The first two posters of Padmavati are out and with that, we couldn’t help but take note of Deepika Padukone’s stunning transformation as Rajput Queen Padmavati. Amidst the royal attire of lehenga and the jewelry what stood out was Deepika’s daring attempt at sporting a unibrow. It might just be for the first time ever that an Indian actress has put on a unibrow for a character. Kajol, of course, has a natural unibrow and on more than one occasion she has said that doing her eyebrows or plucking them has been a painful experience hence she chose to leave them undone.

 

In Hollywood too, we have the famous Salma Hayek who got into the role of world-renowned artist Frida Kahlo. Hayek carried the unibrow look with panache in the 2002 film title ‘Frida’. The film also went on to win the BAFTA and Golden Globe for Best Hair and Makeup.

But if we take a look at the history of unibrow and its significance in various cultures, one thing that stands out is that it has always been a symbol of purity.

Ancient Greece and Rome

In both Ancient Greek and Roman cultures, unibrows were prized as beautiful, desirable features worn by the most intelligent and lusted-after women. The Greeks held purity as precious, so women often left their unibrows untouched. Eyebrows were also part of the Romans’ elaborate beauty rituals, and like the Greeks, they preferred a unibrow.

Tajikistan

In Tajikistan, a unibrow is viewed as an attractive quality in both men and women. For women, it is associated with virginity and purity and, in men, virility. If there is no unibrow present, or if it is weak, it is commonplace for women to use a kohl liner or a modern kajal pen to simulate a unibrow.

Iran

During the Qajar dynasty in Iran (1785-1925), connected brows were considered beautiful. Persian poetry praised the abrou-ye peyvasteh or “continuous eyebrow”, in men and women alike.

Coming back to the film, it is based on the real-life Rajput Queen in the 13-14th century named Padmavati (played by Deepika Padukone). The queen was known for her beauty and grace and hence was brought to Chittor by its then King, Ratan Sen (Played by Shahid Kapoor) and subsequently married her too. Alauddin Khilji (Played by Ranveer Singh) too had heard about Padmavati’s beauty and went on to attack Chittor to obtain her. Before that could happen Padmavati and her companions performed Jauhar (self-immolation) to retain their honor. Hence the detailing by Bhansali of the unibrow that signifies beauty and purity is an example of his love and dedication to his art.

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