Beauty Marks

Beauty Marks - Classic Fashion IconsThis post comes to you direct from Old Hollywood Glamour.

Some beauty trends make total sense. Platinum blonde movie-star hair? It’s flashy, shiny and fun! Plus, it’s a biological signal of youth (and men flock toward it). False eyelashes? They make your eyes look bigger (another sign of youth) and more dramatic.

A beauty mark, though? Why? Two words: Marilyn Monroe. But we’ll get to that in a minute.

Beauty marks have been associated with aristocratic women for centuries – even back in Ancient Greece, a mole on your cheek supposedly foretold great wealth. In medieval times, however, moles were considered a sign of demonic possession.

Beauty Marks - Classic Fashion Icons

Anyone who’s seen Lina Lamont knows that demonic possession probably shouldn’t be ruled out too early.

But only a few centuries later, fake beauty marks were used to cover up smallpox scars and other unsightly blemishes. Instead of concealer, women glued a variety of shapes and fabrics to their faces, from stars to hearts, from silk to velvet. These patches had the sexy name of “mouches,” French for “flies.” Oh, and did I mention their placement? The cheeks were popular, but it was also very sexy to have a beauty mark in your cleavage, like a magic-eye trick to attract the eyes to hard-to-notice breasts.

1952’s wildly popular Singin’ in the Rain had Lina Lamont, the great star with a star placed delicately on her cheek. By then, of course, one of Hollywood’s most famous marked stars had already come crashing onto the screen: Marilyn Monroe.

In her earliest films, you don’t really see Marilyn’s beauty mark. It’s hidden under powder and foundation, but, as she became more and more popular, so did her mole. It became more prominently featured in her close-ups, finally being immortalized in Andy Warhol’s Marilyn paintings. Norma Jean wasn’t just another starlet: she was the girl with the beauty mark.

And even recently in 2011’s The Artist, an actress (played by Berenice Bejo) rises to fame only after she is given a fake beauty mark to distinguish her from other actresses vying for a shot at the silver screen.

Not all moles are created equal, though. This trend gradually faded away until one supermodel with a prominent beauty mark became a household name and face. When Cindy Crawford appeared on the scene, the mole that Cindy was teased for as a child became a mainstream symbol for the star. Perhaps without the mole, she’d just be another pretty face with nice skin and hair in a clothing catalog. Although, lest we forget, moles can sometimes indicate skin cancer (Cindy claims she fears hers might turn cancerous).

Today, actresses such as Blake Lively and Eva Mendez celebrate theirs by showing them off to the camera, rather than hiding them. Natalie Portman has several moles on her face, but only one takes center stage in her Dior ads.

General consensus is that beauty marks near the mouth ramp up a person’s sex appeal. The location of the beauty mark is also a secret glimpse into the soul. Beauty marks on the right cheek indicate a serious and academic personality (Natalie Portman did go to Harvard. And Blake Lively does seem grounded). A mole on the chin means the person is addicted to love and sensuality (Hello, star of Sex and the City, Sarah Jessica Parker! Although where is hers now?) And a mole close to the hair on the forehead indicates a person who loves to play games. However, most likely, it just means you have a mole close to the hair on your forehead.

If you were born with a naked, beauty-spot-free face, add one with black eyeliner, or – for the really committed –a Sharpie.

Just keep ’em above the neck, ladies.

Ready to hear about the craziest beauty tips from Classic Hollywood? Grace, Audrey, Marilyn and more star in Old Hollywood Glamour!

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