Hello from The Netherlands,
"The Girl With the Pearl Earing" resides here, in The Hague ( Den Haag). It's as beautiful as you can imagine!
Regarding Who the girl might be?:
There has been speculation that she might be Vermeer's daughter Maria, but unfortunately, Maria would have been much older than the girl in the painting at the time the portrait was done. So, most likely she was just a model and not a relation.
Regarding the Headress ( aka turban):
Like Rembrandt ( whose collection of exotic things was enormous, by the way) and many of the master painters of the time, Vermeer was interested in exotic fabrics/items from various lands (Remember that during this period in history, The Netherlands was the giant among sea-going traders.) Items of fine, fancy and interesting textures were bought by the master painters to use as props and costumes. Turkish "delights" were of particular interest and all the rage, such as the tulip bulb ( Turkey is where they are originally from), so much so that people would spend fortunes to own a single tulip bulb. Hince, the beautiful headress in the painting was most likely some sort of fine fabric from Turkey ( this would also explain why it's wrapped like a turban).
Regarding the High Forehead:
During the previous centuries (14th to 16th) wealthy/noble women of France and Northern Europe used to shave their hairlines back to create more forehead, this was considered beautiful and was the fashion of the time. It's possible, judging from other portraits of women from the 1600's, that forehead shaving was still in fashion, however I am not 100% sure that it was still done in the 17th century.
Reagarding the Lack of Eyebrows:
Vermeer himself was said to be a 'fair strawberry blond red-head', so if the portrait was of one of his girls, then it's possible that she had very fine eyebrows. I can tell you personally that I am married to a Dutchman who has little to NO eyebrows. My husband is not a redhead, but from the first day I met him, I've been fascinated with his lack of eyebrows... and he IS healthy.....<smile>
If you want to read more about Vermeer online, go to google. com and check out all the sites about him... there are plenty.
If you're ever in The Netherlands, you can enjoy many of his paintings in The Rijksmuseum ( Amsterdam ) or in Mauritshuis (The Hague) which is where 'the girl' is.
Good work all !