A new beauty trend walks among us, and it requires the removal of your most prominent facial feature. Trendsetters are saying bye bye to their brows as the so called alien look arrives back on the scene. This otherworldly aesthetic of eyebrow bleaching or covering your brows with makeup is the new rebellious statement look that sees influence from queens (both royal and drag) past.
The eyebrow has seen many transformations throughout history but the idea of a browless beauty eventually was always contested by modernization. In the past, the idea of an extended forehead was considered a beauty standard. During the 8th century, Chinese and Japanese noblewoman adopted a eyebrow shaving technique called hikimayu–hiki. Similarly in the late 15th century, Elizabeth I popularized high hairlines as a sign of aristocracy. Women followed suit by plucking their brows and hair lines to achieve this expanded forehead look. By the 18th century the trend was abandoned and a full brow was preferred. It’s reported that even artists during this time went back and painted back eyebrows on the balded portraits. Even with the ’90s era of over plucked brows, having a defined arch has remained the modern beauty standard.
The desire for women to appear “natural” is a makeup standard that Western culture has traditionally maintained. There is an outdated stigma that if you want to fit into society you need to look normal. Back in 2018, this ideal was completely disrupted with the arrival of alien makeup mogul @matieresfecales. Fecal Matter along with a small subculture of individuals incorporated non-human elements like fleshy horn prosthetics, reptilian eyes, and an exaggerated extended hairline into their daily routines.
In a report by WGSN the alien look signified a “rebellious attitude towards quintessential beauty norms.” While this wouldn’t be the first time beauty was used as a medium to rattle the public. The punk rock trend in the ’80s is a prime example of how society has teetered on the concept of normalizing traditionally weird and ugly alternative looks. For the first time, the alien look used complete body modifications and photoshop to represent glamour. In a time where the market was saturated with the dewy, barely there look popularized by Glossier and Kardashian contour palettes, this extreme and shocking look immediately transformed the meaning of not only beauty but what it means to be human. By using an extraterrestrial life form as inspiration, makeup artists and drag queens were able to challenge what conventional appearances entailed.
The alien look emerged from communities who felt like they themselves were aliens. Women, the trans and queer community, and people of color have long dealt with feeling alienated by society, often experiencing oppression from how they choose to identify. This beauty statement, of essentially transcending anatomy, for some signified a form of rebellion and escapism from the heteronormative gaze they’re lives were saturated with. Thus creating a sector of Non-binary beauty that brought light to diversity and inclusion for unique identities, genders and personas in the mainstream media. Many industries however were hesitant to adopt this trend. Rick Owens was one of the only designers to go to the extremes of this makeup look for his Fall/Winter 2019 Ready-to-Wear show. Not only was this look hard to replicate but the trend lacked the widespread audience of adopters. That is until now.
Recently alien beauty has re-emerged in a far less extreme but still meaningful way. By removing the eyebrows and playing with makeup, many have found they can still achieve the Non-binary essence of alien beauty while making it suitable for everyday wear. This far less scary approach to the aesthetic has allowed for the trend to trickle into both the mainstream media and designer brands.
For those interested in a more subtle but still striking look, many have opted to remove all the frills and just keep the disappearing brow. To be fair, loosing a common human feature pretty much is all the statement you need.
High fashion certainly has adopted this no brow look with runway shows and ad campaigns regularly experimenting with this avant-garde look. An artistic choice that signifies a representation for those originally deemed unconventional. Some artists that can be credited towards this acceptance include model Jazzelle Zanaughtti aka @uglyworldwide and photographers Nadia Lee Cohen and Petra Collins.
After being discovered through Instagram, Zanaughtti rose to fame as her eccentric look captivated audiences. Having worked for some of the biggest names in fashion, the latest being Marc Jacobs, Area, and Savage X Fenty, her shaven style allowed for the rules for typical model appearances to be re-written and has cleared a path for others previously deemed outcasts of society. A theme also embraced by Cohen and Collins. Often depicting terrestrial type beings in their work, the famed photographers, don’t let conventional beauty standards get in their way. With the help of non human prosthetics, both artists create idealized worlds centered on difference and individuality.
The influence of alien beauty has definitely been recognized as social media users continue to share images of their newly bleached or shaven brows. By implementing this editorial look into their everyday lives, trendsetters have found a way to express their confidence in a new way. Along with providing a non verbal commentary to any onlookers, many experience the personality shift that comes a long with it. There’s no doubt about it that the world has experienced dreary days within the past year. With a virus outbreak and climate change rampaging the Earth, who wouldn’t want to idolize other planets and begin a dehumanization process.
The 2018 alien personalities certainly aided in making a society a more open minded place. One that is more accepting of appearances and unconventional uses of makeup. While some have adopted this trend following suit to some of their favorite influencers, the undertones of gender and personality acceptance still remain. Whether you decide to get rid of your brows to embrace your true identity or to simply experiment with your look, we say beam us up.END
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createdAt:Thu, 18 Feb 2021 15:00:01 +0000
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