Confronting Labels

by: Melissa J.,

GGCMainPic3I can’t remember when I first became aware of my freckles. I do remember the feeling of being different and wishing I could just look like all the other girls with smooth complexions. Wanting to just blend in. To not have something to be pointed out – regardless of whether it was a nasty or nice comment. I wasn’t able to articulate it at the time, but I just didn’t want the label; I wanted to be known as me, not the freckle face.

As with any label, it singles out things that often are out of our control. If only I could have understood what I was fighting at the time, rather than being angry that I inherited them, trying to cover them up, or waiting for them to fade – as I was told they would. They did not.

I know these days freckles may not be the big deal they were back when I was a tween, before models and actors embraced and even enhance their freckles. I think we can substitute my story for any physical label that anyone is battling right now. I wish I was told to direct my resentment at the real problem and speak out about labelling, rather than internalize the label. Nobody should feel inferior because of someone calling out something about their looks. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a world where we can eliminate labels, but we can try our best to let people know it isn’t right. More importantly, for those of us that don’t blend in, I want you to know that it is up to you to not let them define you. Define yourself and don’t ever wish your uniqueness away.

You know what? I also can’t remember when I stopped noticing my freckles. I remember realizing freckles came in handy camouflaging blemishes, and made me look tanned when they blended together from being in the sun 😉 I am sure it was around the time I started accepting my freckles for their own unique beauty and being happy about who I was.

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2 thoughts on “Confronting Labels”

  1. I have freckles as well and had the same emotions as Melissa. What I learned was: we are not all the same and this is on purpose. What makes us different makes us unique, and what is unique about us makes us special. Think of a litter of puppies that are all the same colour — except one that has a little spot of a different colour on her foot. When someone asks you which puppy was your favourite, you’d likely pick the puppy with the dot on her foot…. Because what made her different made her special, and that made her memorable.

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