The Evolution of Asian Eyebrows: A (Dia)critical Contemplation, by Jana J. Monji

by Jana J. Monji
January 3, 2013

After watching “Cloud Atlas” and reading the many comments posted on Roger Ebert’s Facebook page, I found myself reflecting on circumflexion and the evolution of the yellowface East Asian eyebrows in cinema, particularly in regards to men. As a former copy editor, I developed this into a diacritical reflection on circumflexion.

I don’t know about you, but I’m have so little body hair that I don’t need to shave my legs, I never worry about waxing my moustache and my eyebrows are so thin I pencil them in. If I didn’t my eyebrows would be little more than en dashes over my eyes. Diacritically speaking, my eyebrows and eyes could be represented as a inverted semi-colon.

I know many East Asian guys who can’t grow more than a dirty-lip look facial hair and should wax and tweeze instead of shave. Their eyebrows might be more like an em dash. This isn’t how East Asian male eyebrows are drawn in for yellowface.

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