Beauty and culture
Historically, and in some cultures, for example Tajikistan, the unibrow is viewed as an attractive quality in men and women alike. In some cultures, it may be associated with purity and, in men, virility; while most Western cultures find it unappealing, often associating it with a lack of sophistication and good grooming, and it is often used to caricature human inbreeding. People in Western cultures may pluck, wax, or use other treatments to rid themselves of this feature. However, in non-Western cultures, this facial hair does not have this stigma, and is seen as a sign of feminine beauty, where connected eyebrows are a sign of virginity and of being unmarried.
In a rare instance of positive associations with a unibrow in Western Culture, the first pick of the 2012 NBA Draft, Anthony Davis of the University of Kentucky, trademarked the phrases "Fear the brow" and "Raise the brow", which reference Davis' famed unibrow.
Make up (unibrow simulation)
In some countries, a unibrow is considered attractive in women. If there is no unibrow present, or if it is weak, it is drawn with kohl liner or a modern kajal pen to simulate a unibrow, something that is done by women and girls only.
Unibrows can be part of normal human variation, but they can stem from developmental disorders. Synophrys is a recognised feature of Cornelia De Lange syndrome, a genetic disorder whose main features include moderate to severe learning difficulties, limb abnormalities such as oligodactyly (fewer than normal fingers or toes) and phocomelia (malformed limbs), and facial abnormalities including a long philtrum (the slight depression/line between the nose and mouth) and bushy eyebrows.
Other conditions associated with synophrys include:
- Waardenburg Syndrome;
- Patau Syndrome;
- Smith-Lemli-Opitz Syndrome;
- Sanfilippo Syndrome;
- 3p Deletion Syndrome;
- Chromosome Deletion Dillan 4p Syndrome (Wolf–Hirschhorn Syndrome);
- Gorlin Syndrome (Basal Cell Nevus Syndrome);
- Frontometaphyseal Dysplasia;
- ATRX Syndrome;
- Chromosome 9q34 Microdeletion Syndrome or Kleefstra syndrome.
- Cornelia de Lange Syndrome
Genetics and prevalence
There have apparently been no scientific studies of the unibrow in culture or whether certain ethnic groups are more prone to developing a unibrow or not (or more or less likely to pluck them).