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Why Freckles Deserve the Spotlight

Refinery29

The beauty industry has a fraught relationship with freckles. While plenty of designers have started to embrace them on the runways and many celebrities are proudly displaying theirs, some people are still anti-spot. And, unfortunately, they're often the ones who were born with them. In fact, some have gone so far as to cosmetically remove theirs—a procedure that cropped up in England last year.

We're not about cosmetic surgery-shaming, but we are about loving and accepting anything that makes you you—and freckles fall into that category. So we decided to ask a few freckled ladies why they love their spots. For most of them, the journey to self-acceptance actually started from a place of discomfort. But, over time, they've learned to celebrate their skin.

Ahead, six inspiring women share their stories and prove that freckles are not something to hide—they're something to be celebrated.

Nikia Phoenix, Model & Blogger

"When I was a kid, even though I didn't have as many freckles [as I have now], I hated them. I felt like my freckles made me stand out, and when you're a kid, all you want is to fit in and not be different. Even though my mom and sister have freckles, somehow I felt like an alien with my spots.

"It wasn't until I traveled out of my home state [of South Carolina] that I felt better about my freckles. There was a trip to NYC—it was one of the first times [I was told] that I was beautiful. I hadn't heard that before. I'd heard kids teasing me and picking on me.

"As I got older, I grew to appreciate them. They started to grow and expand on my face, and now my entire body is covered in spots. I absolutely love my freckles, and I can tell when a new one pops up.

"I said this to someone last week—she was a beautiful redhead with blue eyes, and I could see her freckles trying to peek through her makeup. She said to me, 'I wish my freckles were like yours.' So I told her, 'Stop covering them up!' The more you cover them, the more they will fight to be seen. I'm really drawn to other people's freckles, and I'm amazed that they can be seen on people of a lot of different races. Asian women, Hispanic women, Black women—I think it's amazing that these little beauty marks aren't just specific to one group of people."

Alecia Davis, TV Host & Model

"Ironically, I only had a few light freckles on my cheeks and nose as a young child. My mother even said she thought it was odd that I was a redhead and didn't have many freckles. They did become more visible in the summertime, after being at the pool and playing outside, and I remember not liking it.

"I [once asked] my mom why I had 'spots' and she responded positively, saying, 'Because you're special. How lucky you are.' I recall being in elementary school and the P.E. teacher divided us into groups for an activity. She said, 'All blondes on this side and all brunettes on the other.' I was left in the middle with a couple other people. It was really the first time I remember being singled out from my peers and feeling negative about it. I think I embraced [my freckles and red hair] when I started modeling. The feedback was positive.

"Now, I have 15 nieces and nephews, and of those 15, only one has red hair and freckles. She is an awesome example of being comfortable in your skin. I recall her saying how lucky she was to be the only one in her class to have red hair and freckles. I thought it was great that she has such a positive outlook."

Andrea Claire, Makeup Artist

"Growing up freckled didn't really bother me, but I did have a moment of people pointing out that I was full of 'spots.' I never hated my freckles—I think I enjoyed being different—but the teasing did upset me. I do remember when I was in kindergarten, leaving the schoolyard after being teased by older kids. [Their] fits of laughter sent me bawling all the way home.

"In third grade, my aunt gave me Judy Blume's book Freckle Juice, and that made me start to feel differently about my freckles. Judy Blume helped many of us deal with issues.

"I'm 44 now, and a hair and makeup artist, and I love freckles. I've lived in Singapore for the last eight years, where numerous times I've been cornered at beauty counters with sales pitches to rid myself of my 'ugly spots' and 'pigment.' That usually sets me off on a rant — the poor sales staff. (laughs)

"Everybody is different. Some differences are visible, and some are hidden. I would never tell someone to 'get over it,' as that doesn't validate how they feel. But the one thing I can say is that no matter how you feel, you're not alone. I love my freckles, and from time to time when a brand launches a faux-freckles look, I just stand proud and flick my hair. We don't need a pencil." [Read the full story on Refinery29.]

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