What Does The History Of Eyebrows Tell Us About Society?

People have been doing things to their eyebrows for millennia; whether it’s plucking them, shaving them, colouring them or getting rid of them completely!

But did you know eyebrows tell us a lot about society; from perceptions of beauty to socio- economic status to even reproduction.

Today, platforms like TikTok are creating eyebrow trends – with the latest being shaving eyebrows off completely.

Celebrities like Bella Hadid, Doja Cat and Kanye West have jumped on this – influencing their fans and following to do the same.

In this episode of The Briefing, Antoinette Lattouf and makeup historian Sara Long dissect why we’re so obsessed with our eyebrows.

Ms Long said the altering of eyebrows has been documented to be done by both men and women throughout history and links to social components and not just biological.

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“There’s a huge part of eyebrow history that is connected to socioeconomic status or political power,” she said.

“Prior to the industrial revolution, most of cosmetic trends are connected to luxury or being of a higher class because of just access to certain materials. 

“So, it’s not until after the industrial revolution that more and more every socioeconomics class has access to different products to try to engage in that.”

To hear the full chat with Ms Long who takes us through the history of the eyebrow, listen to the episode of The Briefing.

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