beauty

Would you laser your freckles off?

Image: supplied. 

When I worked with primary school kids a few years ago, I’d catch them gawking at the funny spots sitting squarely in the middle of my face every day. Their glances were always (innocently) followed by a, “What’s on your face?,” and “Why is it there?”

I had nothing remarkable on my face. Just extra pigmentation laid out over my nose and lip like deep, dark freckles.

When I was in school, I wanted to have them removed.

And this makes me sad.

Do you remember when freckles were considered beautiful? And the term ‘beauty spot’ was used incessantly.

Remember when people bought brown eyeliner pencils to draw dots on their faces?

Remember how Marilyn Monroe’s beauty spot was adored and admired by women around the world, so much so there’s even a piercing named after it? Yes, some women love beauty spots so hard, they’re willing to shove a bar of metal through their upper lip to get one.

And remember how Cindy Crawford’s big brown spot defined her career? How she was the supermodel you could relate to because she had something that made her different?

Cindy Crawford - and her famous beauty spot - in a Revlon campaign

It was the iconic mark she nearly didn’t have. Because just like me, Cindy hated her ‘beauty’ spot as a child, and wanted to get it removed.

The model-turned-businesswoman told Into The Gloss the only reason she kept her gorgeous mole was because her mother told her to.

She said, “[My mum] talked me out of getting my ‘ugly mark’ – as my sister called it – removed.”

I was lucky. Like Cindy, I narrowly missed out on lasering my spots off too, and now I’m glad I didn’t.

Even though my mum (hesitantly) supported my decision to remove my spots - she wanted me to be happy - I wound up pulling out at the last minute. Not because I didn’t want them gone, though.

I booked the dermatologist appointment, and bounded in with visions of my new, freckle-free face.

In an episode of Hey Mia, Mia answered all your questions about her laser treatment. (Post continues after video.)

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As I sat in the chair, he examined my ‘pigmentation’ stains and told me it would be very easy to get rid of them.

“Great!”

He then explained the procedure. He told me that he would use laser surgery to remove the spots. It wouldn’t be so bad, he said. Each time the laser struck my skin it would feel like I was being flicked by an elastic band.

Wait, what? This was not part of my fairytale spot removal plan.

I have a huge fear, bordering on phobia, of elastic bands. So that sentence is one that’s stuck with me, because, in addition to making me quiver with fear, it changed the future of my face.

Cindy had her mother, I had my hatred of elastic bands, and if it wasn’t for  them, neither of us would have kept our spots.

I'm glad I did, because isn’t it time we - like those girls with Monroe piercings - embraced a bit of diversity on our faces?

‘Beauty spots' have been going in and out of fashion since pyramids were being erected in ancient Egypt. In Louis XVII's court people painted them on, but 400 years earlier, you would have been burned at the stake for having one naturally.

Shouldn’t we have moved on by now?

In the 21st century, isn’t it time we accept that beauty is about diversity, not similarity? So many people still think they have to remove what makes them unique in order to be beautiful.

Sarah: "People always ask me if I've got coffee on my face, but I now love my freckles."

I love my freckles now. They draw attention to my lips, and make my face more interesting. I’d never begrudge someone for wanting to change something they were truly unhappy with, but for me, acceptance was the best path to happiness.

I wish acceptance – and embracing difference – was more common. Beauty isn’t some narrow, blemish-free channel. It’s wide, and deep and diverse.

Just check out some of these freckle-faced babes:

Now, whenever someone asks me if I have dirt or chocolate smeared on my face, I just come back with "Oh yes, I’m saving it for later."

Would you ever get your freckles removed?