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Celebs With No Eyebrows
November 6, 2011 2:06 PM   Subscribe

Celebs With No Eyebrows

A 2002 study from MIT on the role of eyebrows in face recognition (pdf) found that subjects were able to recognize a celebrity 46% of the time with their eyebrows edited out, compared to 60% of the time with their eyes edited out.
posted by cosmic osmo (61 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
This study is simply an excuse to juxtapose Demi Moore with some monkeys.
posted by tigrefacile at 2:12 PM on November 6, 2011


Thanks for the nightmares, man.
posted by flyingsquirrel at 2:14 PM on November 6, 2011


Wasn't there a Billy Idol song about this?
posted by punkfloyd at 2:15 PM on November 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


This was merely background amusing until I got to the Marilyn Mason entry, and then I laughed at loud.
posted by hippybear at 2:18 PM on November 6, 2011 [10 favorites]


So my grandpa-style bushy wild eyebrows are actually a win! Cool!
posted by five fresh fish at 2:22 PM on November 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Who knew that eyebrows were the only thing separating Drake and Ron Perlman?
posted by yellowbinder at 2:22 PM on November 6, 2011


I couldn't get past George Lucas.
posted by Diablevert at 2:24 PM on November 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Could've done without the childish animation on the Monica Lewinsky pic.
posted by hermitosis at 2:25 PM on November 6, 2011 [23 favorites]


I think George Lucas should be made to go like that for six months every time he decides to screw with Star Wars or Indy (or Loom or...)
posted by oneironaut at 2:28 PM on November 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Most to me looked a little creepy, but some of them, like Jay-Z and Pam Anderson, it made no difference. Some people actually looked better without them. Steve Buscemi, surprisingly, I thought looked better without them. Nicholson looks creepy either way, though.

NY1 staple George Whipple! He'd be nothing without his massive brows. But no Andy Rooney?

Without brows, too, I noticed that I could see folks' facial symmetry a lot better, and a lot of these people need their brows.
posted by droplet at 2:29 PM on November 6, 2011


Interesting how Jennifer Connolly looks unrecognizable without them.
posted by jimmythefish at 2:29 PM on November 6, 2011 [6 favorites]


All celebrities are completely hairless. They put the eyebrows on during editing to make sure the actors make the right facial expressions.
-Gandhi. "Plane Crazy: Gate Expectations", Clone High
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 2:29 PM on November 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


I scrolled down and everything was fine (if a little creepy) until I got to Jennifer Connolly.

"Well," said my brain, "that first picture is Jennifer Connolly, but that second picture is a totally different lady posing the same way."

"No, brain," I said, "don't you see that that's just her? Without eyebrows?"

"That's where you're wrong," said my brain. "That's an entirely different lady."

I could not convince my brain otherwise. Still can't.
posted by ourobouros at 2:34 PM on November 6, 2011 [8 favorites]


uncle Leo approves
posted by ninjew at 2:34 PM on November 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


I dunno, in a lot of them it just seems that the top portion of the eyesocket itself is gone, giving the whole brow a weird slope. The ones that keep the depth don't look nearly so weird.

Compare:

Only eyebrow is gone.
Eyebrow and most of the brow bone shape.
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 2:35 PM on November 6, 2011 [10 favorites]


Gaddafi does not fare well brow-less.
posted by modernserf at 2:37 PM on November 6, 2011


I've seen this kind of thing before, and it actually seemed even weirder. I think part of it is that often times the eyebrows cover up the ridge of your skull's eyehole... whatever you call that. A lot of times when people remove the eyebrow they just put in this flat patch of skin, that looks weird because that's not really how heads are shaped. this one of The Rock, and this one of whoever that is are examples where the resulting picture doesn't show someone with a properly shaped head. so does this one

On the other hand, when you have the shadows right, it doesn't look as weird. So for example this one or this one
posted by delmoi at 2:37 PM on November 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


No one's snuck in a picture of Matt Lucas?

(Fuck you Firefox, "snuck" is to a word)
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 2:38 PM on November 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


Yeah, that confirms I basically had a crush on Jennifer Connolly's eyebrows when I was a kid, but I think I (and everyone else with a crush on them) already mostly knew that.

Some of those pics are just disturbing. Lucas looks like a manatee or some kind of unpleasantly gustatory Farscape alien, like he should be wallowing in a floating life support chariot filled with glowing blue slime while whining about his trade union duties.
posted by loquacious at 2:39 PM on November 6, 2011 [7 favorites]


I've always known that eyebrows are essential to beauty, but take a look at how underwhelmingly ordinary yet neurotic Tom Cruise looks without his.
posted by likeso at 2:41 PM on November 6, 2011


Some of those pics are just disturbing. Lucas looks like a manatee or some kind of unpleasantly gustatory Farscape alien, like he should be wallowing in a floating life support chariot filled with glowing blue slime while whining about his trade union duties.

So what you're saying is that glasses:Clark Kent:Superman as eyebrows:George Lucas:Baron Harkonnen?
posted by ourobouros at 2:45 PM on November 6, 2011


Young Morrissey - eyebrows = Matt Smith

Matt Smith - eyebrows = Matt Smith

This would suggest that Matt Smith + eyebrows = Young Morrissey, but then we're back into wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff.
posted by maudlin at 2:50 PM on November 6, 2011 [10 favorites]


I didn't realize it was possible for Mike Tyson to look any scarier.
posted by pecanpies at 2:58 PM on November 6, 2011


a. cool, fun to see how different people look
b. with Lucas they removed his beard -that's what's making him look the weirdest there IMO
c. Are those all really celebrities? I don't know who like 80% of them are.
posted by LobsterMitten at 3:01 PM on November 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


is this something i'd have to have eyebrows to understand
posted by Beardman at 3:05 PM on November 6, 2011 [6 favorites]


You fools, Lucas isn't a harkkonen. He's a floating Guild Navigator.
posted by benzenedream at 3:06 PM on November 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm reminded of Miranda Richardson and Tilda Swinton, in some cases.

Recognising features is easier with eyes because they're obviously missing. Whereas I tend to see browless people's eyelid creases as brow lines and everyone with enormous foreheads.
posted by Kaleidolia at 3:14 PM on November 6, 2011


I don't have time to go through all these on my phone...someone please tell me they did Andy Rooney.
posted by moviehawk at 3:27 PM on November 6, 2011


Lowbrow humor.
posted by twoleftfeet at 3:30 PM on November 6, 2011 [5 favorites]




1.) Some of those are just kind of bad photoshops, as Orange Pamplemousse noted -- where the brow shape and the shadows cast by the shape of the forehead are just totally removed. Those make for the absolute creepiest, I think.

2.) Before I go to sleep tonight I am going to thank god for my eyebrows.
posted by pazazygeek at 3:52 PM on November 6, 2011




Then there was that time The Replacements shaved their eyebrows and did an interview...

Too bad you can't tell.
posted by jimmythefish at 4:15 PM on November 6, 2011


Lowbrow humor.
No-brow humor.
posted by piratebowling at 4:21 PM on November 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


My 17-year-old friend normal = carded when he went to buy beer.

My 17-year-old friend shaves his eyebrows = SCORE TWO SIXERS OF 12-HORSE ALE!
posted by Ron Thanagar at 4:58 PM on November 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Daniel Radcliffe is a freakish beady-eyed alien, oh my god. Meanwhile Sarah Jessica Parker looks no different somehow.
posted by elizardbits at 4:58 PM on November 6, 2011


Obama looks like Gus Fring...
posted by a non e mouse at 5:07 PM on November 6, 2011


Jeezus, couldn't they afford a computer graphics student to do semi-competent Photoshopping for them? Or just admit that some of these would look more realistic if they just glopped paint over the eyebrows?
posted by IAmBroom at 5:30 PM on November 6, 2011


They added eyebrows to Whoppi Goldberg.
posted by eye of newt at 5:30 PM on November 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


1) This works far better when you have some idea who the people are. For example, I can (and did) rail against the defacement (de-eyebrow-ment?) of Patrick Stewart, because that did NOT work for him. But most of these people are equally recognizable to me with and without eyebrows. Which is to say not at all.

2) I always knew I was a fan of eyebrows. This only emphasizes my position. THIS is why I never let people who want to do so pluck my lush and glorious brows to pathetic, thin lines.

3) I enjoyed the one where they also removed the young lady's nipple-piercing.
posted by Because at 6:05 PM on November 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


So the lesson here is that Guy Pearce cannot be made unattractive no matter what, so don't bother trying. Correct?
posted by naoko at 6:32 PM on November 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


oh wow clone stamp + spot healing. awesome. yay everyone
posted by nathancaswell at 6:55 PM on November 6, 2011


oddly enough clooney suffered the most
posted by nathancaswell at 6:57 PM on November 6, 2011


How dare they do that to my Alison Brie. How dare they.
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:02 PM on November 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


As I've spent 53 years on earth as blond on blond and never had any visible eyebrows throughout, I'll forgive the hair loss now that they're finally turning White and growing an inch a week.. I'd be Andy Rooney with no hair if I didn't have scissors and a guide comb.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 7:44 PM on November 6, 2011


I'm stunned that they didn't do a reverse with Whoopi.
posted by Chaussette and the Pussy Cats at 8:44 PM on November 6, 2011


Lucas looks a lot like unmasked Vader in Return of the Jedi.
posted by mazola at 9:00 PM on November 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


I thought it would be about Whoopi Goldberg.
posted by calgirl at 10:08 PM on November 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


The thing about eyebrows is that it's hard to notice they're missing if the absence isn't pointed out. When you meet an eyebrowless person, they just look weird in a way you can't quite put your finger on. Maybe you'll figure it out after a minute or two, but it's not something that jumps out.

It's a pretty bizarre phenomenon, really.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:26 PM on November 6, 2011


My brain refuses to accept that that's how Sacha Baron Cohen looks without eyebrows. Terrifying.
posted by JauntyFedora at 12:03 AM on November 7, 2011


Actually, on second look, a lot of the ones that look weird have eliminated eye shading and the shape of the person's brow ridges (Or changed the size of their pupils), giving them an uncanny valley effect. Cover up the eyebrow line with your fingers to compare for reals.
posted by JauntyFedora at 12:09 AM on November 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wow, I think there must be some gene I am missing or something. I really can barely see a difference in the before and afters. Like, with a few of them, I had to scroll past, then scroll back up and squint to check that they really HAD removed the eyebrows on the second picture. If I hadn't known what I was looking for, I think I would have thought the two pics were identical.
posted by lollusc at 12:36 AM on November 7, 2011


lollusc: I'm right there with you. Most of them looked so similar to me that I had to check twice and see if the eyebrows really were missing. A few of them (i.e. Clooney) did look like different people, but most just look the same.

(Seriously, did Marilyn Manson's face change at all or is that one a joke?)

I am absolutely terrible at face recognition, though, and don't know who 90% of those people are...
posted by mmoncur at 2:33 AM on November 7, 2011


I worked with and saw Whoopi Goldberg every day for like six months, even going to her apartment, before I noticed she didn't have eyebrows. And that was only because she said something about it.
posted by nevercalm at 4:30 AM on November 7, 2011


The big difference is... Some woman's noses look bigger? Doris Day looks more openly rage-filled??? I like this kind of stuff, but eyebrows don't seem to be a big thing. (Not that I'll stop threading the fuzz from mine!)
posted by Lesser Shrew at 9:52 AM on November 7, 2011


I always wondered whatever happened to the eyebrow_thief.
posted by davelog at 9:57 AM on November 7, 2011


(Seriously, did Marilyn Manson's face change at all or is that one a joke?)

Joke.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:02 AM on November 7, 2011


I had no idea that what made George Clooney so dreamy was his eyebrows.
posted by Specklet at 10:04 AM on November 7, 2011


I must have a weird, special brain (not necessarily in a good way), because 90% of those people look exactly the same to me without eyebrows. (In the 10%--Daniel Radcliffe, Jennifer Connelly, and the cast of Jersey Shore. And creepy George Lucas. Jeepers.) Part of the creepiness comes from the bad Photoshop, though.

Someone really needs to mash up this site with Chicks with Steve Buscemeyes.
posted by Nibbly Fang at 11:29 AM on November 7, 2011


More like site with multiple xs. None of the pics show up.
posted by stormpooper at 8:33 AM on November 8, 2011


or the other way around
posted by mistersquid at 8:27 PM on November 8, 2011


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