Facial Traits

Physical traits are handed down from generation to generation. When born, most babies look like, well, every other baby. There are those rare occasions however, when, upon arriving into this world, certain physical traits are immediately identifiable with Mom or Dad. Maybe it’s the nose, or the chin or the ears that’s the dead giveaway, but it’s something extremely distinctive.

For the most part, I was blessed with the best of both my parents. I got my Mom’s legs and nose and my Dad’s hair and ears. Since both were short of stature, height never entered into that lottery – short was a given either way.

Mother Nature’s somewhat twisted sense of humor also graced me with a few less than desirable features. From my Mom, I received her round face. Even to this day, whenever I get a very short haircut, I resemble a bowling ball with hair. Not a pretty sight! As for Dad, his gift to me were his eyebrows. Yes, you read correctly, eyebrows.

Who would think that eyebrows could compete as a most hated facial feature when ears, noses and hair offer such great opportunities? Can anyone understand how a person can think about them daily? If you’re a female teenager with brows that extend from one side of your face to the other, you can and do think about them constantly! One of my Dad’s best features was his hair. People always told him that they would die for hair like his – thick, wavy and shiny. The same description could be made of his eyebrows with a little less wave and a toned-down shine. Through the magic of genetics, he gifted these to his daughter. In all fairness, it really wasn’t his fault. You see, bushy brows are a trademark of my Dad’s family. His father, his brother and both of his sisters had the same ‘unique’ brows. With the invention of tweezers, eyebrow pencils and miniature lawnmowers, all of the women were smart enough to keep theirs under control. The men, on the other hand, didn’t care and let nature take its course.

How distinctive are they? A number of years ago, my niece Lisa and her husband began their search for a larger home. One sun drenched Sunday, they went to dozens of open houses. At the last house they entered and made their way back to the kitchen where the agent was sitting. He rose immediately and greeted them warmly with a big smile and a firm handshake. Lisa stopped, stared at him and asked, “Are you related to Frank Cappiello (my Dad).” The agent’s jaw dropped and he replied, “Yes, he’s my father’s brother. How do you know him and why did you think we were related” Lisa laughed and answered, “He’s my grandfather and, though there’s a definite family resemblance, the eyebrows were the dead giveaway!”

Today, when it comes to eyebrows, anything goes – real, fake or painted on. The angle ranges from high arched to barely arched, and as for styles, there are dozens – rounded, straight, tapered, S-shaped and even, the unibrow, grace the covers of many magazines. As for the ‘bushy’ eyebrow, don’t hold your breath, they’re never going to become a fashion statement.

“Discretion is being able to raise your eyebrow instead of your voice.” Anonymous

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