Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The 8 Letter F Word

Daniel and I have assignments with the local Mormon church group to teach lessons and plan activities for the teenagers on the island. This means that every Wednesday night we are frantically organizing something. We started feeling guilty for constantly doing activities that teach absolutely no life skills whatsoever so we've been trying to be more thoughtful lately.

I do not want to be responsible if these kids don't know how to play Angry Birds because we never taught them anything useful.

So yesterday Daniel conducted a CPR training night. A huge hit.

He brought the dummies that he uses to teach his First Aid class at the college and walked everyone through the steps. The kids mostly just sat in quiet shock because those dummies were the MOST horrific looking things any of us had ever seen. They looked like they came straight from a Hannibal Lecter movie. Plus the baby dummy's face kept falling off.

When the demonstration concluded, one little girl walked up to me, pointed at my arm, and said, "what's all that stuff on your skin."

Guys. I have freckles. The BANE of my 28 year existence. I hate them with every fiber of my being. I have searched my entire life for one redeeming quality about them. I have not found any.

Growing up I was told that each one represented an angel kiss. I almost gave up my faith in everything over this. They don't tell you those kinds of things about good stuff. Like, you never hear people say, "Sally, the reason you have perfectly straight teeth is because little fairies hold them that way." Because Sally doesn't need an explanation for why her teeth are straight. They're just straight. And that's awesome for Sally. I bet she has good hair and a rockin' bod, too. But people need comforting explanations for why crappy things have happened to their bodies.

When I was a kid, I used to wear long-sleeved shirts to school to try to hide my freckles. I tried rubbing dirt all over my face when I was 8, thinking it would look like a tan and cover them up. I also used to think that people wouldn't want to be my friend because I had them. It made law school really hard.

I kid. Eventually I grew out of the insecurity and I stopped feeling bad about myself for having them, fortunately. I also started to realize that in the grand scheme of things, they weren't really that important and that whether I thought they were a nuisance or not, they couldn't stop me from accomplishing things in life that I could be proud of. But I never quite grew out of disliking them; and it's ok to dislike some things that you can't really change. Glee, for example.

And the reasons I have always disliked them are many. They look funny. They never really go away. The more fun you have, the more you get. People make jokes about them. The Farkus kid had them in A Christmas Story. People call you a ginger no matter what your hair color is. But worst of all, they give you skin cancer. I basically get a sunburn by walking through a well-lit room.

Ok. I know they don't give you skin cancer. I'm aware that they aren't the cause. I've heard of science. You don't need to contradict me right now. Nobody thinks you're smart.

Ok, that was a little rude. I'm sure plenty of people think you're smart. You see what freckles do to me? You see how irritable I just got? ANOTHER TERRIBLE THING ABOUT FRECKLES.

I don't even like the word "freckles." In fact, I pretty much never say it. And I have found that the best way to deal with my problem is through denial. I mostly like to pretend that I don't have any at all and I really believe that if I pull this off confidently enough, people around me will start believing this as well. And if nobody thinks I have them, maybe they'll go away. This is just like that whole tree in a forest and nobody is there to hear it fall thing.

I have one good friend who is plagued with the same disease as me. She and I are both frustrated that the world has refused thus far to view freckles as a problem. Not enough people are willing to admit how terrible they are. And until the world accepts that they are a problem, nobody is going to seriously look for a cure.

But this puts us in a very difficult position. Because we could start advocating for people to accept that freckles are terrible. But then if we succeed and nobody finds a cure, we will have to live with something that we already hated and that now the rest of the world sees as terrible as well.

You see what I have to deal with?

I thought about lying and saying that I spilled something all over my skin that I was going to wash away later, but instead I responded to the little girl, "these dots? These are freckles."

She looked down at her beautiful flawless brown Palauan skin, and then back at mine and said, "are you going to be ok?"

I nodded and assured here, "with time."

Daniel overheard this conversation and came rushing over to defend freckles everywhere. Because Daniel thinks that my views on freckles are wholly nonsensical.

"Of COURSE he's going to be ok! There's nothing wrong with freckles!!! Look! I have some too!" He said. Pointing to all 7 of his freckles.

He thinks he's helping. But it's like telling somebody who lost all four of their limbs that you understand because your fingernail fell off recently.

I explained to the kid, "Daniel is being kind. He is trying to assure you that I don't have a problem because he thinks it will make me feel better."

Daniel immediately interjected, "no no. You have plenty of problems. I'm just telling you that having freckles isn't one of them."

It's nice to have people like Daniel in the world who are willing to contradict the "it matters what's on the outside" lessons I teach to children. And I just want to say, if you have freckles, and you don't like them, you've got a friend in me. And I don't care what anybody thinks---we're hot. On the inside and the outside.

But mostly on the inside.

~It Just Gets Stranger

65 comments:

  1. Eli. I know you won't care about my opinion because you don't know me. But let me tell you: Freckles are fascinating. I wish I had freckles. As a little kid it might suck but as an adult I believe... No, I DECLARE that they make you more interesting and attractive. Unless you're so ugly that not even freckles can benefit you. But that's not your case. I mean, a lot of people do things to fake freckles. It's been scientifically proven that people with freckles are more capable of love. Okay, I just made that last sentence up. But, really. Embrace them! However, if you still don't like them, you're more than welcome to borrow my MaryKay foundation (just let me know if your skin is dry to normal or combination to oily, for better results). ~Flo

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  2. Okay, first of all, I was totally envious of freckles when I was a kid. My best friend had them, and I wanted them too. I found a couple one day and was totally elated, because I thought they were finally coming in. Second of all, there is no second of all, because that's all I've got.
    But if you totally hate them, use BB cream. It totally conceals everything, and makes your skin look fabulous. (No, it isn't makeup....you can totally get away with it.) If you don't have BB cream in Palau, let me know, and I will send you some. You're welcome.
    Oh, I'm a nurse, and freckles absolutely cause cancer. Just kidding. About the cancer part, not about me being a nurse....

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    1. Jeez.....I only just realized how many times I said "totally"....

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  3. I just wanted to let you know that it could totally be worse. I have a blue freckle from my brother stabbing with an ink pen when I was five years old. And then my sister told me it was a rare infectious disease that causes mold to grow under your skin and that I would die before the age of ten. And I believed her. Ordinary freckles? Not a problem, .

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    1. OMG! My sister stabbed me in the foot with a pencil when I was younger and I still have the mark in my foot! It's not a cool blue color like yours - just gray and lame. I wish mine was blue. It obviously makes a better story!

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    2. I have a pencil-stab-tattoo-frekle, too!!! We're like twinkies!!!

      Also, I have real tattoos that incorporate my most unsightly freckles into unnoticeable parts of the designs. It works out well for me. You should consider that. Wait... Can Mormons have tattoos?

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  4. I feel your pain. I have something I would consider worse than freckles.... MOLES! It runs in my family, we all have moles all over our bodies. My sisters and I have taken a marker before and drawn constellations. One of my sisters lucked out and has an adorable mole right by her lip, for some reason because it is in a certain place she gets to classify it as a beauty mark. But she has plenty of other ones she hates. I have one about 2 inches above where hers is but somehow those few inches change it from a mark of beauty to a thing I despise. The one thing about moles is that suppossedly they have a cure, there are things all over the internet that you can put on them, usually weird witch doctor stuff like extract of toad or blood from a dragonfly. Ok its more like tea tree oil or garlic or something. And believe me I have tried some of it but it all smells bad or burns and you have to be crazy diligently and put it on every night for a year. As of yet I haven't suffered through anything long enough to see results. Or I get discouraged because instead of burning off my mole it burns off my skin, seriously not even kidding. The worst was when I burned my face and for a while I decided the moles weren't that bad when compared to blotchy burn marks. The other thing you can do is go to a doctor and get it cut out, but that is a literal statement, the doctor digs a scalpel into your skin and cuts out the mole, leaving a large hole which is then stitched up. Needless to say there is lots of scarring. So instead of moles I would have little scars everywhere. My dream is to invent a safe (burn and scar free)cure for moles and get filthy rich from it. And because I like you I will invent something that cures freckles too.

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    1. Oh my gosh. Story of my life. Not even kidding. My little sister has a cute mole on her face that is considered a beauty mark and then I have three moles on my face that drive me bananas. They're not cute in the slightest. I totally understand. Once you find the brilliant cure for moles, I will invest in it.

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    2. Becca, love your blog! You are adorable! Don't do anything to your moles! :-)

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  5. My daughter calls them pickles instead of freckles. Next time you're feeling bad about it, just imagine how much worse it would be if you were covered in tiny pickles.

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    1. Hahahahahahaha I actually laughed out loud at this. And now I'm imagining Eli and tiny pickles all over... even worse. Hahahahahaha!

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  6. I am just thrilled we both detest the same things...freckles and Glee. There is hope for humanity.

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  7. Eli, I share your feeling towards the F word. I'm covered in them...there are times I question my Ethnicity or my relation to the Milk Man. I swear they are like rabbits and multiply before my eyes. The dermatologist asks me if I have any new ones and I just give him this look like....Are you serious??? there's no room for more..there are on top of each other now.... Thank you so much for sharing your feelings...safety in numbers.

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  8. As an actual "ginger" I spent many years despairing of my freckles and the fact that I live like a mole due to the fact that I can get a sunburn by sitting less than 5 feet from a window. But, as I get ever closer to 40 I have realized the absurdity of my despair and have now started hoping to acquire enough that I will stop looking like Spotty Mcspotterson and just look brown all over. Here's hopin'. And Daniel doesn't get to have an opinion unless he draws oddly sized spots all over himself and walks around that way for at least a year.

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  9. I think freckles are cute, Eli. And the word "freckle" is kind of adorable unto me. And I even have freckles. (And more than seven.) True, most of my freckles are on my shoulders, so nobody sees them except when I'm in a swimsuit (which, let's be honest, only happens at the pool, the lake, or the beach), and I have a smattering of them across my nose. But they're light enough that nobody really notices. And I wish they did, Eli!

    Anyway...freckles aren't the bane of my physical appearance, it's true. (But I'm a girl, and I've got about a half a dozen I could name off the top of my head.. Let's not go there, hey?)

    Anyway...I like freckles, and I'm glad they can't be scrubbed off. :)

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  10. Oh, you are going to love this. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNcjs30BZTs

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    1. Our YM Pres taught it to the boys at Scout camp last year. Gotta love scout camp.

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  11. I was told mine are the rusty ends of my steel nerves.

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  12. I, too, used to have a love-hate relationship with my freckles. But then I decided they're not so bad, and I just spray myself down with SPF 50 every single day like it's going out of style. That seems to keep me from getting new. Also from turning a particular shade of red that looks like I vacation on the sun instead of what I was actually doing, which is walking from my car to my house. And I actually am a (secret) ginger, because I have deep red hair that everyone says is 'auburn' until I step into the sun. Then the evil of the red shows, and everyone knows I have no soul.

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  13. this is how I feel about the moles on my face. I'm a twin. I was the "twin with two moles" all growing up. Not a fun way to be classified. I picked mine off once. As an adult. It was gross while it healed then the little perpetrator just came back. While miserable I'm sure, at least freckles aren't 3D. Or age to be gross colorless lumps. Not that I'm downplaying your pain or anything. Or am I.

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    1. You were the two moled twin! I never really realized that.

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  14. I too am covered by a blanket of small brown dots. I even have one on the inside of my hand. I never considered the social problems they might cause a child, but it may well explain why my ginger mother decided to home school all 7 of her spotted children.

    I think your story shows an obvious need for fr****** awareness. I encountered a similar situation several years ago, right here in the United States. I worked at a rec center where many of our young members were of the African American persuasion. One day, a little girl in kindergarten asked me, "Ms. M, what color are you?". I looked down to reply and found staring intently at my arm. "What color do you think I am?" "Are you polka dotted?"

    I think you would be a great spokesperson for Fr****** Awareness, especially now that you're hanging out with Brittney.

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  15. When I was a kid, I wanted freckles. So much so, in fact, that I took an orange felt marker, and dotted my ENTIRE self with them. I thought I looked awesome. My mother was horror stricken.

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  16. I have freckles and I actually like mine, but while living in Cambodia, people called them what translates to Fly Crap...except not crap... They loved how white my skin was, but would say my husband's darker skin was more beautiful because he didn't have freckles.

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  17. I'm and AZ freckler and have never had a problem with it. Bring it.

    My cousin, though, worked for my dermatologist uncle and used this cream stuff that made them go away. But then her skin was also super white. If you were to take away my freckles I'm sure I'd look like a sheet.

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  18. It could be worse, you could have moles, like me. My little siblings would count all the moles on my arms during church, I have enough that it kept them quiet well through the sacrament and 2 talks!

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  19. Thanks to this post and all the comments, I just spent a good 10 minutes counting all my dots. I'm not sure if they're moles or freckles or skin cancer or what, but now I'm having flashbacks to all the 10th grade health lessons about how to tell skin cancer from a regular mole, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to die. At least with freckles, you know what they're from. I've just got random dots, and they're not moles, but they don't really count as freckles either, so like I said, skin cancer is the only option left.

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  20. Angel kisses? I was told my freckles are from all the souls I stole. I have been raised being told as a red head I am an evil soul stealer, and each time I steal a soul I get a mark to show the world of my evil gifts.
    So you have the right to hate them. I on the other hand have embraced them with my gift of soul stealing.

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    1. That is sooo much cooler!!! I'd go with that story too (:

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  21. My friend once had a dog named Freckles. True story. She was pretty freakin cute. Even the constant teasing at doggie day care couldn't keep her down. Of course, she was a cocker spaniel and thus was fairly stupid.

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  22. WHatever..your freckles just make you cuter in my opinion.

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  23. Your freckles just make me want to kiss you even more!

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    1. Haha me too! His freckles would even convince me to marry him... I think he purposely posted about how much he dislikes his freckles so that everyone would tell him how hot they think he is.

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  24. I have about 17, 567 freckles on my arms alone. Plus on my face, hands, legs, and pretty much everywhere else. I, too, was told they were "angel kisses," but since I'm a ginger without a soul I know THAT explanation is impossible... No angel would kiss a ginger.
    Just once I wish someone would give me a straight answer about them.

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  25. I've always assumed that evenutally my freckles would converge and I would just be tan. Not there yet, sigh... But on the plus side, freckles make it harder to tell when I get food on my face. Everything just blends in.

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  26. You got 99 problems but freckles ain't one! Seriously though I wanted to let you know I agree about freckled people being hot, especially on the OUTSIDE.

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  27. No. You're wrong. Freckles = attractiveness.
    People w/ freckles get bullied. People who get bulled develop an ironic sense of humor. Humor in an individual is incredibly attractive. Therefore, freckles = attractiveness.
    Lawyered.

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    1. *we all know I meant bullied, not bulled, but I'm OCD and have to clarify.

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  28. Get yourself some bath crayolas find a mate or not and have a fun time playing connect the dots. Works for me.

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  29. freckled and loving itFebruary 28, 2013 at 3:55 PM

    I'm going to have to strongly disagree with you here. Freckles are awesome! I've never once been made fun of for freckles and I have thousands... literally. I once counted the freckles on about an inch of my arm (actually wrist so smaller section of skin) and there were over 100. I don't know what I'd do without freckles. You see I actually am somewhat of a ginger (mixture of brown blonde and red) therefore I come in to lovely skin colors, pasty and red. Freckles counter act the lack of normal human color. Learn to embrace your freckles!!!

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  30. I'm curious as to why you grew to dislike your freckles. Did anyone ever say anything mean to you about them? I have always had freckles, and in my case, I only got compliments about them (like I had anything to do with them being there, haha), but I don't remember really ever caring one way or the other.

    This goes without saying, but some people in certain places, especially kids who have never been abroad, have just never seen someone with freckles because people where they live tend to have a darker skin tone or whatnot, so they don't get freckles. Personally I wouldn't let anything like that bother me, but that's just me, I guess.

    Anyway, I just find it interesting that some people hate their freckles so much. Oh well, I guess most people have something they don't like about their bodies.

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    1. More than anything, I dislike how sensitive my skin is to sun.

      I really don't remember much bullying because of it. And I'm not really sure what started my insecurety about them. I imagine it was mostly because my friends didn't really have them like I did. And when you're a kid, being different can cause a lot of anxiety. As long as I can remember, even now, I have never believed someone when they have said that they like my freckles. I just can't believe that that is possible. I think it's like when you see someone with blue hair and feathers in it and you say, "I like your hair!" But in reality, you would NEVER want that hair for yourself and you also don't think that person actually looks good. Friends who have understood that I don't like my freckles have started to learn that it is impossible to convince me that they look good so instead they say things like, "you look good with or without freckles." Rather than try to convince me that they are attractive, it's easier to try to convince me that I'm attractive despite them. The most nonsensical aspect about all of this, I suppose, is I don't always think freckles are bad on other people.

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  31. Is anyone else starting to love saying the word "freckles" after reading all this? Freckles, freckles, freckles.

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  32. Oh my gosh. I died. I literally died reading this. It's ok though, I came back to life. Thank you for making life so entertaining. And good luck on your freckle cure. I hope someone finds one someday.

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  33. When I was little my favorite book was Freckle Juice because I had (and still have} SOOOO many freckles!!! Once I went to Venezuela for a Missions trip and everyone came back with this gorgeous beautiful tan.. I came back WHITER!!! (With more freckles} HOW IN THE QUEEN OF COLORS DOES THAT HAppEN!!!!!!!! So I feel your pain... I have been told it is my impish like tendencies coming out, angel kisses.. and there was another one but I cant remember what that one was....

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  34. Freckles unite! They are so terrible but people with freckles are the hottest on the inside.

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  35. So if freckles are angel kisses are you an angel whore?

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  36. I just have to say... I don't have a ton of freckles. But I DO have them. I have a bunch of tiny faded ones on my cheeks and nose, and you can barely tell they're there unless you look closely, because I'm so ruddy my blood rush blush covers it up unless I'm sick.
    I used to have freckles everywhere, but they faded away. And it makes me sad. I didn't have a particular like or dislike for my freckles when I had them, but now that they're gone, it's almost like a part of me is gone too. It's like losing your nose or something.
    So just think about looking in a mirror and NOT seeing your freckles. They just disappeared overnight.
    While yes, beauty is inside and out, and your outer appearance doesn't really matter that much, it's still a part of you, and if they disappeared... I think you would be sad. Even if you didn't admit it.

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    1. Totally agree with you! He should believe that there are people who are not lying when they say they like freckles or think they're cute. They add something unique to a person, especially to the face.

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    2. I totally agee with you. He should understand that there really are people who think freckles are cute and they add something unique to the face.

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  37. You're right. Freckles are ugly and they look hideous on you. Happy with this answer? I hope so.

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  38. omg i feel your sunburning pain. so, i'm half spanish and half irish which means that most of me tans, however my face!!! will get burnt walking the short distance from my door to my car on a cloudy day >:( and then once the burn is gone, i'll freckle, and then burn again, and the whole problem starts all over.

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  39. I may not have freckles, but I know how you feel. I have always felt self conscious about my curly hair. Ever since I was a kid I've wanted to have the same long perfectly straight hair as all of the other girls in my class. I used to get teased for having curly hair, which made me hate my curls all the more. We all have things we hate about ourselves, but for what it's worth, I like your freckles, and I think that they look good on you :)

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  40. I didn't know freckles were unsightly until a couple years ago when my sister told me, "I'm sure there is something you can do to get rid of those freckles... Maybe you can try lemon juice and a loofa and scrub off your skin."

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  41. Freckles are fine. You know what sucks? Skin tags. They're super lame.

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  42. I am covered with the obnoxious spots and can totally feel your pain. I HATE them! They taunt me in the mirror where a group of them have decided to join hands across my top lip in a mock 5 o'clock shadow. Not attractive if you are a chick. :P

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    1. Oh gosh I understand! The freckles on my nose and upper lip make it look sometimes like I just dove into a bit vat of chocolate milk... looks like dirt or 5:00 shadow and is just the worst possible thing. I don't hate them until mid-summer when they've converged despite all my sunscreening...

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    2. I have the same thing! Sisters, we need to unite against weird upper-lip-freckles (and I also have them everywhere else)! All the stuff your grandma is telling you doesn't work: lemon juice, baking soda, even sunscreen... I'm happy-sad that people can relate. :)

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  43. I actually think freckles are sexy. I always wished I had a couple scattered over my nose when I was young. And the skin tones that go with freckles are generally better than the GIANT purple bags I get under my eyes thanks to an "olive" skintone with no exposure to the sun to make it look as good as it sounds.
    People with freckles are beautiful to me... but I'm also the kind of freak who loves a Ginger... LOVES

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  44. I had lots of freckles growing up. And I like many others were lied to and told that they were angel kisses... I always thought the angels that left their kisses were perverts because they kissed me in awkward places like my tushy! Do you know HOW FLIPPING AWKWARD That is?! Pervert angels... .. thankfully the freckles on my face just kinda blended into the acne i had as a teen... wait .. no thats not a good thing..... I digress.

    Freckles on guys are sexy as all get out. Im just saying...

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  45. Oh my... don't be so ridiculous. If anything, you should thank your freckles for giving your skin SOME color.

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  46. I don't have freckles, I have moles. And I HATE them with a fiery passion. So I can relate, basically.

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  47. When I was a kid I spent my summers on a swim team and therefore, a lot of time in the sun. My face was covered in freckles. And you think the "angel kisses" is bad...try having your mom tell you you have them because you stood too close to the cow's rear end. Fortunately, as I've gotten older they tend to fade in the winter....but I'll be damned if those suckers don't come back out when summer hits...I too have come to just accept them. Oh and I have an unsightly mole on my arm...my mother prods about that too, asking every time she sees it if it's gotten bigger....gee thanks mom!

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