Elizabeth Taylor's lovely lashes a 'genetic mutation'
Elizabeth Taylor was famous for her violet-coloured eyes, which were perfectly framed by thick, luscious eyelashes. But not many people know that what appeared to be the work of several generous coats of mascara was actually a genetic mutation that caused the Hollywood legend to be born with a double row of eyelashes.
Elizabeth's parents were said to be horrified when a doctor told them their baby had a "mutation", but quickly reconsidered their dismay when the physician explained how it would affect the little girl.
"Well, now that doesn't sound so terrible at all," Elizabeth's mother, Sara Sothern, said to herself when she was told about her daughter's disorder, journalist J Randy Taraborrelli wrote in his biography of the film star, Elizabeth.
Current medical research suggests Elizabeth's extra eyelashes were caused by a mutation at the FOXC2 gene. The mutation causes what is medically known as distichiasis, a rare disorder that causes an "accessory row" of eyelashes.
While it seems like a sexy affliction, distichiasis can actually cause a series of problems, including eye irritation, watery eyes and an eventual reduction in vision.
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Video: Remembering Elizabeth Taylor