The #CoachellaReview published my essay Beauty Marks
My mother prized beauty marks. Every day she penciled one on her right cheek. Once, the butcher, getting flirtatious, pinched her cheek, then staggered back, jaws agape, when it smeared.
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
June 30, 2016 @ 6:20 pm
Well written, moving and sad. My heart goes out to you.
July 1, 2016 @ 11:41 pm
Thank you so much. I really appreciate the feedback. Best, Rochelle