Beauty marks are small, black or brown, singular moles on the face, neck, or shoulders that have aesthetic appeal. Both men and women can have them, but they are more commonly associated with women. For hundreds of years, facial moles have gone in and out of fashion in various cultures, and they have been so popular that people used cosmetics or adhesive patches to create artificial ones. The size and placement of these marks has also been historically associated with a number of superstitions.
Physically, beauty marks are the same as any other mole or nevus. Made up of clusters of pigment under the skin, moles can be as tiny as a pinpoint, and most are smaller than 0.25 inches (6 mm). They may be raised or flat, smooth or hairy. Just like other moles, they have the potential to change over time. In some situations, they can be cancerous and lead to a malignant form of skin cancer called melanoma.
As Compared to Moles
The difference between a beauty spot and a mole is subjective. Usually, a single mole found on the upper parts of the body and face may be called a beauty mark. Freckles, since they commonly occur in multiples, are not the same thing, even if they are found in the same area. Large and irregularly shaped moles are usually not considered aesthetically pleasing, and so aren't beauty marks either. The most attractive ones are generally those that are sized and placed to emphasize and complement other parts of the body, like the lips, eyes, or forehead. Ones that are in the middle of features, like the nose or chin, may not be considered as attractive.
Fashion Trends and Superstitions
People have been creating false beauty spots with make-up and small adhesive patches since the Renaissance Period. During the 18th century, artificial facial moles were immensely popular in France and England, and they were often made in whimsical designs like stars, hearts, and crescent moons. They were typically used to cover up less attractive features, like pimples or scars. A fascination with nevi of all sorts spurred superstitions in Asian and European cultures, which allegedly predicted character traits based on the placement of moles on the body. For instance, some people believe that a mole near the eyebrows represents a strong personality, while others believe that one in the center of the forehead represents creativity.
Artificial Beauty Marks
Artificial moles continue to be popular. Special cosmetics and adhesives are created specifically for temporary beauty spots, but some people also get permanent ones tattooed onto their skin. Others get facial piercings to get the same look, such as a round, metal stud to the right of the mouth, known as “The Marilyn.” People who want a less permanent solution often just draw a temporary beauty mark on with black or brown eye liner.