Do you Have Beauty Marks?

I remember that as a kid, my cousin and I would play dress up and she’d often use dark markers to put “moles” above our lips and above our eye brows (contrary to what my parents would said, I didn’t spend all my childhood years prancing with comics and books). As a child I, those moles never really meant anything to me, but it dawned to me (thanks to Cosmo mags and MTV) that my cousin were emulating the likes of  Cindy Crawford and Marilyn Monroe, who had drawn so much mystique and exuded so much charisma because of their moles. My cousin eventually ended up having a tattooed mole above her upper lip, and I remember the string of boys she’d gone out with while she was in college and how guys would throw themselves at her. And I thought to myself “Wow, that’s one hell of a mole.” “It’s a beauty mark,” she said and I couldn’t help but wonder. “Am I less pretty because I didn’t have that facial mole?”

Apparently, this fascination with “beauty marks” goes a long way back. They were particularly highly regarded during the eighteenth century and creating false ones became common, often in fanciful shapes such as hearts or stars. They’re considered by many people to be attractive, provided  that they’re not too numerous  and depending on where they are. From what I’ve seen and read though, they have to be relatively small and should exist discreetly on the face, neck, shoulders and breast.

There are even some studies that suggest that people who have moles also have longer telomeres on their DNA. These telomeres are the little end-caps on each chromosome that keep them from deteriorating so the longer the telomeres, the slower one ages So the more moles you have, the younger you appear and the longer you live because of the telomeres anti-aging benefits. 

I have grown so many over the years, so do I get more beautiful as I grow older? Don’t answer that.

English: Cindy Crawford at The Fantastic Mr. F...
Cindy’s beauty mark doing its magic. (photo credit- wikipedia)

Most people have them anyway – some people have more than others. Some are congenital, but most moles, just like mine, have formed before the age of 20. Some people can get new moles into their 30s or beyond. They can come in many different shapes and can be single or multiple, on almost any part of the body. Most moles are pigmented but some have no color.  Most moles are brown but the colors can vary from flesh to yellow, to blue or black.

Some cultures believe that moles can be lucky or unlucky depending on where they are located, what color they are, and how large they appear in proportion to our body. A tiny black mole on the  feet can mean opportunities for travel, or you can have a dark red dot your hand that can denote  a particular skill or luck associated with one’s hands. Moles on our backs may  some kind of burden we have to carry, while moles at the front of our bodies are said to attract success luck.

Technically, it’s just a mole. It could be just any spot on the skin. These spots can occur when cells in the skin grow in a cluster instead of being spread throughout the skin. Medically, they’re known as melanocytes, and they make the pigment that gives skin its natural color. Moles may darken after exposure to the sun, during the teen years, and during pregnancy.
Generally, moles are harmless, unless they grow in huge clusters and if they protrude from your skin.  If you have a lot of them, (more than 20), you have a moderately higher risk of developing skin cancer. Moles themselves are not skin cancer, but the most aggressive and dangerous form of skin cancer, melanoma, often begins within moles. Consult your dermatologist if you want to have them removed.
But as the old adage goes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
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