Democratic vice-presidential nominee Tim Kaine commanded a national audience on Wednesday night at the Democratic National Convention.
And so did The Eyebrow.
Kaine’s left brow — in all its jumpy, expressive, arched glory — first drew notice when the then-Virginia governor gave the Democratic response to George W. Bush’s 2006 State of the Union speech. Pundits deemed it distracting. Bloggers (recall that this was before everyone was on social media) went nuts. And with Kaine’s ascension to the No. 2 spot on the Democratic presidential ticket this week, eyebrow mania is officially back.
During Kaine’s Wednesday speech, The Eyebrow captivated Twitter.
That subversive left eyebrow is clearly for Bernie.
— Molly Ball (@mollyesque) July 28, 2016
we are full eyebrow, repeat, full eyebrow
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) July 28, 2016
It has inspired memes and merch: T-shirts and buttons bearing the Clinton logo and a smiley face with an arched left eyebrow were for sale at the convention.
— Kailani Koenig (@kailanikm) July 27, 2016
Since 2006, the brow (and its overlooked, more subdued brother, Right Brow) has grown slightly more silver, though it is still as thick as ever. But trends have caught up with it — the fashion now leans toward fuller, bushier brows, a la model Cara Delevingne, who’s often credited with launching the look.
Still, Flaminia Garioni, the owner of Fyubi Makeup & Brow Studios on U Street, says Kaine’s brows could use just a bit of maintenance — especially now that they’re being watched so closely. “Just a little neatening up — a little trimming, maybe a tinting,” she said. The work could be subtle, she says. “I have plenty of male clients — guys in the Navy, really masculine guys — and they don’t want to look like they’re having any of it done.”
It seems Kaine doesn’t mind the attention and the memes. In a 2008 appearance on “The Daily Show,” he presented host Jon Stewart with a button of a smiley face and an arched left brow, joking about how the brow had hurt his chances at being selected as President Obama’s vice president. “One of the things that came up for me in the vetting process that was a negative for me … is that I have an uncontrollable left eyebrow,” he said.
Clearly, the brow didn’t trouble the Clinton camp.
And last year, the aspiring Veep posted an Instagram photo of a jack o’lantern with vampire teeth — and a distinctly peaked brow.
His in-on-the-joke caption? “Happy Halloween! Resemble anyone you know? #FearTheBrow”