Eyebrows

Be “warned”—for better or for worse, this is one of my more jocular posts.  I’ve been having a minor dilemma lately.  About what, you ask?  See the title of this post: eyebrows.  Seemingly random, I know.  But let me explain.  Most people have these little patches of hairs above their eyes, and they’re considered a pretty mundane, normal, and necessary thing.  I’ve always been a bit obsessive about my eyebrows, plucking here and there until I deemed no hair was out of place.  They were never something I thought about in relation to transitioning, and once I decided to start transitioning, I started to try to butch them up a bit.  You know, so they didn’t look quite like this anymore:

It wasn’t until my mom made a comment about my eyebrows a few months ago that I realized I probably needed to pay some attention to them during my transition.  When I first came out to her with my decision to transition, I remember her clearly exclaiming over the phone, “But you have girl eyebrows!”  I laughed and shook my head, surprised that that was what first popped into her head.  As if I would look in the mirror, realize that I have “girl eyebrows” and think, “oh my god, I can’t transition now!”  I figured that I would just let them grow into a less groomed, more manly state, and if the current shape of my eyebrows is one of my bigger transition-related concerns, then my transition will be a piece of cake.

I’ve been trying to let my eyebrows grow, and it’s stressing me out.  Such a silly thing to be stressed over, but I can’t be a man with perfectly groomed thin “female” eyebrows!  The real issue is that I’m not sure what my eyebrows are supposed to look like.  Do I let them grow haphazardly with stray hairs poking every which way?  I never think they’ll get to be bushy (thankfully!), like this:

But, I have no idea what they’re supposed to look like.  I know, I know, you’re probably thinking that I’m way over-thinking this (and I am, I can admit that), but even Alex has told me that I have very feminine eyebrows.  I know my ability to pass after top surgery will by no means be dependent on what my eyebrows look like, but I wouldn’t put it past myself to be absolutely convinced that people are still mistaking me for female (or worse, they can’t make out exactly what I am) because of my lack of out-of-control ‘brows.  What exactly are man eyebrows supposed to look like?  I’ve found myself studying men’s faces as of late, hoping they don’t get creeped out by my searching eyes.

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Lastly, off subject, a little PSA/plug for myself: I have created a new twitter account to go with this blog (instead of my other personal one), so if any of you out there are on twitter, I encourage you to check out my twitter feed and follow me if you like!

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Posted on October 8, 2011, in General transition thoughts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. Only you lovey! 🙂 I hope you take some time to appreciate that it is tres cool that you are letting yourself focus on the finer details of all this. Experiment! Try early Brooke Shields, then maybe that one designer on this season’s Project Runway ( you know, the one with the eyebrows), then maybe George Clooney. I’ve aleays liked Steve Buscemi actually…don’t knock it until you try it!

  2. I don’t think most men pluck their brows at all, regardless of how many hairs look haphazard. If I were you, I would just let them grow – but then again, it is what I do, so I could be biased. You can always pluck them back out if you don’t like the way they grow…

    • That’s what I’ve been doing so far…but once the T makes me super hairy, I might have to do some minor housekeeping there 🙂

      • yeah i agree with southcarolinaboy. The only guys I know who need to pluck their eyebrows are those who have a unibrow :P…. and they just make sure their eyebrows arent connecting heh. You should be fine. and in the end if you dont like them then you can always pluck em.

  3. I have spent some time worrying about my eyebrows as well. I don’t actually really care much about my eyebrows, but I did spend some time wondering whether guys normally do something about their eyebrows. Pretty much the most I do is straighten them out if they’re going in a lot of different directions, but that’s only when I happen to notice them, which is rare.

    It’s always interesting to hear what particular aspect of transitioning gives someone pause, because there are often things you would have never thought to worry about. I do think I’ve spent more time thinking about my eyebrows since beginning transition than I did pre-transition (excluding arguing with my mother about not wanting to fix my eyebrows).

    Anyway, I am sure you are a long way from looking like the guy whose photo you posted. Though those are some impressive eyebrows…

  4. Hey! I have never plucked my eyebrows. I think they are just fine! Nobody’s looking at your eyebrows. 😉

  5. I like your eyebrows, JBB! They are rather feminine now, though. Perhaps wait to see how hairy you get? Or I can shape them–I have the perfect eyebrows 🙂

    • They are SO not feminine right now. I feel like you’re insulting the manhood that I don’t quite yet have ;-). And you are not touching them, your eyebrows are, um…not quite my style 🙂

  6. Your blog is really great! I hope mine catches up to yours one day- but I have a long way to go..Keep going and stay positive. I watched your video and you have lovely skin..one spot..damn lucky..!! I look forward to your posts..:]

  7. Oh my gosh, I *so* know what you mean about the eyebrow thing. I’ve been considering writing a post about it myself, actually. My eyebrows are definitely getting better now, but I’ve had some real issues in the past because I have such bad habits regarding plucking them (I don’t like have the little stray hairs that look messy) and just picking at them when I’m nervous / stressed / bored. My mom and a friend both commented that they’re feminine-looking this summer, and then I figured I really should try to stop bothering them. One comment about cismale people who appear to groom their eyebrows: Joshua from this season of Project Runway — he has impeccably groomed eyebrows (odd as that may sound).

    • Yes! I hate those little stray hairs! But I have a feeling that for me, as a “man,” I’m just going to have to let some of them be. Joshua’s eyebrows are pretty impressive though.

  8. ZOMG! I loved this entry. Sometimes we need the lighter topic. 🙂

    Guys eyebrows are really….just….there. Of course, I shape mine and have very thin eyebrows, but they really are, for “regular” guys, just there.

    My dad is a manly man with a sensitive side. He’s a good soul. He trims his eyebrows. They aren’t shaped, but they are kept under control. He laughs when he sees other guys with eyebrows like the gentleman in your post. One of the easiest things to do is to observe the eyebrows of others and use them as a template. And to keep them in check, as to not become bushy, use one of those little trimmers you can find at all stores. They have a little attachment that allows you to “comb” your eyebrows as the trimmer does it’s job. They actually work quite well.

    Also, keep in mind, that with the metrosexual crowd, there are some feminine eyebrows on men and nobody seems to say a thing about it. 🙂

  9. This is really interesting. I identify as female (on the female end of the gender spectrum anyway) and as a tomboy, and it’s always been really important to me to have thick eyebrows. It was a matter of principle with me never to pluck or shape them, even though I came under quite a lot of pressure to do so when I was a teeager. My eyebrows were like this little site of gender resistance that I hung onto after I gave into pressure to shave my legs and armpits. I’ve always wished my eyebrows were thicker – early PJ Harvey is what I’d really like to go for! Gender is a funny thing sometimes.

    • Interesting, for me it was the total opposite. Before I identified and came out as trans, I identified as a cis lesbian, and even though I always thought I was an obvious butch lesbian, I think I plucked my eyebrows to such an extent to hang on to that tiny bit of femininity that I didn’t really have but craved so badly. Now that I’m feeling much more at ease in my own skin since coming out, letting my eyebrows grow is actually quite a relief.

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