Sunday, February 17, 2013

a face without freckles is like a sky without the stars

This is a post about freckles.




Anyone who has met me, or seen pictures of me, knows I have freckles.  A lot of them. See?

My face, shoulders, arms, and chest are where they are the most plentiful, but they are also all over my body.

The difficult thing about having a face full of freckles is doing face makeup.  If you try to conceal a blemish or dark circles, you end up looking like you have a patch of un-freckled skin... which just looks weird when you have a face like mine.  And then you try to even things out by putting a ton of concealer all over your face and you end up wearing waaaay too much makeup.  And the thing is, if you wear all this makeup all the time to "even your face out" and then one day your friends/peers see you without makeup on, they're going to think, "WHOA, she wears a lot of makeup" or "Wow, she looks so different without makeup".  And I hate that.  I do not want to look like a completely different person when I am not wearing makeup.  So, the other day I was looking up tutorials online on how to do makeup with freckles so that I can have a nice, fresh-looking, well-done-up face, but still let my freckles show through.  What I found was so disappointing!

First, there was a video of some professional makeup artist who was doing makeup on a freckled girl. I was excited because I thought, "Oh cool, she knows what she's doing". As it turns out, this lady was telling you how to completely conceal those freckles!  And I thought, "there is no way in heck I am going to spend hours concealing each and every one of my freckles".  I may as well buy myself a mask.  Stupid.

After browsing a little more I came across the most disappointing video of all. There was a girl who had to be younger than me.  She was a cute girl but you could tell she was feeling very insecure.  She was acting as if she were in a support group admitting she had freckles and how hard hard it was to have them and how insecure they made her feel!  She said that when she goes outside, she feels like everyone would stare at her freckles.  I wanted to slap that girl in the face.  Seriously.

After watching these video's, my daughter had come home from something and noticed I had showered and gotten ready for the day.  She asked why I got ready and I said because I needed a shower and I asked her, "Doesn't my hair look so much better now?" She said "Yeah, but can you take some of your freckles away?" She's 4! My feelings weren't hurt, but I was slightly taken aback because since when does she not like freckles?

Now, lets step back a moment and be real here.  I remember when I was younger, especially during the summer, looking at myself in the huge mirror closets that were in my mom's room and seeing more and more freckles appear on my face by the day, it seemed.  I would sit there and criticize myself and complain to my mom with things like: I'm so white.  Why can't I tan?  Why do I have so many freaking freckles?!  My mom would try to comfort me by saying, "Kelly, you're beautiful." and I'd reply with a "You're my mother, you have to say that".  And then she'd try and comfort me by saying that she had freckles too.  I would just look at her in disbelief as she had no freckles showing on her face, and I would respond with a sarcastic,  "Really?  Where? Mom, you do not, nor have you ever had nearly as many freckles as I do, so there is no way you understand. I look like I have mud splattered all over my face".  (I was a dream child, I know). She assured me that they just faded over time and she sat there and quietly chuckled to herself as she watched me fret over my freckles.

At some point, I just realized that my face was my face and there was nothing I could do about it and so I just sort of stopped worrying about it.  When I stopped worrying about my freckles, I actually started to like the way I looked.  Fast-forward to high school.  During summers when I had my license, I would head to the beach with friends for hours at a time, several days a week.  I didn't work until night time so I really could go as often as I wanted.  After one particular day at the beach, swimming and laying out, my friends and I got back into my car and I remember looking at myself in the rear-view mirror.  There I was, in my little bikini (because I wore bikini's back in the day). with my blonde, wavy beach hair, blue eyes, and TONS of freckles!  I said something like, "Holy crap, look at all of my freckles" and my friend said, "You look like the ultimate Southern California beach girl"! And she was right!  And from then on, I actually began to not only like, but to love my freckles!  I loved that I looked like a So. Cal girl.  It was who I was.  I was the girl who drove on the 55 freeway with my foot out the window, a little too much sand in my car, blaring Jack Johnson and the Postal Service with my beach waves, over-sized sunglasses, and FRECKLES! And hiding those freckles meant that I wasn't being true to who I was.

Fast-forward again to now.  I haven't lived in So. Cal in years and I don't get to go to the beach very often at all.  But I still love my freckles.  They are a part of me.  And I have a really cute daughter who looks just like me and is getting her own freckles on her cute little face.  And so when I see all these women trying to cover up their freckles as if they have been cursed with The Plague, it makes me so mad and sad that these girls can't be comfortable in their own skin.  I don't want my daughter going around thinking that she looks "ugly" because of her freckles.  I want her to be proud and comfortable and happy with the way she looks.  I was talking to Nate about all this and he kindly reminded me that our daughter would probably go through phases, just like I did, where she hates her freckles.  But I sincerely hope that she will learn to love them and love the way she looks.  For now, all I can do is love my own freckles, tell her how cute hers are, and tell her how beautiful I think she is.  Because it's true.  My freckled little girl really is beautiful.

"A face without freckles is like a sky without the stars".  - Natasha Bedingfield

And I step off my soap box. :)


Shelley said...

I LOVE this!! I have freckles across my nose and here and there on my body but I don't remember ever feeling self conscious about them. Whiteness? Sure! Freckles? Eh, not really. So there is hope for your daughter! ;) I think we all have one thing or another we are self conscious about but the important thing is to remember we are daughters of our Heavenly Father. That basically makes us royalty. And our daughters should never hear us talk badly about our looks, others looks, or especially their looks. It's a big job- to be a mommy! But you are doing a great!

Haley said...

Is it wierd that I've never noticed your freckles? I started reading this post and kept thinking, "Does Kelly really have freckles?" Shows how observant I am. :) I love what you said about loving the skin your in, especially as a mom of little girls! That is so important.

Stacy Pettersen said...

I am so with Haley on this, I never really noticed your freckles! I guess it's because--like you said--they are just part of you. Well said!

The Grady's said...

Ah the Chapman freckles! It took some time getting used to them and learning to love them, but they are so much a part of who I am that I don't even notice that I am literally covered in them! I have pointed them out to people before and they have given me the same response, that they don't notice I have them, but I hated them as a kid. No one wants to be the "freckle face" as a kid...but I love them now! Such a cute post :)