An Ode to Freckles

19 November 2014

Just like curly hair and big boobs, I always wanted what I didn’t have. Adding freckles to the list of attributes I never possessed but always have found strikingly beautiful in others.

Take for example, my perfectly freckled beauty blogger, Meagan Murphy.  If you recall, Meagan wrote her last series on contouring and big brows and serves as my go-to in the world of all things beauty.  Update: I went to see Meagan’s brow-guru, Brooke at Warren Tricomi, and I have to say, although the awkward growing out phase was almost unbearable, the reward is definitely worth it!) Thank you Meagan for the intro + thank you Brooke for feathering these brows to perfection! 

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“A girl without freckles is like a night without stars.” – Anonymous

I have a vivid memory from childhood: I’m six years old and it’s the middle of July. I’m sitting on my Father’s lap, enjoying a nice day out by the pool with my family. My Father slathers sunscreen on my back and begins to trace the nearly countless freckles on my shoulders and arms… “One, two, three, four, five, fifteen, twenty, one-hundred, one MILLION!” He shouts in rapid succession and an epic tickle fight ensues.

That was me as a child; the girl with the million freckles. My freckles are a part of me. They are at my very core, a trace back to what makes me Irish; the quintessential fair-skinned, rosy-cheeked, freckly child, who could not go an hour outside, without reapplying sunscreen and back then, was envious of all the other little, tan and olive-skinned girls. But now I realize my freckles are a distinct part of my beauty and heritage. Something that makes me, me.

Did you know that freckles can be found on anyone, no matter their genetic background? They are however, related to your genetics and to the presence of certain gene variations in their relation to sun exposure. So some people have more than others, but all the same, anyone can have freckles.  Back in the day though, people used to shun freckles thinking it made them different or ugly. Just take a look at this advertisement from 1914 and 1928 calling freckles “homely” and shameful:

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Luckily, I never went so far as to removing my freckles or using skin lightening creams as a kid just because a bully or two teased me and I was left behind when all the girls went tanning.

Society is finally shying away from the all-too perfect ideal of beauty and encouraging women to embrace their inherent, unique beauty. Imperfections if that’s what they were once called + all.  My hope is that the trend for ‘I like me for me!’ with the popular social media hashtags #iwokeuplikethis or #freshfacedselfies, is here to stay.

With that said, I find it amazingly awesome that freckles are now chic and even considered fashionably en-vogue. Just take a look at the below images and this article, proclaiming that makeup artists are actually painting freckles on runway models now!

Jeremy Scott Makeup, New York Fashion Week S/S 2012

Jeremy Scott Makeup, New York Fashion Week S/S 2012

tad bit Pippy, but still freshfaced!

Pippy + freshfaced!

If these pictures don’t make you want to wipe away the concealer covering all your freckles and beauty marks, then take a look at these well-known celebrities and everyday beauties who embrace their freckles and natural skin ten-fold!

Portrait by: Anka Zhuravleva

Portrait by: Anka Zhuravleva

the ever beautiful Lucy Liu dappled with freckles

the ever beautiful Lucy Liu dappled with freckles

Olivia Munn!  She posed for People Magazine’s most beautiful people issue without a drop of makeup on.  Amen, sister.

Olivia Munn! She posed for People Magazine’s most beautiful people issue without a drop of makeup on. Amen, sister.

Eddie & Heath wear them well.

Eddie & Heath wear them well.

If there was a contest, Jessie Williams would probably win.

If there was a contest, Jessie Williams would probably win.

Last but not least, ME!

I now love my freckles and encourage you all to take a look in the mirror and love what makes you unique too – be it freckles, a birth mark, bold brows, or whatever! I’d love to hear your thoughts (and see a selfie or two) in the comments section below!

Meagan’s a fashion-loving philanthropist and self-proclaimed beauty addict from NYC. She has a background in communications and events planning in a wide range of industries from the arts and fashion, to the nonprofit sector, helping to fund cures for cancer. She dabbles in all social media, so check her out on TwitterPinterestTumblr and Instagram.

Featured Image: Luca Hollestelle, portrait from Reto Caduff’s book, “Freckles” and model, Taii Gordon.

Categories: beauty, Fashion, Lifestyle, women