The other night, I went dancing with some girlfriends. At one point, a new friend sitting at the table next to me leaned over and said,

“I have two questions: one, what perfume are you wearing and two, who does your eyebrows?”

I wasn’t wearing perfume and told her so, but do use a cocoa butter gel body oil that I love.

Second, about the eyebrows . . .

As a kid I suffered greatly, my eyebrows making me resemble Bert of Bert and Ernie fame, more than any other Muppet.

He meant well, I’m sure, but my dad would humiliatingly nudge me into performing my Groucho Marx routine, something he taught me at an early age (complete with cigar wagging!). It wasn’t till I was older that I thought, oh wonderful; I look like Groucho Marx. What little princess doesn’t want to look like Groucho Marx?

So since a rather tender age, I’ve been absolutely obsessed with perfectly maintained eyebrows and, at the age of 40, to be complimented about them gave me great joy. (The answer is my hairdresser waxes them and I obsessively, compulsively keep them as neat as possible until I see her again.)

Women, older than I, and who probably never spent tearful hours in the bathroom mirror trying to tame the arches over their eyes, tell me I should be glad; that they struggle to pencil in brows that used to exist. I suspect I’ll never have that issue, but if I ever do, I’ll just use that pic of Groucho to remember what used to be.

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4 Responses to Browbeaten

  1. Enjoyed this post, Marijean.

    I was the kid in school with the unibrow myself, so I can completely relate to the whole eyebrow trauma. Sadly, and without guidance, I started plucking mine a long time ago. Definitely not my best feature. The worst thing about eyebrows that I’ve experienced so far is…..finding GRAY ones in them. Yikes! Not good.

    Enjoy your week,


  2. Jenn says:

    I’ve been dealing with a unibrow all my life. Unfortunately my skin is so sensitive I swell to the point that I’ve had people ask me never to make them do that to me again. I also burn very easily. I actually stopped getting my nails done because the girls were forever asking me if I wanted my brows done and it got to be too embarrassing.

    I feel your pain.

  3. Amy Eastlack says:

    I have really light eyebrows so I thought I didn’t have to think about them much until a few years ago a hair dresser – who I adored – said “You know I got my aestheticians license now so I can do something about those eyebrows for you”. I almost died. I was 33 years old and had never even thought about my eyebrows let alone waxed them! I’ve been somewhat obsessed with them ever since, though mine still aren’t as beautiful as yours since I have to have the random ones waxed and then fill them in because they’re so light. When did being beautiful get to be so much work?

    You are beautiful – inside and out – Marijean!

  4. jael says:


    The double arc of a HUGE beauty accident of mine. I was 11. It involved a razor.

    Enough said.

    In my own defense I was too stupid to know the consequences. Neither my eyebrows nor I have every recovered. I also have straight hair, and ever covet curly hair and thick eyebrows (without 5 o’clock shadow)!

    Funny how much what happens when we’re little girls impacts our adult pictures of beauty as women.

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