When I was a child I liked the idea of having a number of features I did not have. I didn’t necessarily dislike the features I did have, quite the contrary, it was more that I wanted to have some others, too (sort of simultaneously, or interchangeably). Why, for example, could my eyes not be one of my favorite colors, purple or gold? At least some of the time? And shaped more like almonds, please?
What pleasure if I had had auburn hair that fell in loose waves. Why could I not be a bit older? Say, 37?* Some of it was a greener grass thing (wanting straighter hair, for example, which I would not have for anything now), but for the most part they were just preferences plucked out of who knows where. Some chimera of admired people and characters. I remember ardently wishing I had copper scales instead of skin at one point, for a long while.
*For some reason I was very keen to be 37. I don’t know how I came upon this number (at around age 8 or 9 this would have been), or why it stuck, but basically I’m still curious to see what happens, and have high hopes for 37.
And why, why, could I not have even a smattering of freckles?
I have zero freckles.
This was my favorite blanket, elaborately cross-stitched with Raggedy Ann and Andy. It’s rather raggedy itself now but it survives. I am maybe 6 here. Already showing a penchant for capes. I think all children instinctively understand the appeal of the cape.
I have only a few so-called beauty marks which could not be mistaken for freckles by any stretch. And hyperpigmentation from scarring, which let’s not even talk about.
Freckles are decidedly in at the moment and a lot of fine examples are showing up, reminding me of my old wishlist.
There is such charm in freckles. Often associated with youth but I have found them wonderful on older skin as well. Older women, especially. Older mixed race women especially. They fall now solidly into that category of things I think excellent on other people.
I have since learned that I can fake all of the things I once wanted the option of having (I still want those options, basically – I am so consistent as that**), provided I am willing to put in the effort. Which usually I am not, but once in a while, for fun…
I didn’t realize then how easy my concept of interchangeable features would one day be to implement.
**It hasn’t escaped my notice (well, not now, but it did escape my notice for many years), that freckles, purple eyes and wavy auburn hair describe Barbie’s friend Midge, which doll I wanted in a certain incarnation for a few years running, and found unutterably beautiful.
At the same time isn’t it a fine thing to be just as I am? Just more-or-less-with-a-few-tweaks-here-and-there-because-after-all-there’s-always-room-for-improvement as I am?
I think so.
Faux freckles are on the horizon. For one afternoon, at least. Golden eyes, too.
One thing at a time.
images via pinterest