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.
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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.
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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 semicolon 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 into 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 and 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 glyph 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 and the strength we all have inside of us.

20. Two meanings. The moon affirms life. It looks as if it is constantly changing. Can remind us of the inconsistency of life. It 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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10 Problems Girls With THICK Hair Always Get Tangled Up In

"Wow, you have so much hair!"

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When you have thick hair, you're very well aware of all the problems that come with it. For those of you who do not have thick hair, here are just 10 things people with thick hair have to go through.

1. You always feel hot because your hair is just SO thick 

On the plus side, our hair can be used as ear muffs when it's cold. On the down side, summer (and "spring" and "fall" if you live in the south).

2. Shedding 

How'd that hair get there?! No one knows.

3. You go through ponytail holders like nobody's business 

Have you ever broken a ponytail holder the FIRST time you tried to use it? Well, thick-haired people have.

4. Don't even bother brushing 

If you have thick AND curly hair like moi, brushing is NOT an option unless your hair is wet.

5. Speaking of wet hair...

Oh, you want your hair DRY? Good luck with having dry hair after you shower. It'll be a while.

6. Want to dye your hair?

Be prepared to spend all day at the hair salon. You have to go through ROUNDS of bleach before you can even start to color your hair. And also be prepared to shell out at least $100.

7. You have to style you hair in LAYERS 

You'd be better off just putting it in a ponytail and calling it a say. Ain't nobody got time for that!

8. Short hair? Good luck!

Having short thick hair, while taking less time to wash, is even EXTRA thick because the curls have nowhere to go.

9. Long hair? In summer?

If you've ever had long thick hair, you'll know that summertime is the. Absolute. Worst. You're sweating not even five seconds of being outside and the frizz. Oh my goodness, the frizz.

10. Headaches 

With you hair being on top of your head all the time, headaches are a natural occurrence.

On the plus side, my hairdresser always says "wow your hair is so thick!"

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