I had one low on my back, at my waist, that I took as a sign of me being a beauty, but a natural one.
When I was thirteen and got my first bikini, my mother said, “That’s no beauty mark. It’s a mole. A real eyesore. You’re getting older now. Things like this matter. We’ve got to get it taken off.”
I thought of the high school boy with the sun-streaked hair who whistled at me on Beach 35th Street when I walked by his blanket. He must have seen the mark on my back as I continued toward the ocean, but he whistled louder. That proved to me that what I had was a beauty mark.
“I’m not getting it taken off,” I insisted, but it was like my mother put a hex on it. Every time I got undressed, I looked over my shoulder and twisted my body to see in the mirror, which was now often. What I saw was a “mole,” like witches have on their noses.
Read the rest of my essay at TheCoachellaReview.com