I Used To Hate My Freckles But Now, I Love Them

I Used To Hate My Freckles But Now, I Love Them

I've always been teased for my freckles, and the media has always told me I should try to cover them up. After a lifetime of hating them, now, I'm embracing my freckles--and you should, too.

As a natural redhead, I’ve been covered with freckles basically my entire life. Ever since I was old enough to recognize myself in the mirror, I’ve grown used to seeing my skin covered in hundreds of tiny brown dots, some darker than others

In the winter, they’re definitely more subtle, and are spread lightly across my arms and legs rather than my face. But in the summer--oh boy, do things change. One day out in the sun, and my face, chest, hands, feet and even my eyelids will be almost entirely covered in them. From far away, my freckles blend together and I actually look tan (for once).

When I was a kid, they never bothered me--it was just how I looked. I never thought twice about going out in the sun. As I grew older, however, I began to think differently, and so did my peers.

Kids began to tease me about them in school, saying I looked like I had skin cancer or that I was covered in polka-dots. The fact that my skin wasn’t one pure, single color was quite a talking point for people around me, it seemed. And even if I wasn’t the target of merciless taunting, I always noticed when my friends would prod and sigh at their few skin spots, complaining about how “ugly” they were.

It got even worse as I apprehensively entered the world of makeup and skincare. Everywhere I looked, there were products promising the erasure of “unsightly” skin discolorations and spots; some products would explicitly name freckles as part of that group. Take, for example, this Laser Freckle Removal Machine from Lover's Area or this Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum from Murad. In every ad, smiling faces with clear, even skin tones would look back at me--not one different texture, spot or discoloration in sight.

It’s hard to avoid hating a quality you have when you consistently see it slandered by peers, ads and the media. As I was taught about the Civil War and how to write a thesis in school, the world taught me an additional lesson: that my freckles were ugly, and I should do everything in my power to remove them.

I remember standing in front of the mirror, feverishly scrubbing at my skin with various exfoliators or washes and slathering layers upon layers of full-coverage foundations in hopes of covering up my skin. Even when posting pictures to social media, I would spend hours meticulously editing and airbrushing my freckles away, until all that was left would be a clear, even (and terribly photoshopped) skin tone.

What’s made me feel even worse was the “fake freckles” trend that started a few years ago in the beauty community, in which freckles are drawn on top of foundation with eyeshadow or eyebrow products. Seemingly overnight, my Instagram and Twitter feed was filled with makeup artists and other girls posting beautiful selfies of their sun-kissed skin, with a few penciled dots spread across their cheeks and nose. The pictures would garner thousands and thousands of likes, and comments that were full of praise and admiration. Numerous articles were churned out every day from beauty or lifestyle websites that praised the phenomenon as “the next big thing,” like W Dish, who claimed it as the "hottest new trend," or Allure, who described faux freckles as having a "major impact" on social media. There are even multiple filters on Snapchat that transform the user’s face into a cutesy caricature, with freckles concentrated on the cheeks and nose.

This infuriated me. When makeup artists or simply girls with a lot of followers mimic the attribute that I’ve been teased for my entire life, it becomes “trendy?” Why are these women praised as artists and called beautiful by the media for something I’ve been taught to hate?

I spent years and years hating everything about my skin, asking myself and whatever higher power there is up there “Why did I have to be a redhead? Why am I so pale? Why do I have to look like this?” It was tough--but as time went by, and I began seeking therapy and engaging in mentally and physically healthy habits, the red-hot hatred I built up for years began to slowly edge away.

The recent beauty trend of “body positivity” definitely helped, too. Women with all skin types are slowly becoming more and more mainstream in ads and magazines--I can’t even explain you the joy I felt when I first saw a redhead covered in freckles featured in a fashion magazine.

Now, I sit happily with the realization that my freckles aren’t “ugly” or something I should be trying to erase from existence. They’re just something I was born with--just like some people are born with dimples, dark hair or bowed legs. It’s just how I look.

I’ve even gotten a few compliments about my freckles. Random people on the street and friends have called them “cute” or “pretty” upon occasion, and I’ve even heard a few people say they wish they had them. After all, if faking them has become a trend, they must be desirable to some, right?

It is so incredibly freeing to not care about something that’s plagued you for years. Now, I couldn’t care less if I come inside from a day in the sun and find myself with hundreds of new spots. Sometimes, I deliberately stay outside so I’ll develop more. Instead of choosing filters that blur my skin, I now try to use ones that emphasize my freckles and make them stand out even more. I can confidently say that I now love my freckles. They’re unique, and something I’ll never get rid of, so I might as well learn to appreciate them.

So, I say this to everyone else with freckles or other “skin imperfections”: stop hating yourself for something that you were born with! Forget what the media or beauty community is advertising as “trendy” or “beautiful” this week. Forget all the people that cringed and made fun of your skin. Forget all the products that boast they will make your skin “perfect” by erasing every trace of what makes you you. It’s time we stop hating our “imperfections” and start loving them.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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20 Small Tattoos With Big Meanings

Tattoos with meaning you can't deny.

It's tough to find perfect tattoos with meaning.

You probably want something permanent on your body to mean something deeply, but how do you choose a tattoo that will still be significant in 5, 10, 15, or 50 years? Over time, tattoos have lost much of their stigma and many people consider them a form of art, but it's still possible to get a tattoo you regret.

So here are 20 tattoos you can't go wrong with. Each tattoo has its own unique meaning, but don't blame me if you still have to deal with questions that everyone with a tattoo is tired of hearing!

SEE RELATED: "Please Stop Asking What My Tattoos Mean"

1. A semi-colon indicates a pause in a sentence but does not end. Sometimes it seems like you may have stopped, but you choose to continue on.

2. "A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor."

3. Top symbol: unclosed delta symbol which represents open to change. Bottom symbol: strategy.

4. "There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls."

5. Viking symbol meaning "create your own reality."

6.Greek symbol of Inguz: where there's a will, there's a way.

7. Psalm 18:33 "He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights."

8. 'Ohm' tattoo that represents 4 different states of consciousness and a world of illusion: waking (jagrat), dreaming (swapna), deep sleep (sushupti), transcendental state (turiya) and world of illusion (maya)

9. Alchemy: symbolizes copper, means love, balance, feminine beauty and artistic creativity.

10. The Greek word “Meraki" means to do something with soul, passion, love and creativity or to put yourself in to whatever you do.

11. Malin (Skövde, Sweden) – you have to face setbacks to be able to go forward.

12. Symbol meaning "thief" from the Hobbit. It was the rune Gandalf etched into Bilbo's door so the dwarves could find his house.

13. “Lux in tenebris" means “light in darkness."

14. Anchor Tattoo: symbolizing strength & stability, something (or someone) who holds you in place, and provides you the strength to hold on no matter how rough things get.

15."Ad Maiora" is translated literally as “Towards greater things." It is a formula of greeting used to wish more success in life, career or love.

16. A glyphs means “explore." It was meant as a reminder for me to never stop exploring.

17. "Aut inveniam viam aut faciam," meaning roughly, "Either I shall find a way, or I will make one."

18. Lotus Flower. It grows in muddy water, and it is this environment that gives forth the flower's first and most literal meaning: rising and blooming above the murk to achieve enlightenment.

19. The zen (or ensō) circle to me represents enlightenment, the universe & the strength we all have inside of us.

20. Two meanings. The moon affirms life. It looks as if it is constantly changing. Can reminds us of the inconsistency of life. It is also symbolizes the continuous circular nature of time and even karma.

SEE ALSO: Sorry That You're Offended, But I Won't Apologize For My Tattoos

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How To Look In The Mirror After A 19-Inch Haircut

Finding my self confidence after a major change


I've asked myself if I was making this decision because of the guys who have drunkenly pet me at football games or the time I belted my hair into my pants.

Either way, I confidently told the salon receptionist on a November morning I was there to cut off all of my hair.

"All of your hair?" he asked with disbelief.

I told him yes. All of it, well, at least 19 inches of it.

He poured me a glass of pinot grigio.

This wasn't the first time in my life my blonde hair went far below my belt loops. Actually, for most of my life, I was known as "the girl with the hair." My hair was long enough to entice strangers to touch it and, once, a small child to tie it around a fence post in Disney World.

Because of my hair, I have been called every nickname between Barbie, Blondie, and Rapunzel, but I never took those labels to heart. I did not identify myself by my hair or physical appearance.

Though I don't flood my social media channels with "Feelin' Myself" selfies, I do have a stable self-image. My ego and I decided it was just time for a change, and haircuts are always cheaper than face tattoos.

Right before the haircutJ. Cameron Davidson

I had scrolled through all types of blunt, banged, and lob haircuts on Pinterest for six months before my appointment, and I thought I could rock any one of them. I also arranged to donate my hair to the Wigs for Kids nonprofit, an outstanding organization helping children overcome self-esteem blows from a variety of hair loss conditions for nearly 40 years.

I was confident with my plan until I sat down in the salon chair. A black cloth thrown over my chest blocked me from turning back.

My hairdresser tied the hair into five long ponytails and then secured each one with more elastic bands. My mother sat nearby and slung back her glass of wine to sedate herself before the cut.

With shaky hands, I cut through the first ponytail with dull scissors. My hairdresser finished off the shearing and packaged the hair to be mailed to Wigs for Kids.

My hair now hangs to my collar bone and prevents most people from recognizing me without a second glance.

I thought the hardest part would be my barista at Pascal's forgetting me and my regular order, but I quickly realized I didn't recognize myself either.

Could I still be beautiful if I wasn't the girl with the hair anymore? For the first week, I'd stare into the mirror and let my ego scream, "Bad haircut!"

No one goes out of his or her way to compliment my hair or my looks anymore. I know that the longing for those shallow appraisals come from my ego.

I threw her a pity party until my ego quieted down. In the silence, I heard another part of me speak up.

"It's kind of fun to style," I'd say to myself. "It's actually cute!"

For several days, I sipped concentrated self-love out of a wine glass in my bathtub and wrote kind notes to myself in a journal. I realized I was the same beautiful girl under the new haircut and layers of a face mask as before.

I stand firm with my belief that I am beautiful with a bald head or locks to the floor.

If you're wanting to take a new risk with your appearance, please remember to be soft to yourself if the gamble doesn't play out as you expected.

No haircut can take away your beauty, after all, that's what face tattoos are for.

Right after!J. Cameron Davidson

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