I have ginger hair and quite often with all things ginger comes freckles. Lots and lots of freckles.
You see, I come from quite a weird mix; my Dad is incredibly fair, as a kid he had platinum white blonde hair and it only took a sniff of sun and he was a walking lobster whereas my Mom was quite often asked when she came back from holiday if she was Spanish! Dark black hair and very olive skin so somehow in the middle I emerged as a freckly redhead with black eyebrows who tans – I’ve always been a bit different hey.
Aside from a very freckly face which served as a good base to try and disguise my acne, my arms also have lots of tiny lighter brown freckles but that’s about it. However I have three very prominent birth marks. Most people would probably have no idea that I have them as for many years I was so incredibly paranoid about them.
I have one on my left calf that I call my “coffee stain” this is basically a mole that never fully formed. This one I was very fond on. I liked that my Mom nicknamed it a coffee stain and thought it was pretty cool but the other two – for a time, I felt were ruining me.
The two dark brown moles are on my legs. One on my right inner thigh is around two inches long but this one you didn’t really ever see as I’ve never been one for a thigh gap! But the one on my left thigh – this is the one that really, really caused me grief.
I resented this mole so much for years and years. I remember as a young teen begging my Mom to take me to the Doctors to talk about getting it removed and when she finally conceded (after a lot of badgering) I was told the roots ran deep and wouldn’t be able to be removed as it would leave a huge scar. It sounds silly now just writing it but this inch long mole affected me and my confidence so much.
I would cry my eyes out pleading for my Mom to write me a note excusing me from swimming because I was so incredibly self conscious about it. The thought of anyone seeing it made my stomach churn. When I was younger if I ever did go swimming, I’d stand with my legs crossed on the side of the pool; genuinely looking like I needed a wee was more appealing than showing the world this gruesome thing on my leg.
School uniform in the summer was a nightmare as all skirts and dresses had to pass a rigorous test of not exposing it when I walked/sat down. As I got older and started going out again the idea of anything above the knee was a no go because everyone would think it was hideous – right?
For a good 10-15 years of my life this mole was viewed with such venom. It caused me to feel so incredibly insecure and down – and for what? I hadn’t ever really thought about the impact of it until I sat down to write this post. It makes me feel incredibly sad that I could be so insecure about something so shallow and something that was out of sight the majority of the time. The fear of “what someone else might say or think” the driving force behind it – for what purpose though m? People… Actually don’t care. It’s a birth mark – so what? It’s part of me and other than extra caution in the sun, causes me absolutely no bother.
All these things fill me with worry. Worry that my kids may one day tie themselves up in knots about something that they have no control over. Charlie has an issue with his eye and I am petrified he too will grow to resent it and let it shatter his self esteem. My parents spent so much time telling me it didn’t matter and trying to reassure me but I let it fester. I sincerely hope my kids don’t have to go through it because after all is said and done – I could not care less now about it, just like my Mom said all along.