Ideal Female Brow Position May Be Shifting

Garrett R. Griffin, M.D. and Jennifer C. Kim, M.D. reviewed the faces of fashion models on magazine covers in ten year segments between 1946 and 2011. They found the highest point of a woman's arching brows has gradually moved from just over the middle aspect of the pupil to a point over the lateral canthus, the point where the upper and lower eyelids come together on the side of the face. Cindy Crawford famously sported the lateral arching brow in the 1980's. Coincidentally this was about the time when endoscopic brow lifting was being developed. In the 27 years I have been teaching brow lifting to young Facial Plastic Surgeons, I have encouraged a more lateral arching brow design. Although with surgery it is important not to raise the inner aspect of the eyebrow too much which can result in a masculine appearance.

Women's brow height appears to be changing again toward a more centrally located arch between the mid-pupil and the lateral canthus. This central arch is the location where most patients’ brows naturally gravitate to following a Botox injection. Perhaps it's been the widespread use of Botox Cosmetic for brow lifting which has brought about this fashion shift or maybe it's just women's desire for change which has inspired the new look. In any case, this shift in women's ideal brow position and shape has caused a compensatory change in the brow lift surgery again.

For individuals who desire a more permanent elevation of their brows, Facial Plastic Surgeons like myself are looking to our own patients for guidance as to where they prefer their brow arch to be placed and more often than not the desired high point of the arch is moving closer to the mid-pupillary line.