Friday, November 16, 2007

Eyebrows in Sainsburys

"The One With the Eyebrows. Oooh, those Eyebrows.... something funny about them. Glad he went last week."

I knew what the ladies in front of me in the checkout queue at the supermarket were talking about. They didn't need to say his name, I watch the show too and I knew who they meant. It was an unfortunate contestant on the X-Factor, a TV talent show where aspiring singers get voted off each week when the fickle public doesn't like them enough to ring in with a phone-vote. The singer with the apparently memorable eyebrows was last week's casualty.

I'm afraid I silently agreed with their verdict; I didn't like the eyebrows either. They were quite disconcerting as they moved up and down on his forehead, in time with his singing (which I wasn't keen on either). Who would have thought a couple of hairy facial bits could affect total strangers so much? Poor man, though I suspect it wasn't just the eyebrows that lost him votes...

Idly looking for an illustration (as you do with blogs) I was a bit surprised to find so much stuff about eyebrows, including various books. Several enticing snippets from one author, including how "fashionable women of the early 1700s wore false eyebrows cut from mouse hides to make themselves look perpetually surprised", and the supposed parallels between the fashions, politics and ideology of various decades. The eyebrow varies in different eras - apparently "more perky and defined in the '50s, wild and wayward in the early '70s, powerful and statement-oriented in the '80s." There is also a section on "understanding the allure and hidden messages behind the male eyebrow". All sounds very curious, and I'm mildly surprised that people find enough material to fill books on the subject.

Small though they may be, eyebrows obviously do matter.

* Image is from a website selling false, synthetic eyebrows to people who want them, to replace or augment natural eyebrows lost through ageing, illness or medication.


deb said...

So, you write a post about eyebrows and I had just commented on the same to my Mom while we watched a TV show here in the states. There was a boisterously loud woman on a home improvement show. However, what bothered me more than her shrieking voice were her overly long and arched brows. Looked like the steepest hill on a giant roller coaster. That mild ascent followed by an enormous dive well down the side of her face!

Claire said...

And I thought I was just being overly sensitive about the slug-like eyebrows on the X-Factor. It's funny what little things (literally) get to you, isn't it!

Mr Blister said...

Hi Claire,
Love your blog - especially this eyebrow post.

You commented on my blog:Strange Games about the game Trussed Fowls. I think I have the same book that you mention. Is it 300 Games and Pasttimes by EV Lucas?

Anyway, thank you for visiting and commenting in Strange Games - always nice to receive comments

chin chin!

Montegue Blister

Claire said...

Thank you, Mr Blister.

Yes, it might be that book, it's at work (it was a present from a student who worked in a charity shop) but I'll check. If it is, I'm amazed you didn't use that illustration as it's very odd!

I found your blog through a Rhydian comment you left somewhere actually. He's been growing on me over the weeks, and is now my favourite, I'm surprised to admit. Life is strange sometimes.

Mr Blister said...

Probably would have used the illustration just didn't have time to photograph/ at the time.

Yes, I realise now that you found my Strange Games blog via my Rhydian Blog :
I, too, am surprised to admit I like Rhydian. Life is indeed very strange. I am a music obsessive with catholic tastes ranging from Monteverdi to Evan Parker via the Animal Collective. Never before have I become obsessed with reality pop flotsam...but I guess sometimes you just have to have some fun.
He has marvellous hair and if that and his singing style can piss off just one Arctic Monkeys fan I will be a happy man.

Mr Blister said...

Oh, forgot to mention, it was excellent to see on your list of top children's books The Magic Faraway Tree.