London - It used to be something to avoid – but being lowbrow has become rather fashionable.
A study has found that women’s eyebrows are being plucked and pencilled to sit closer to the eyes than they did in decades gone by.
Researchers have suggested that working women are subconsciously sculpting their eyebrows into the more masculine shape.
The conclusions come from US surgeons who examined the features of models and actresses in fashion magazines dating back to 1946, using callipers and rulers to measure the fine details of their eyebrows. The study found that for many years high, arched pairs were popular. The style, which was thought to make women look younger, peaked in the mid-1960s.
Nowadays, the University of Southern California team says stars’ eyebrows are lower and flatter. In a look exhibited by actress Demi Moore, the highest points have also moved outwards, away from the nose.
“According to fashion magazines, the ideal youthful female eyebrow is gradually becoming lower and flatter than it used to be, making it less different [from] the male eyebrow,” the team stated. “This is, in part, a response to increasing parity between men and women in the workplace.”
“With the eyebrow shape alone less able to convey femininity, the fullness or luminance [ability to reflect light] of the female brow may become increasingly important.”
The researchers said the modern look of lower, straighter brows was particularly beneficial for those with long faces as it avoids adding to the impression of length.
The study, reported in the journal Clinical Plastic Surgery, was conducted to help surgeons carry out forehead lifts.
It found that a woman’s eyebrows rarely match, with the right one often more steeply angled. This could be because most are right-handed.
Mark Soldin, a spokesman for the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons and a consultant plastic surgeon at St George's and Kingston hospitals, told the Independent: “Upward curvature of the eyebrows was considered to be an attractive feminine feature in the past.
“We are finding that more and more women are looking for a flatter, straighter, more masculine look.
“I think it has to do with the increasing equality of the sexes.” - Daily Mail