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Salon
Salon
1 Jul 2023
By Kelly McClure Nights & Weekends Editor


NextImg:"The Bear": An appreciation of Claire's glorious unibrow

Over a decade ago, while employed as an editor at a now financially struggling outlet that rhymes with "rice," I wrote a semi-regular column in which I enthusiastically and often graphically fawned over celebrities in a way that I viewed as flattering.

My, how things have changed.

Because the internet is — unfortunately — forever, I resurfaced one of those columns not too long ago as I am now old enough to look back at my early 30s with nostalgia, and my attempt to bask in the spry hilarity of my "youth" turned into something else. Let's call it a "teachable moment."

I'll make no attempts here to say that singing the praises of whomever was unlucky enough to catch my eye in what I can now refer to as my "sex pest" years by way of writing, at length, about their physicality and the ways in which I'd enjoy fiddling with it was ever what any reasonable person would call a good idea. But times were different then.

Culturally, changes have been made for the better, and while some may see it as unfortunate that so-called cancel culture or "wokeness" keeps people in line, whether they can find it within themselves to inherently be that way or not, I am happy to be in a place where I can sit down to write about how I'm in love with someone's unibrow and be fairly confident in my ability to do it in a way that won't bring shame to my name in 10 more years down the road.

In Season 2 of "The Bear," Carmy (Jeremy Allen White) reunites with Claire (Molly Gordon), a childhood friend turned love interest, and, with the utmost of respectfulness, she has one of the best faces I've ever seen.

Good? Did I do it? 

Carmy brings Claire into our lives in Episode 2, "Pasta," during a chance encounter at a bodega where he's picking up ice cream to use as an ingredient in veal stock. Is that a thing? Not important.

As he adorably yammers on, visibly nervous and unprepared for the flood of emotions he's experiencing at that moment, the shot pans back and forth between him and Claire — calm, collected and stunning in a way that feels important to sit with awhile.

Molly Gordon as Claire (Chuck Hodes/FX)In a show that centers on the messiness of striving for perfection, it feels refreshing that this season pairs its star with a love interest who — some would say, not me — has an imperfect beauty.

Up against the air-brushed gleam of the "Sex and the City" continuation, "And Just Like That …" featuring a cast that has not aged out of toeing the line of impossible to achieve beauty standards, Claire's high-definition unibrow is exciting to see in a way that mid-30s me would not have had proper words for. Back then I would have probably said something gross about her making me feel feral and how we could run off into the woods together, two she-devils howling at the moon, very much in love. Now, I see her two-and-a-half brows and imagine the actress enduring countless meetings with publicists and studio executives over her refusal to tidy them up.

"Pluck THIS!" I picture her saying. And I'm here for it. We need more of this.

Want a daily wrap-up of all the news and commentary Salon has to offer? Subscribe to our morning newsletter, Crash Course.

Maybe it's because I wear glasses and have a gap between my teeth that I've developed a discerning taste for "imperfections" in others, but I'm eager for a greater population of individuals who have appreciation for letting bodies do what bodies do. 

To no surprise, a quick search of "claire the bear unibrow" on Twitter shows that we're not there yet, which is so boring and sad.

"Watching Season 2 of 'The Bear' with my mom was wrong because all she talks about is Claire's 'almost unibrow' and how she needs to wax her eyebrows," tweets @yung_bratty.

"Need to know why they thought the unibrow looked okay on Claire in The Bear," writes @gracepaImer.

To these people I say, look again.

Jeremy Allen White as Carmen "Carmy" Berzatto and Molly Gordon as Claire (Chuck Hodes/FX)

Aside from the fact that Molly Gordon is a famous person and, therefore, more attractive than most, by employ, she and her character Claire are under no obligation to look any way other than how they naturally look for the approval and enjoyment of anyone else. 

That being said, I think I have a thing for unibrows? 

Catch up.

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