Lipstick and Freckles. The Beginning of My Beauty Journey.

“I mean is there anything I can use to cover them up?” The woman at the makeup counter looked at me in shock. “But why would you ever want to do that?”

Thinking back to that moment, walking out of the mall that day at 17 years old. The question kept ringing through my head. Why did I want to do that? Was it necessary? I had always been taught to love myself and I did…I thought. Growing up a little black freckle faced girl in the suburbs of Detroit, I was subconscious of my freckles.

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Freckles are condensed flecks of melanin that occur because of genetics, as well exposures to UV radiation.  They are present on a range of skin complexions, and seen in all nationalities. Freckles appear in an infinite number of patterns, from splashes on the bridge of the nose to all over the body. I was blessed with freckles from my grandmother on my father’s side.

I grew up with a love-hate relationship with my freckles. I loved that I had a unique look that received kind words and attention. I also hated the fact that I had a unique look that received so much attention. What would it be like to look “normal”? I didn’t want to hear people say I looked like a Cabbage Patch doll or be compared to Pippi.  I wanted to feel sexy and be attractive. It wasn’t like I didn’t think I was pretty so, why did I have all this confusion?

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Fast-forwarding, then college happened. Not only did I leave out of the small suburbs, but moved all the way to the big city. Being in a big city is exactly what you would think… more people! With more people I was exposed to the diverse scenery that I had really been craving all along. I no longer felt like a conditional beauty, or that because of my freckles I was limited. Looking around the city at all the different types of beauties, it allowed me to embrace my own. After that I didn’t really care if I didn’t have the same features as the girl on TV. I only cared about me. I only cared about how I could continue to love myself and be the most beautiful woman (inside and out) that I could possibly be.

Is there anyone to blame for the way I felt?  I would love to see a larger representation of diverse beauties featured in the media. However, I can say that I am so pleased that compared to 20, 10 and even 5 years ago there is a much broader spectrum of beauty being featured. We may not be where we need to be, but progress is progress-no matter the size. Social media has really played a big role in allowing everyone to see, and connect with everyone around the world. Allowing appreciation, and love for more than just the “standard” idea of beauty. Now little girls, teens, and grown women can see the different complexions, shapes, features and beauty all around the world and be inspired.

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Now as a makeup artist it is my biggest joy to pass on that confidence. Showing women how to look like their most beautiful self…. not exactly like the girl in the magazine.  I will never forget that visit to the makeup counter, that artist encouraged me to embrace me and accept my own beauty.

Freckles and all!



Photos: J. Franklin
Makeup: Michelle Landon