hazards.

If we didn’t have eyebrows, our bodies may have developed another method of protection for our eyes. According to Greg Foot of Head Squeeze, that could have included things like giant eyelashes or a much larger forehead that looks a bit like a shelf.

Eyebrows are also one of the most expressive parts of our bodies, allowing us to show others that we are angry, shocked, curious, or otherwise emotionally effected—without saying a word. Check out the Head Squeeze video below to get a complete rundown of eyebrows and why we still need them after all these years.

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