The days of keeping women’s meticulous beauty routines secret may be behind us – but most straight, cis men still never bothered to learn how eyebrows work. If you’ve got a guy in your life who will make a show out of not knowing what eyeliner is even though it’s like, what does it sound like? then you’ve probably also got one who doesn’t know a single goddamn thing about eyebrows. This ignorance can be frustrating, but before you condemn him, give him a chance. Here’s how:
Explain that eyebrows can be controlled and acted upon by humans.
If he’s cis and straight and a man, then he’s likely internalized the idea that God made him exactly how he is supposed to be. Such blissful embodiment makes it hard for them to recognize that the human form, eyebrows included, can be acted upon. Remember: Men will think that a woman with a full beat minus any brightly colored lipstick or eye shadow is not wearing makeup, and then get mad at women for “tricking” them. This is to say, introducing them to the concept of eyebrows will likely take longer than you expect.
Provide eyebrow-specific examples.
Show the straight man some photographs of eyebrows throughout history. Do the high, drawn-on eyebrows of silent film actresses look the same as the eyebrows from early 2000s reality TV? How are those similar or different to that of Cara Delevigne? If he can identify them as different from one another, he’s off to a solid start. Now you can begin to explain that they are different on purpose because of choices such as plucking, waxing, threading, microblading, penciling, brushing, and Instagram filters. He will claim to not understand why anyone would do any of that, but if he looks like he’s thinking, keep trying.
If he’s still lost, it’s time to call it a day. He either genuinely can’t get eyebrows, or he’s pretending not to because he’s afraid he will lose his ability to become president or a firefighter if anyone finds out he knows what Boy Brow is. This is not your burden. You’ve done all you could.
So you either did or didn’t explain eyebrows to a straight man. Either way, you’ve done more than enough. Go do a coconut oil mask on those brows and take a nap. You earned it.