A beauty mark or beauty spot is a euphemism for a type of dark facial mole, so named because such birthmarks are sometimes considered an attractive feature. Medically, such "beauty marks" are generally melanocytic nevus, more specifically the compound variant. Moles of this type may also be located elsewhere on the body, and may also be considered beauty marks if located on the shoulder, neck or breast.
Notable people with beauty marks
In the twentieth century Marilyn Monroe's beauty mark generated a new vogue. Fashion model Cindy Crawford's prominent mole helped revive the fashion. Some celebrities who have beauty marks include Madonna below her right nostril, Sheena Easton below her left nostril, Tina Louise on her cheek, Sheryl Crow on her chin, Mel B on her chin, Mariah Carey on her chin, Taylor Swift on her neck, Angelina Jolie on her forehead, Blake Lively on her cheek, Eva Mendes on her cheek, Erin Wasson below her right nostril, Marion Cotillard on her forehead, Kate Upton below her right nostril, and Sophia Bush on her right cheek. In addition, U.S. Congresswoman Robin Kelly has a beauty mark below her right nostril. Men are also seen as attractive for bearing facial moles, such as Actor Dylan O'Brien and the Musician Prince; both are iconic for their numerous beauty marks.
Artificial beauty mark
False beauty marks are sometimes applied to the face as a form of make-up. Beauty marks were particularly highly regarded during the eighteenth century and creating false ones became common, often in fanciful shapes such as hearts or stars. They could be purchased as silk or velvet patches known as "mouches" (flies). Alexander Pope's 1712 poem The Rape of the Lock mentions such patches as indicators of "secular love":
- Here Files of Pins extend their shining Rows,
- Puffs, Powders, Patches, Bibles, Billet-doux.
- Now awful Beauty puts on all its Arms;
- The Fair each moment rises in her Charms,
- Repairs her Smiles, awakens ev'ry Grace,
- And calls forth all the Wonders of her Face;
The Monroe piercing has gained popularity in recent years as a flexible way of approximating a beauty mark.
In the conclusion of the book The Silence of the Lambs, the heroine Clarice Starling gains an artificial beauty mark when burnt gunpowder gets lodged in the flesh of her cheek. She retains this mark in the sequel novel "Hannibal". This symbolism (along with Dr Lecter's polydactylism) did not get carried over into the film.
- Ariel, Irving M. (1981). A Historical Introduction: Is the beauty mark a mark of beauty or a potentially dangerous cancer? Malignant Melanoma, Appleton-Century-Crofts, ISBN 978-0-8385-6114-0
- White, Jackie (April 30, 1995). Behind the glamour lurks an ugly, dirty business. Kansas City Star
- "Pope: Rape of the Lock". University of St Andrews. 16 March 1999. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
- Pope, Alexander (May 1712). "The Rape of the Lock: An Heroi-Comical Poem, Canto 1". Retrieved 1 December 2013.