Monday, February 8, 2010

A Cosmetic Observation and Question

By Father Tony

The blurring of the boundaries between the cosmetic provinces of men and women continues and is evidenced in hair color, body shaving, moisturizing, nail finish and eyebrow treatment.  The markers of heterosexuality in the male are migrating and morphing. Straight men carry bags. Straight men trim their pubic hair (a disorienting development when one considers the fact that in health club showers across the country, a neatly clipped crotch used to be an absolute indicator that the man under the adjacent spray was gay.)

I want to focus on the matter of eyebrows. It seems to have become acceptable for men to shape or make-up their eyebrows. It's no longer an element of cross-dressing or an indicator of feminization. It seems that men are simply giving themselves more license to have fun with their appearance. The fear of recriminations is evaporating as more men paint their toe nails, choose hair color that goes far beyond killing the gray and acquire the eyebrows of Liz Taylor's Cleopatra. Is this the child of metrosexuality?

Here's the question. Where will this lead? Most women don't like to admit that the make-up they use for the workplace is largely applied for the benefit of their own mirror and for the inspection of their female coworkers. It's not to trap a mate. If men grow comfortable with cosmetic applications that are not indicators of drag or sexual orientation will they too become addicted to participation in a multi-billion dollar cosmetic industry and an addiction to maintaining a public face that never appears without paint?

I recently studied a photo of autistic genius Temple Grandin whose "real" face is so refreshing in its direct communication. I'm glad we can all feel free to be artistic with our features but I hope this new freedom is not a slippery slope toward the cosmetic addiction supported by the working women of America. Men beware. (photo Evan Agostin/AP)

Anyway, these things came to mind as I viewed a photo (by QNY's Dr. Jeff) of HRC's Bryan Parsons (a handsome New Yorker, as if I need to mention it). I've also provided his professional Ernst & Young headshot. Did the invitation to to the HRC gala say "Black tie and eyebrows"?


  1. The only thing that comes to mind when you say "men, eyebrows, and waxing" is J.D. Daper from NYC's local ABC (I think) station. Dude had some serious eyebrow issues going on. Not only do I think undone they'd probably take over his face but they have them so man-scaped that it looks like he's wearing eye shadow beneath them.

    I actually feel sorry for him because I think it's a lose/lose situation either way.

  2. Totally got it wrong. It's Jay Dedapper from NBC.

  3. Hold your eyebrow pencil at an angle that runs from the outside edge of your nose past the outside edge of your eye. That is where your brow should stop, narrowing to a faded point. Mr. Parsons could pull it off with a little less brow.

  4. It's about choice. You be you. Sometimes I feel like a nut....sometimes I don't. What ever!