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As Asians, most of us are born with sparse, barely-there brows, and it is no secret that many of us wouldn’t be caught dead without at least filling in our eyebrows.

After all, nobody wants to look sick and lifeless at too-early-to-be-up o’clock in the morning even if you actually do feel like that, on the inside. (but shh, that’s between you and us!)

So it’s only too natural for us sparsed-browed gals to look up to the bushy-browed goddesses like Cara Delevingne, Emma Watson, and the entire Kardashian-Jenner clan in absolute awe, and penciling in our brows with the due dilligence required.

But hey, for ye bushy-browed blessed folk, don’t go feeling too smug yet, because according to a recent study published in the name of science, your beautiful, painstakingly manicured, pencilled in brows is a sign that you’re just a big ol’ narcissist in the hiding.

And yes, this includes those with naturally thin brows. In other words, the ones whose brows are made of eyebrow pomades and brow pencils and lies upon lies.

(Just kidding, keep rocking ’em brows!)

But hey, before you blame us and go on the defensive – blame the guys at the University of Toronto who came up with this study!

So what is a narcissist?

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According to the ever-reliable Google, a narcissist is a person who is initially charming and inviting, but extremely selfish, with a grandiose view of one’s talents and craving for admiration. They often engage in negative interpersonal behaviours for their own gain, like lying or manipulation.

In other words, the ultimate red flag as to who you would never, ever want to catch yourself in a relationship, then.

Are you sure you’re not just jealous?

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Since past research has found that people can judge others’ narcissism from appearance alone, the scientists from the University of Toronto came to the conclusion that they could zoom in on specific facial features, such as the eyebrows.

They then correlated it to the distinctiveness of the eyebrows, such as its thickness and density, and grooming of the brows.

The researchers initially had the first set of participants take headshots, and subsequently, had them fill in the Narcissistic Personality Inventory, a standardised test to evaluate self-centredness.

Participants were asked how much they agreed statements such as “If I ruled the world it would be a better place.”

After cropping the photos so that only the eyebrows were visible, the researchers showed the image to another group of people, and what do you know – turns out they were correctly able to identify the narcissists just based on their bushy brows!

“We found that people could accurately judge others’ narcissism from the upper half of the face — more specifically, the eyebrows alone,” Dr. Giacomin, a researcher at University of Toronto said.

The researchers then decided to take the experiment up a notch, and photoshopped the narcissists’ thicker brows onto non-narcissistic people, and voila, the participants’ perception of the non-narcissistic people changed – and just solely based on the change in eyebrows!

So what gives?

As to why narcissists share a penchant for bold, distinctive brows, Dr. Giacomin explained: “Eyebrows facilitate facial recognition, and because narcissists love attention and admiration, they may maintain distinct eyebrows so that they are noticed, recognised, and remembered.”

“In addition, thick brows are trendy now. This increases their likeability and reinforces their overly positive self-views.”

The takeaway

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The takeaway from this research? The saying “the eyes are the windows to your soul” should be replaced with “brows”, pronto. If you’re looking to be the next Maria Theresa, thinning your brows isn’t really going to help your case either.

“Previous research has also found that plucked eyebrows are also linked to greater narcissism,” Dr. Giacomin said.

So really, you can’t win, no matter how you choose to groom your brows.

We’d say just embrace your bad self, and continue to captivate the world with your thick, luscious arches – and if people think you’re a narcissist just based on that, to the hell with them, right?