One of the most distinctive features on our face has been getting alot of attention recently from me. We are told that as a species we pay alot of attention to this facial feature. In fact, scientists tell us that we recognize a familiar face more easily when eyes are blacked out, than when these are. What are they, these things that have attracted my attention of late? Eyebrows!
With age comes many things, and now I have discovered one more – the disappearance and greying of my eyebrows. Hang with me, because you, too, have eyebrows, and there are some interesting points to be made about them and lessons for us.
I don’t know when it happened, but not long ago I looked into the mirror and realized that there was no definition to my eyes, because I couldn’t see my eyebrows. Geesh! When did that happen? How long had I been eyebrowless? How did I loose that definition on my face? This was a defining moment for me.
So I began to research and experiment with cosmetic solutions to redefine my eyes. There were brushes, pencils, gels, powders and shadows. Also for consideration were cloning my eyebrows, (that’s ridiculous), the very popular tattooing (too expensive) of eyebrows, and let’s not forget microblading, (ouch).
I settled on a few new products, consulted with a couple of friends, and proceeded to do what I could to define my eyes and face again. With the little interest and experience that I have with make up, this was challenging, but I found my solution.
Eyebrows come in all shapes, sizes, colors and textures. Believe me, I have been observing them very seriously and taken note of every kind. But what they all have in common, even yours, is their two-fold purpose:
- Prevention of sweat, water & other debris from entering the eye
Communication – eyebrows provide cues for expressing moods. Facial expressions reveal genuine emotions and eyebrows exaggerate them.
In a 2003 study, people were shown pictures of famous people. The photos however, had been manipulated and they all either had no eyes or no eyebrows. When shown the pictures, the famous people with their eyes blacked out were recognized 60% of the time. However, the photos who’s eyebrows were balcked out where only recognized 46% of the time. It seems we recognize people more by their eyebrows than we do their eyes. Unbeleivable!
It is that one raised eyebrow that tells us interest or skepticism, or surprise with both eyebrows raised. It is the up and down movement of those eyebrows that tell us what people are thinking. They help us express recognition and sympathy. Those muscles in our face, moving our eyebrows are helping us to communicate with those in our world. Those eyebrows are defining us and our communication.
Prevention – the eyebrows prevent sweat from dripping into our eyes. The arch design diverts moisture to the side, thus protecting our eyes. Those eyebrow hairs, growing outward, and toward the sides of your face are designed to protect your vision.
We use our eyes more than any sense and blurred vision isn’t at all helpful. Our eyebrows keep rain and sweat out and give us clear vision.
Through the generations of man, clearly visible eyebrows have provided safety from predators. Whereas today, their primary function seems to be a means of communicating.
The shape, color and thickness of your eyebrows are genetic. It takes four different genes to affect your hair texture. One gene that affects their shape. Five genes work together to produce your eyebrow color, and one gene decides if you have a unibrow. (sorry… waxing???)
This pair of moisture wicking, signal senders/receptors define our faces and feelings to the world. Without them, our face lacks definition. There is no defining moment for our eyes or communication.
“A defining moment” – a point when the essential character of a person is revealed or identified. A decision that fundamentally changes you and therefore transforms your perceptions and behaviors.
“A defining moment” – a fork in the road.
I had a defining moment at the mirror confronting my eyebrows. But that is not the point here. It is however a visual for the point.
What defines you? What are your defining moments?
Is there a solid definition to the things that you do? Is there purpose, meaning, value? But more importantly, what are the things that define who you are and who you will allow yourself to become or be transformed into?
Has your definition, distinction disappeared? Has your personality/character color, texture, and shape faded, erroded, or waned? Do you live by clear distinctives, principles, and values? Do you allow environmental factors to permamently affect your shape; like waxing, and tweezing permanently affect your eyebrows?
Do you allow things or people to define you? What do you allow to define your communication or provide your protection? How does your personal definition prevent debris from flooding your life?
Defining moments affect our identity (just like eyebrows do), and I trust that today, as you look into the mirror, you will see not only your defining eyebrows, but look deeper and evaluate those things that define you. Are they greying? Do they need redefining?
May this be a defining moment for you.
Cheers to you,