Spot-On: 6 Women Share Why They Love Their Freckles

The beauty industry has a fraught relationship with freckles. While plenty of designers have started to embrace them on the runways and many celebrities are proudly displaying theirs, some people are still anti-spot. And, unfortunately, they're often the ones who were born with them. In fact, some have gone so far as to cosmetically remove theirs — a procedure that cropped up in England last year.

We're not about cosmetic surgery-shaming, but we are about loving and accepting anything that makes you you — and freckles fall into that category. So we decided to ask a few freckled ladies why they love their spots. For most of them, the journey to self-acceptance actually started from a place of discomfort. But, over time, they've learned to celebrate their skin.

Ahead, six inspiring women share their stories and prove that freckles are not something to hide — they're something to be celebrated.
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Nikia Phoenix, Model & Blogger
"When I was a kid, even though I didn't have as many freckles [as I have now], I hated them. I felt like my freckles made me stand out, and when you're a kid, all you want is to fit in and not be different. Even though my mom and sister have freckles, somehow I felt like an alien with my spots.

"It wasn't until I traveled out of my home state [of South Carolina] that I felt better about my freckles. There was a trip to NYC — it was one of the first times [I was told] that I was beautiful. I hadn't heard that before. I'd heard kids teasing me and picking on me.

"As I got older, I grew to appreciate them. They started to grow and expand on my face, and now my entire body is covered in spots. I absolutely love my freckles, and I can tell when a new one pops up.

"I said this to someone last week — she was a beautiful redhead with blue eyes, and I could see her freckles trying to peek through her makeup. She said to me, 'I wish my freckles were like yours.' So I told her, 'Stop covering them up!' The more you cover them, the more they will fight to be seen. I'm really drawn to other people's freckles, and I'm amazed that they can be seen on people of a lot of different races. Asian women, Hispanic women, Black women — I think it's amazing that these little beauty marks aren't just specific to one group of people."
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Alecia Davis, TV Host & Model
"Ironically, I only had a few light freckles on my cheeks and nose as a young child. My mother even said she thought it was odd that I was a redhead and didn't have many freckles. They did become more visible in the summertime, after being at the pool and playing outside, and I remember not liking it.

"I [once asked] my mom why I had 'spots' and she responded positively, saying, 'Because you're special. How lucky you are.' I recall being in elementary school and the P.E. teacher divided us into groups for an activity. She said, 'All blondes on this side and all brunettes on the other.' I was left in the middle with a couple other people. It was really the first time I remember being singled out from my peers and feeling negative about it. I think I embraced [my freckles and red hair] when I started modeling. The feedback was positive.

"Now, I have 15 nieces and nephews, and of those 15, only one has red hair and freckles. She is an awesome example of being comfortable in your skin. I recall her saying how lucky she was to be the only one in her class to have red hair and freckles. I thought it was great that she has such a positive outlook."
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Andrea Claire, Makeup Artist
"Growing up freckled didn't really bother me, but I did have a moment of people pointing out that I was full of 'spots.' I never hated my freckles — I think I enjoyed being different — but the teasing did upset me. I do remember when I was in kindergarten, leaving the schoolyard after being teased by older kids. [Their] fits of laughter sent me bawling all the way home.

"In third grade, my aunt gave me Judy Blume's book Freckle Juice, and that made me start to feel differently about my freckles. Judy Blume helped many of us deal with issues.

"I'm 44 now, and a hair and makeup artist, and I love freckles. I've lived in Singapore for the last eight years, where numerous times I've been cornered at beauty counters with sales pitches to rid myself of my 'ugly spots' and 'pigment.' That usually sets me off on a rant — the poor sales staff. (laughs)

"Everybody is different. Some differences are visible, and some are hidden. I would never tell someone to 'get over it,' as that doesn't validate how they feel. But the one thing I can say is that no matter how you feel, you're not alone. I love my freckles, and from time to time when a brand launches a faux-freckles look, I just stand proud and flick my hair. We don't need a pencil."
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Stephanie Vendetti, Author & Cofounder Of How To Be A Redhead
"I've had a face full of freckles for as far back as I can remember and always wanted them to disappear. In high school, I vividly remember asking my mom how I could get rid of them, and her response was, 'Your freckles are beautiful, Stephanie!' That wasn't the response I wanted. I'd roll my eyes, and was determined to make my skin look like all of the other girls' in school — free of freckles.

"Simply put, I wanted to be like everyone else. I think the hardest thing about having freckles as a young girl was the fact that freckles and red hair weren't 'cool.' It was around the beginning of college, when everyone was trying to 'find themselves' rather than blend in with the crowd, [that] I remember looking in the mirror and saying to myself, 'I sincerely love every freckle.'

"When we started How to Be a Redhead, I remember telling Adrienne (my sister and cofounder) that I wanted freckles to be viewed as a true accessory. Now, I see tutorials on how to enhance freckles, and I love it. I am obsessed with my freckles. Period. They shine on my face, shoulders, arms, and knees. My fiancé always tells me, 'You wouldn't be Stephanie without your freckles.'

"[Adrienne and I] just finished writing How to Be a Redhead, the first beauty book for redheads. Adrienne and I made sure there are many chapters and photos dedicated to freckles and why they're beautiful. I feel like I've come so far and feel empowered to showcase me. This book and platform is something I wish I had growing up, and I truly hope it helps young girls accept who they are from the start."
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Adrienne Vendetti, Author & Cofounder Of How To Be A Redhead
"I have loads of freckles on my shoulders, chest, and arms. They've always made me feel really confident about myself; I can't explain why. I've always loved being different, and my vibrant red hair has helped with that, too. As I've gotten older, freckles have begun to show up on my forehead and chin. I think I secretly wish I had a face full of freckles, like my sister Stephanie.

"I embrace my freckles whole-heartedly. Currently, we are on a five-city beauty tour called 'Rock It Like a Redhead.' Stephanie and I have the opportunity to meet our followers and discuss hair, skin, and makeup tips. I always tell every girl with freckles how much I love [the spots]. Usually, they look shocked. I always preach to them to love every freckle — and wear SPF."
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Sarajane Case, Blogger & Photographer
"Honestly, I hated my freckles for the most part [growing up]. I can remember people on the bus saying that they wanted to play connect the dots on my arms. I would go so far as to put lemon juice on my skin, thinking that would make them go away.

"I think the first step [to accepting my spots] was indifference. I became less insecure about them as I entered the later years of high school. But I always wore foundation and mascara to cover my freckles and red eyelashes. When I was in college, I went one day without makeup. A group of my guy friends called me to tell me that they thought I looked beautiful that day. It was monumental for me. It meant a lot to have people that I respected tell me that I was beautiful when I was looking exactly like my truest self.

"I love my freckles now. There isn't one definition of beauty. There's so much value in being unique, and even more value in truly and deeply reveling in what you were born with. Also, you are perfect the way you are. I promise."
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