Planet China

Raised eyebrows


Humayun’s tomb in Delhi is famous not only for its beautiful architecture, but also for the fact that one of the key structures is dedicated to the favourite barber of the Mughal Emperor. The monarch was said to have a lot of trust in the man who specialised not only in sprucing up his looks but also for his loyalty (after all, only a rare few were allowed to come close to an emperor wielding scissors). In modern China, trust in hairdressers has plummeted after news went viral online of a man in Zhengzhou called Yang who was referred to a beauty parlour by a lady who’d previously cut his hair. There he was told his eyebrows needed work and in spite of an initial refusal the doctorate degree-holder was berated by staff into having the work done.

It was what happened next that grabbed netizen attention. He was charged Rmb119,800 ($17,280) and although he initially refused to pay – the sum amounted to almost all his savings – he was eventually so scared by the threats made by salon staff he relented. Online commentators have said the procedure made him look like Crayon Shin-chan, a Japanese cartoon character most notable for his thick eyebrows (see photo). Now that the media has taken up his case, there is hope he might get some sort of refund for eyebrow work he neither likes nor wanted in the first place.

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