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My lashes are quite adequate, thank you.

About a half dozen TV shows have premiered over the past week and, lacking television service, I’ve spent some time watching videos on Hulu. One of the primary commercials in rotation, targeting the female demographic, is for Latisse, an “eyelash growth enhancer” for, as they put it in the commercial, “inadequate…lashes.” To me adequacy implies purpose, and therefore inadequate lashes are failing at their purpose:

Eyelashes protect the eye from debris and perform some of the same function as whiskers do on a cat or a mouse in the sense that they are sensitive to being touched, thus providing a warning that an object (such as an insect or dust mite) is near the eye (which is then closed reflexively).

Let’s be honest, Latisse isn’t really for poorly functioning eyelashes. It’s to make better looking eyelashes. And that’s fine. Many women have weenie eyelashes and spend a goodly amount of time putting gunk on them or gluing new ones on. I’ve never had this problem. In fact, to some degree, I have the opposite problem. My eyelashes and by extension eyebrows are dark and prodigious.

But I worry a little about what is perceived as “inadequate.” Though far from being possible, what if prospective parents *could* choose what their kids look like? Would we start tending toward blond and brunette with thick dark eyelashes and perfect features? If my parents had a choice, would I be a red-head? Would Tilda Swinton‘s parents have chosen darker eyes, eye lashes and brows? Would have Adrien Brody‘s parents decided on smaller nose? And would it really matter? Swinton and Brody would most likely still be fine actors (and maybe more mainstream with more even features), and I would have been spared Little Orphan Annie jokes. Or maybe those things build character. Hard to know.

At this point in my life, I wouldn’t trade my curly red hair or sticky-out ears or slightly beaky nose. Besides, as a writer, just think of how many adjectives I’d loose if we all started looking alike.