Sunday, May 06, 2018

House of lashes

A couple of years ago, I was in discomfort after a routine eye exam at the optometrist.  As if something was poking my eyes.

I went back to the optometrist. The guy (yes, a guy) looked at my eyes again.  He decided that maybe I needed polarized lenses.

The annoying poking never went away.

I figured I needed a real doctor, not these fake "doctors" of optometry.  I went to an ophthalmologist.

I had barely finished explaining my problem to her (yes, a woman) when she figured out what it was.  "You have two eyelashes curving inward and they are poking your eye.  I will pluck those two and you will be fine."

She picked up a tweezer and plucked them.  "If it happens again, go to a beauty shop. It will be much cheaper," she joked.

The problems that I have to deal with because of my long and beautiful eyelashes! ;)

Why do we have eyelashes?
Some scientists believe that if eyelashes even have any real function, it’s to diffuse airflow that might threaten to dry out the eyeball, and that their length is generally determined in relation to the size of the eyeball itself rather than the gender of the mammal they belong to.
But, keep in mind that anytime we talk about hair, there are gender and beauty ramifications.  It is one thing for me to walk around with facial hair, but a bearded woman is, well, out of the ordinary, to say the least.  As mammals men and women have hair, yes.  But, all hair is not created equal.

Even though both men and women have eyelashes, they have increasingly become a thing of beauty for women.  But, we shouldn't fool ourselves to blaming Cosmo for this!
The earliest documented efforts to emphasize the eyelashes date back to as early as 4,000 B.C.; if you’ve ever watched any movie or TV show set in ancient Egypt, you’ll know all too well that in certain regions, eye makeup was worn on the lids, brows, and lashes of wealthy and royal men, women, and children. (It was used sometimes as a cosmetic, and other times for religious purposes like warding off evil spirits, though in 2010, researchers found it may have also inadvertently served some medicinal purposes.) Fast-forward to today, though, and products like mascara, false eyelashes, eyelash extensions, and lash-growth serums — both over-the-counter and prescription — are marketed almost exclusively to women. According to a 2017 Washington Post story, “99.9 percent” of leading false-eyelash manufacturer Ardell’s sales are to women (and those sales saw a dramatic 30 percent spike from 2016 to 2017). Drag queens, in turn, often say their oversize false lashes are a key part of their look.  
So, why the femme eyelash fetish?
For one thing, the eyes and mouth are more reliable “attraction magnets” on the face of a woman than that of a man, says Marianne LaFrance, professor of psychology and gender and sexuality studies at Yale. “What eyelashes do is like what lipstick does, and eyelashes may actually even do it more: They draw a contrast between the eye itself and the eyelid, like lipstick draws attention to the contrast between the lips and the surrounding area.” Attractiveness indicators in men, she says — facial features whose larger size and more striking definition suggest a man possesses traditionally “masculine” qualities, like confidence and assertiveness — are more likely to be the eyebrows and jawline. Emphasizing the eyes and mouth, then, by contrast, diverts attention away from these qualities that might suggest a female face looks masculine.
Hmmm ... if eyebrows and jawline are the facial masculine qualities ... Too bad you can't see my fluttering eyelashes as I wonder if that is also a reason why most men don't sport a beard even if they can?


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