I'm Lindsay Ferrier, a Nashville writer with a passion for family travel, exploring Tennessee, and raising kids without losing my mind in the process. This is where I share my discoveries, along with occasional deep thoughts, pop culture tangents and a sprinkling of snark. Want to get in touch? Use the CONTACT form at the top of the page.
May 3, 2022
Several years ago, I had a very special occasion coming up, so I decided to get my brows waxed for the first time. This was right around the time that eyebrows were becoming a Thing, and since this particular occasion would include lots of fashionable people, I wanted to prove I still knew what was up.
I scheduled an appointment at the best waxing salon in Nashville with the owner herself. “Do you want the deluxe waxing package?” she asked when I booked the appointment. “Of course, darling,” I said, hoping I sounded like someone who knows about these kinds of things.
I didn’t think the appointment would take very long since my eyebrows have always been pretty low maintenance. They are neither thick nor thin and the hairs all seem to grow in the right direction. I’ve really never had to do much at all with my eyebrows, except pluck a few strays once or twice a month. So I was surprised when this particular appointment went on and on. And on.
My aesthetician Cruella (not her real name) waxed and plucked and tweezed for a good thirty minutes. Then she got out a palette of different shades of brown and went to work with various brushes, eyeing me as if she were an artiste in a light-filled Paris garret, ca. 1880. Eyes closed, I fairly tingled in my chair, certain my magnificent new brows would be the talk of the town.
Finally, Cruella stood back and assessed her masterpiece. “Amazing,” she murmured before spinning me around to face the mirror. This is what I saw:
Not really knowing what to think, I stammered out a thank you, paid, and ran to the car, holding my hand to my forehead as if I were shielding my eyes from the sun, but really I was just trying to hide the thick checkmarks of shame over my eyes. I got in my car, took this picture (there was no way I was bearing this burden alone), and burst into tears. I really thought Cruella hated me and had played some kind of sick joke. I was sure she was cry-laughing with her fellow stylists at that very moment — I mean, I looked like I had drawn on my eyebrows with a Magic Marker. The fat kind.
Little did I know then that Cruella was actually the warning wave that comes ahead of a style tsunami. The plume of steam before a volcano eruption of trend. The… You see where I’m going with this, right? An eyebrow earthquake was about to shake the world, and Cruella was like a better-than-average seismologist. It wouldn’t be long before the malls, the streets, the nightclubs all were filled with fashionable young women wearing eyebrows that looked like pasted-on Groucho Marx mustaches. Maybe Cruella simply hoped just one of them would stop right before sipping her Frozen Rita and think, “I can’t believe I first saw this look one year ago on a mom in the frozen food aisle at Kroger.”
Alas, it was not to be. I scrubbed those velcro strips off my face the moment I got home.
Today, of course, millions of otherwise gorgeous women look as if two fat, angry caterpillars have taken up permanent residence over their eyeballs. Bushy brows are such a big deal now that entire salons are dedicated solely to their upkeep. Still, I’ve resisted the trend, mostly because to me, like mom jeans, aggressive eyebrows look freakish. And also like mom jeans? They just won’t go away.
Big brows have been around for years now, and since an entire industry has been built around maintaining them, I don’t see them going away any time soon. And yet I know that one voice crying out in the wilderness of fashion could, in fact, make a difference. So here goes.
Women of America, let us lay down our brow liners and instead take up our Tweezermans. Let us say no to brow bars and groom rooms, laminates and microblading, feral brows and lions mane brows and angry caterpillar brows and Crayolabrows.
And let us say yes to eyebrows. Just… eyebrows. Eyebrows no one notices or thinks about when they look at us, because they’re just there. Right above our eyes. Looking like nothing, really, except eyebrows.
Is that so much to ask?