Unibrow

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A close up of the human unibrow. Not all unibrows are similar, the unibrow pictured above also has hair between the eyes. In terms of popularity of this look to ancient people, the biblical Old Testament appears to mention the importance of not removing it in the Book of Deuteronomy 14:1--"Ye are the children of the Lord your God: ye shall not cut yourselves, nor make any baldness between your eyes for the dead." (King James Version)

A unibrow (or monobrow; called synophrys in medicine) is a single eyebrow created when the two eyebrows meet in the middle above the bridge of the nose.[1] The hair above the bridge of the nose is usually of the same color and thickness as the eyebrows, giving the appearance that they converge to form one uninterrupted line of hair.

History[edit]

The first known use of the word 'unibrow' was in 1988.[2]

Culture and beauty[edit]

Negative association[edit]

Among most Western women, the region between the eyebrows is often plucked, waxed, shaved, or treated with electrology or laser hair removal.

Positive association[edit]

The unibrow has been prized by many ancient and Eastern cultures throughout history.

Ancient Greece and Rome[edit]

In both Ancient Greek and Roman cultures, unibrows were prized as beautiful, desirable features worn by the most intelligent and lusted-after women.[3] In Ancient Greece, women used powdered minerals or soot to paint their brows black. The Greeks valued purity, so women often left their unibrows untouched or darkened slightly with black powder. Eyebrows were also part of the Romans' elaborate beauty rituals, and like the Greeks, they favored a unibrow. Both cultures' poets and writers described women donning false unibrows to enhance their looks. These were made of dyed goat's hair and attached with tree resin.[4]

Tajikistan[edit]

In Tajikistan,[5] a unibrow is viewed as an attractive quality in both men and women . For women, it is associated with virginity and purity and, in men, virility. If there is no unibrow present, or if it is weak, it is commonplace for women to use a kohl liner or a modern kajal pen to simulate a unibrow.

Iran[edit]

During the Qajar dynasty in Iran (1785-1925), connected brows were considered beautiful. Persian poetry lauded the abrou-ye peyvasteh or "continuous eyebrow", in men and women alike. It was compared to cupid's bow, tensed and ready to fire its dart. The classic shape – a beautiful inverted ogee – can be seen in courtly miniatures and royal portraits [citation needed].

Famous unibrows[edit]

Art[edit]

  • Bill Berry, American musician and drummer for R.E.M.
  • Liam Gallagher, English musician and lead singer of Oasis
  • George Harrison, British musician and lead guitarist of the Beatles, king of music
  • Mexican painter Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) iconically exaggerated her own unibrow in self-portraits.[6]
  • A mosaic created in 548 A.D. depicts the Byzantine empress Theodora, wife of Justinian, with kohl-rimmed eyes and a well-defined unibrow.[7]
  • Guy Picciotto, American musician
  • Frank Zappa, American musician

Crime[edit]

  • Ted Bundy, American serial killer, rapist, and necrophile

Fiction[edit]

Art, entertainment, and media[edit]

Politics[edit]

Sports[edit]

  • 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, recognized the branding potential in his own distinctive unibrow by trademarking the phrases "Fear the brow" and "Raise the brow," which reference Davis' famed unibrow.[8]
  • Wally Moon, American major league baseball player

Medicine[edit]

Genetics[edit]

The unibrow is a recessive genetic trait.[9]

Medical conditions[edit]

A unibrow is part of normal human variation, but can also stem from developmental disorders. A unibrow is a recognized 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).

Other medical conditions associated with a unibrow include:

References[edit]

  1. ^ "confluent eyebrow". TheFreeDictionary.com. Retrieved 2016-02-02. 
  2. ^ "Definition of UNIBROW". www.merriam-webster.com. Retrieved 2016-02-02. 
  3. ^ "A History of Eyebrows: See How They Transformed Over the Years | Daily Makeover". Daily Makeover. Retrieved 2016-02-02. 
  4. ^ "The History of Eyebrows". Beauty Blitz. Retrieved 2016-02-02. 
  5. ^ Elder, Miriam (November 27, 2010). "Where the unibrow reigns". Global Post. Retrieved November 13, 2011. 
  6. ^ "The History of Eyebrows". Beauty Blitz. Retrieved 2016-02-02. 
  7. ^ "The History of Eyebrows". Beauty Blitz. Retrieved 2016-02-02. 
  8. ^ "The History of Eyebrows". Beauty Blitz. Retrieved 2016-02-02. 
  9. ^ "Human Traits". faculty.southwest.tn.edu. Retrieved 2016-02-02.