I will never forget the day when I first became aware that my beauty mark stood out to other people.
In third grade, a little boy who sat next to me in class began to tease me about the “mole that was growing on the side of my neck.” He asked me constantly why it was there, as if I had specifically chosen to have this mark etched into my skin. Not only was I upset by his critique of my appearance, but I was annoyed that he could never seem to just accept it and move on. He made it very hard for me to embrace my beauty mark as an unchangeable part of my appearance.
As I moved into my tween and teen years, I grew less and less concerned with my beauty mark. My hair had grown longer and I wore my hair in a ponytail less frequently than I had as a young child. No one could really see my beauty mark and thus, no one really commented on it. Between my academics, my extracurricular activities, and my social life, I realized I had less and less time to worry about what other people thought about my appearance.
At some point during high school, I had to visit the dermatologist’s office concerning an oddly shaped freckle on my leg. The dermatologist decided to remove the freckle in case it was cancerous- it wasn’t. While I was sitting in the office after the out-patient procedure, my dermatologist asked me to show her any other freckle or beauty mark that was of a notable size. I pointed to the beauty mark on my neck and my dermatologist quickly took an interest in it.
“This beauty mark doesn’t seem to be irregularly shaped so I don’t think it is cancerous,” she said. “But we can still have it removed if you would like, for cosmetic purposes.” I know my dermatologist did not mean for this comment to come out offensively. In fact, I am sure that she was used to her patients coming to appointments and asking her to fix or to remove every imperfection from their skin. But I did not appreciate the implication that beauty marks had no business being on my skin. If the beauty mark wasn’t cancerous, why should anyone even consider removing it from my skin?
I’m finally at a point in my life when I can say that I have accepted my beauty mark. It is just another aspect of my physical appearance that is unique. While most people might consider my beauty mark to be a blemish or an imperfection on my skin, I see it more as a mark of authenticity. This is my skin and I am comfortable with all of its so-called “flaws.”