It's a well-worn, time-tested observation that war changes men. Indeed, The Wall Street Journal reports, it's apparently transforming some soldiers in Shinwar, Afghanistan into vain creatures obsessed with their own eyebrows. A handful of men stationed at the U.S. Calvary base near the Pakistan border have taken to visiting the local barber for more than a crew-cut. They're also getting their brows shaved or threaded into precisely sculpted arches. "They're straight guys — just a little metrosexual," says Spc. Rene Ruiz, who maintains a bushy, natural look but has brow-scaping comrades who also shave their legs and arms to better showcase their tattoos. Inevitably, this new trend in "combat chic" has commentators cracking wise:
It's about time
"I don't know about you, but if there's one beef I've long had with the military, it’s that their eyebrows are an absolute unruly mess," says Jessica Pauline Ogilvie at The Gloss.
One of the men in the story couldn't make it through a threading session, notes Justin Fenner at Stylelite. Hmmm... "call us crass for saying so, but if you can't handle the pain of a grooming technique women all over the world have done on a regular basis, maybe the infantry isn't the right gig for you."
Let's get this straight
With the men in the article repeatedly emphasizing that they're all heterosexual, this all seems very "don't ask, don't tell — about eyebrows!" quips Hamilton Nolan at Gawker. But, I have to wonder: "Is America's metrosexual Army going to be able to endure the harsh skin-drying effects of the Middle Eastern climate?"
Putting on a brave face
"Bravery comes in many forms," says Katy Steinmetz at TIME. "Sometimes it's charging to the front lines, and sometimes it's taking a hard line on facial grooming."
We don't know how far this goes
"The camp is rife with unconfirmed rumors of waxing," says Michael M. Phillips in The Wall Street Journal.
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