Studies show that faces without eyebrows are like land without landmarks: remove or drastically alter them, and the face behind them becomes harder to identify. Emotions become harder to identify without eyebrows too. Without the visual cue of a quizzically raised brow or tight furrow, there aren’t many facial cues to go off.
Take a look at these two famous faces:
Any ideas who they might be?
What about now?
Yep, that’s former US President Richard Nixon and actress Winona Ryder.
If you found the faces harder to identify when the eyebrows were removed, you’re not alone. A study conducted by MIT behavioral neuroscientist Javid Sadr and his colleagues back in 2011 found those hairy little caterpillars on our foreheads play an important role in facial identification.
During the study, participants were asked to identify fifty famous faces, using photos (just like those above) that had been digitally altered to display those faces either without eyebrows or without eyes.
When celebrities lacked eyes, subjects could recognize them nearly 60 percent of the time. However, when celebrities lacked eyebrows, that figure of recognition dropped to 46%.
Sadr and his colleagues concluded that faces without eyebrows are like land without landmarks: remove or drastically alter them, and the face behind them becomes harder to identify.
Emotions become harder to identify without eyebrows too. Without the visual cue of a quizzically raised brow or tight furrow, there aren’t many facial cues to go off.
Why am I talking about eyebrows?
Because niche studies and skilled photoshopping aren’t the only reasons eyebrows go missing--
There’s also that cancer treatment called chemotherapy.
Which is why, earlier this month, I went on a mission to give women who went through chemo their brows back.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and I’ve been busy honoring that in different ways.
On the 15th, I held an event in partnership with the wonderful Brows By Milly to provide free microblading to women experiencing hair loss during or after chemotherapy. It was called Brows Speak Louder than Words, and it was amazing.
Partnering with Milly for the event was a no-brainer. After her mom was diagnosed with cancer in 2008, Milly wanted to find a permanent solution to the hair loss her mom was experiencing as a result of her treatment.
As a result, Milly became the first microblading artist in Atlanta, and now has clients who travel from all over the world to work with her.
How’s that for using cancer as a catalyst for meaningful life change!
Here she is working her magic on the lovely Lara.
And here’s the finished product. Look at those brows!
Here’s the whole gang, including Jessica and Lara who were the lucky microblading recipients.
As well as saving them $700 each (the full cost of the treatment), this event allowed Milly and me to help these two incredible women look better, feel better, and reclaim their identity--
Something you and I both know cancer can easily take away from us.
Brows Speak Louder than Words was about making meaning and creating change through cancer, which is exactly what Truth & Dare Cancer is all about. If you’re looking for a way to use your cancer as a powerful catalyst for change, let’s get on a brief call and explore how we can achieve that together. To book a free call, click here.