As our conversation about Real Women continues, we’ve collected another story from the male point for view, this one from our friend Jeff Moerchen, who has contributed to our blog before and whose book Ligonier we sell in our online store.


The coffee shop that I routinely visit employs a female barista with a uni-brow.

She has dyed red hair, wears lots of denim and a baseball cap with a flipped brim that sits high on her head.  She has porcelain skin, round facial features and a shy smile that required coaxing.


After multiple encounters I eventually noticed the extra hair growing in the middle of her brow. After considering individuals like Frida Kahlo or Lauren Hutton who, depending on your perspective, had either obvious flaws or marks of distinction regarding their respective uni-brow or gapped front tooth… I found that this uni-brow gave the barista character while transforming her from girlish into something that one might call confident or distinguished.

When I returned two weeks later she was working behind the counter again. After placing my order I hesitated for a moment then leaned into the counter on my elbows and called her over with my index finger. When she arrived I said, “I like your eyebrow…most women try to conceal that and see it as a flaw, but you own it…It looks really good on you.”

Her face turned red and she halfway nodded her head and said ‘thanks’ in an embarrassed manner. We made eye contact one more time before I walked to the other end of the counter to retrieve my coffee.

As I walked out of the coffee shop, I repeated my comment and wished I had said “eyebrows” with an “s” rather than singular eyebrow. I sort of wished I hadn’t commented on such a sensitive subject, seeing as how I had only assumed that the uni-brow was intentional based on the fact that I had seen it weeks prior. I just figured that if she was in the habit of maintaining it as a hair-free space she would have had ample time to do so, thus making it a safe compliment.

Besides, I truly meant what I had said about it suiting her. To be completely honest, I found the fact that she desired to wear her eyebrows as one in spite of social norms more attractive than the actual uni-brow.

In my opinion, looking good doesn’t have to coincide with what is considered right, en-vogue, customary, or popular. It is very possible that the attributes you fuss over might be the ones that get you the most attention. The psychology that goes into being ‘strange’ can be more attractive than the cult of surface.

For the record:

At the age of 12 I shaved my right eyebrow and then, in an attempt to make them even, I shaved the left one. I was both unaware and never considered that a razor could shave all hair and not just beard, underarm, chest or leg.

Until they grew back people peered deeply at me…knowing that something was amiss but unable to place it.

–  Jeff Moerchen


*Images are from Gemaltes Tagebuch’s book Frida Kahlo, a collection of Frida’s notes and sketches, with many entries addressed to Diego, which I’ve had since it was first published (Amazon has a used copy listed for $262). Frida Kahlo is the most famous woman to sport a uni-brow, and possibly the boldest. The beauty she created continues to inspire.


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  1. isabel

    Jeff, in reading your story, I think there are a couple of reasons why your barista might have seemed uncomfortable with your comment. I realize your intentions here were good, but there are a few dynamics in play here that you may not have been thinking about. For instance, it’s not this woman’s job to be attractive to you. She didn’t grow a unibrow hoping an enlightened dude would find it cool. Also, she was at work and you were her customer. If she found your remarks upsetting or inappropriate, she wasn’t necessarily able to react to them in a way that could communicate her feelings to you.

    Again, I see that you were trying to be nice, but I encourage you to think about these kinds of situations from the woman’s perspective. If you are confused about what is and is not okay to say, here’s an excellent and humorous essay on the subject: You Can’t Tell the Attorney General She Has an Epic Butt, But Here’s What You CAN Do