Freckles McGee

We always want what we can’t have. Curly haired ladies want straight hair. Blondes want to be brunette (I mean clearly, it’s the better side of life), and so on and so forth. Luckily in this wonderful age of technology, you can get whatever your hearts desire as long as you have a big ol’ sack ‘o money. Oh, you want straight hair forevah? DONE! Sick of your hair color? Wah-laa, you’re brunette! Wish your taas were a little more voluptuous? Taa-daa (no pun intended …okay maybe a little)!

Except if you have freckles. I have freckles. I have HAD freckles since I was a wee one. And I’ve loathed their circular existence for as long as I can remember. Don’t ask me why, but I would see girls, probably mostly my dolls, with this amazing porcelain skin and think to myself, “why do I have this nonsense all over my skin?! And why isn’t there some laser that exists to remove them?!” Yes, at the age of 5 I was already contemplating plastic surgery before I even knew what the hell it was.

There was one freckle I wanted to take down the most. One that sat in the middle of my nose … that happened to be bigger than the others. Yes. An over-sized freckle that lived on the center of my nose. One that my family was obsessed with and had given it a proper name of “Emily.” A freaking name, for a freaking freckle. They would come over and say things like, “there’s Emily!” and boop me on the nose, when all I wanted to do was try and violently scrub this “Emily” off my face.

Cindy Crawford didn’t have freckles. Madonna didn’t have freckles. Paula Abdul didn’t have freckles. The Fresh Prince of Bel Air didn’t have freckles (see how I’m dating myself here?) But I did. “Emily”, this over-sized freak show of a freckle in the middle of my nose, was all I could see when I looked in the mirror. I wondered to myself, if that is all I can see, I guess that is what everyone else will hone in on when they look at my face. Even though my family adored it like it was a member of the family, I was certain kids would find some way to ridicule me for it. Hell, I was already ridiculing myself for it.

Flash forward to present day, I am still the curly-haired girl with freckles. Except now I own a really amazing straightener and realize that freckles are basically sun damage, and everyone has them in some way shape or form. I just have more of them because my Irish genes dominated over my Italian ones.

My freckles really only make themselves known when I sun bathe (which is rare, and now usually consists of me wearing SPF 70, a hat, and sitting under an umbrella), and live in small colonies on my shoulders. In the winter time, you can barely tell I have them, and sometimes think the Gods actually heard my plea when I was 5 years old for Cindy Crawford-like non-freckled skin.

And yes, “Emily” is still there. Although, I never acknowledge her presence. We are frenemies, if you will. And she usually gets covered up with Laura Mercier foundation and Mac bronzer. My family, to this day, still talks of “Emily” like she is a part of the family. Even though I’m not her biggest fan, in my 27th year of life, I don’t find myself wanting to take a laser to her as much, simply because it is a part of who I am.

We all have shit we would love to change about ourselves. Whether it is as simple as a hair color, or a birth mark, or something more severe … we all carry something like that with us. But at the end of the day, that thing we so desperately want to change about ourselves, makes us who we are. And sometimes ya just gotta own it, freckles and all.


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