A beauty mark or beauty spot is a euphemism for a type of dark facial mark 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 face, shoulder, neck or breast. Artificial beauty marks have been fashionable in some periods.
Artificial beauty mark
Artificial beauty marks, or mouches (Fr. flies), became fashionable in sixteenth-century France, and the fashion persisted into the eighteenth century. When the fashion spread to Spain and the Spanish Empire they were called a chiqueador.
A mouche was generally made of silk or velvet and was applied to the face as a form of make-up. They were kept in a patch box, or boîte à mouches (Fr. box of flies), and were often fanciful shapes such as hearts or stars. Besides their decorative value, the patches could hide smallpox scars or syphilis sores.
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. Natural beauty marks are also often enhanced with color from an eyebrow pencil or pen.
People with notable beauty marks
Many female sex symbols, actresses, and other celebrities are known for their beauty marks:
- Gloria Swanson, born 1899
- Arlene Dahl, born 1925
- Jean Patchett, born 1926
- Marilyn Monroe, born 1926
- Anne Francis, born 1930
- Elizabeth Taylor, born 1932
- Sophia Loren, born 1934
- Tina Louise, born 1934
- Dolly Parton, born 1946
- Kate Pierson, born 1948
- Lynsey de Paul, born 1948
- Christine Baranski, born 1952
- Sheryl Crow, born 1962
- Erin Wasson, born 1982
- Lisa Marie Presley, born 1968
- Mel B, born 1975
- Charli XCX, born 1992
- Lady Gaga, born 1986
- Sarah Buxton, born 1980
- Karlie Kloss, born 1992
- Caroline Polachek, born 1985
- Elizabeth Perkins, born 1960
- Pink, born 1979
- Rachel McAdams, born 1978
- Kim Cattrall, born 1956
- Edie Sedgwick, born 1943
- Paloma Picasso, born 1949
- Madonna, born 1958
- Paula Abdul, born 1962
- Michelle Forbes, born 1965
- Cindy Crawford, born 1966
- Janet Jackson, born 1966
- Mariah Carey, born 1969
- Natalie Portman, born 1981
- Neelam Muneer, born 1992
- Blake Lively, born 1987
- Geena Davis, born 1956
- Mandy Moore, born 1984
- Frida Gustavsson, born 1993
- Aly Michalka, born 1989
- BC Jean, born 1987
- AJ Lee, born 1987
- Kate Upton, born 1992
- Lil' Kim, born 1974
- Eva Mendes, born 1974
- Phoebe Dynevor, born 1995
- Son Chaeyoung, born 1999
Male actors known for their beauty marks include:
- George Hamilton, born 1939
- Robert De Niro, born 1943
- Joaquin Phoenix, born 1974
- Colin Farrell, born 1976
- Adam Driver, born 1983
- Tobey Maguire, born 1975
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.
Joan Crawford had a prominent beauty mark in her role as Sadie Thompson in Rain.
- ^ 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
- ^ Capon, Alex (28 June 2021). "Pick of the week: £220,000 for enigmatic faces of the Interregnum". Antiques Trade Gazette. Retrieved 4 July 2021.
- ^ a b "Beauty Marks Go Global", ARTicle, blog of the Art Institute of Chicago, January 14, 2015 Archived August 26, 2018, at the Wayback Machine
- ^ "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. Archived from the original on 27 November 2013. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
- ^ a b c Barbara Cloud, "Marks of Distinction", Chicago Tribune, April 25, 1990.
- ^ Schulte-Hillen, Sophie (August 14, 2017). "The 9 Greatest Beauty Marks of All Time, from Cindy Crawford to Madonna". Vogue.
- ^ White, Jackie (April 30, 1995). Behind the glamour lurks an ugly, dirty business. Kansas City Star