I’ve had freckles for as long as I can remember. And for as long I can remember people have had polarizing reactions to them. Some people love my freckles. Some people are so badly confused by the varying colored spots on my skin that they seem never to recover. Honestly, I never thought much of having freckles.
It’s not like I had a choice. I always have been covered in freckles from head to toe. I grew up being told that each of my freckles was an angel kiss, a bit of heavenly love just for me. I was never jealous of everyone’s tans (let me tell you I saved tons of money during my high school prom season). But let me tell you, it is time to educate the world on freckles because over the years I have heard some pretty strange things.
1. “Don’t listen to what anyone tells you. Freckles are beautiful.”
Yes, yes they are. I won’t disagree with you there. An old man told me this once, and then explained that his daughter who had lots of freckles always tried covering up in order to hide them. May I say no one has ever told me that my freckles were ugly or a blemish, but apparently a lot of kids with freckles feel this way growing up. It is really sad that some people grew up thinking they were less attractive because they looked different. If you look different it pretty much means that you’re going to be way more memorable. Also come on, there’s tons of freckle beauty out there like Victoria’s Secret model Erin Heatherton.
2. “Do you, like, have freckles everywhere?”
What type of world do we live in? Do normal people not know about melanin? Did they skip their high school biology class? Seriously, I have freckles everywhere the sun shines. Just like you tan everywhere the sun shines. My melanin is just a little more funnily placed than yours. I usually get follow up questions like, “So you mean you could have, like, freckles on your butt?” Yes, guys, if my butt is exposed to the sun for long enough I will in fact get freckles there.
3. “Oh my gosh, that’s so weird.”
Thank you. I love being told that it’s weird to have spots all over me. I think it’s weird that you‘ve gotten this far in life and have no clue about how melanin works. It’s not weird for my skin to get darker when exposed to the sun. That’s normal, people. I also think you’re pretty rude. Unless you mean ‘weird’ in a good way, I would say you need to get some manners. You’re the reason adorable little freckled kids want to hide their skin. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad you are interested, but let’s find a more positive way to channel that interest.
4. “You have something on you. Oh wait . . . never mind.”
Yes, some people have mistaken my freckles for other things before. Often times people think they’re crumbs or makeup. I appreciate people being so willing to help me out, because if I really did have some food or smeared makeup on my face I would definitely want to know. I really won’t take it offensively if you mistake one of my freckles for something else, but if you keep telling me I ‘missed it,’ then I might ask you to double check and make sure it is not a freckle. For instance, once my little cousin kept smacking my shoulder because she thought one of my darker freckles was a bug. She doesn’t like bugs so she honestly thought she was doing me a favor.
5. “I never liked my freckles, but you make them look so beautiful.”
This may be the best comment I have ever gotten about my freckles. I am glad to pull off my freckles in such a way that other people are inspired by them. I often complement people on their freckles because I think freckles rock. A girl I worked with once told me that I made her appreciate her freckles because I made them look good. She continued to say that, because of me, she felt more beautiful. I think that is giving me too much credit, but I am glad that my own freckles have helped other people to feel more comfortable with their own. Let me tell you, that girl was beautiful, as were her freckles. And you and your skin – no matter the type – are beautiful too. Now go put on some sunscreen.