Thursday, 7 August 2008

Rocking the New Black

Freckles, I am reliably informed, are the New Black.

Usually, when something is deemed the New Black, I run a mile in the opposite direction, but now, this time, I’m embracing the latest New Black.

The reason, of course, is I have a vested interest here. Or rather several million vested interests. I have freckles. They began on my nose, spread to my arms and shoulders and now inhabit my legs too.

When I was little and my hair was orange, my skin was white and my freckles matched my hair. I started not to like my freckles. Then I was taken to a variety show at the Swan Theatre in Worcester. There was a comedian and, it is exceedingly un-politically correct to say this, but you’ll see later exactly why I need to make it clear, the comedian involved was black.

Now I can't remember much about his act, apart from a really unsavoury joke about three nuns in the desert. I can’t recall the details, I was very young at the time, but for some reason in the joke the nuns all needed to wee on some flour – don’t ask – but the third nun (called - toe-curlingly embarrassingly – Margaret) farted and blew the flour away. That was the punch line. How we laughed.

Anyway, for want of resuscitation, for surely he was dying up there, he spied me and said something along the lines of: “Hello freckle-face, you’re going to look like me when you grow up and those all join up.”

How the audience roared.


The rest of the evening passed in a blur. So I was going to grow up into a black man? With brown skin? And fuzzy hair?

I examined my face in the mirror and searched fearfully for tell-tale signs of joining up freckles. Every time we went out I scoured the faces of old people searching, searching for an old person with freckles.

Then I found her.

She was standing in Greaves Butchers in Studley.

She was tall.

She had long-red hair down beyond her waist.

She was covered – head to toe – in freckles.

She was old – at least 25.

She was beautiful.

Quite the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. An old woman with freckles. I was saved! It wasn’t true.

I gazed at this beauty in wonderment while Mum bought half a pound of mince and four pork chops.

As Mum dragged me away I cast my gaze back to the freckly beauty as she laughed and smiled at the butcher.

What a relief!

Now, thanks to Lindsay Lohan (above) on the front of Vanity Fair and Karen Elson on Vogue’s September cover, freckles are being hailed as the New Black.

For once, and possibly only for the briefest moment, I’m in fashion and I am (as Gok would say) rocking the New Black.


  1. What a lovely post! Isn't it wonderful when we get a chance to see something in a new way, and realize another point of view?

    I love being surprised by learning something new. Bet your freckles are even prettier that those in that Lohan photo.

    All best wishes to you.

  2. Oh and mine are all gone, pah !!

  3. That man sounds like a real charmer.
    I have always longed for freckles - all the best tomboy heroines in my books had tons of them - but having bizarre skin that is milk white transparent in winter and olivey touch-of-the-tarbrush (even less PC), as my father says, in the summer, I have not one. Bah. But my boy has them, and I love each and every one.

  4. My eldest daughter has freckles - how nice to be in fashion! I ABSOLUTELY HATE 'comedians' who are pathetic enough to pick someone out of the audience to comment on and get a cheap laugh. If I'd been your mum I'd have stood up and said something very loudly (and probably embarrassed you even worse)

  5. I so wanted a delicate spattering of freckles on my nose when I was little. It seemed so sophisticated at the time.

    So glad you're ahead in the fashion stakes pre the winter collections coming out darling. As in one can't be too rich, too thin of have too many freckles, or something like that!

  6. Oh Mags, I've just read your previous post - get the horse whip out I say!

    I've said somewhere else that your hair is a gorgeous colour and if you do have freckles I can't remember them! My youngest is strawberry blonde (naturally!) with freckles and I think she is ravishing (not that I am the slightest bit biased!!)

  7. I have freckles, I love freckles and wish I had more. I think they are very appealing and I adore red hair, wished for it myself and though mine was very dark it had a tinge of red (once!). I always wanted red haired children but didn't have them.

  8. My mother who was, as they say, an acknowledged beauty in her day, had red hair and freckles and she was stunning. Love the idea of the ancient 25 year old beauty!

  9. Freckles - I wanted them too. And isn't it a lovely word?

  10. I've got the berglers...all of them ..and they havent diminished with not one! I heard that tale about them all joining up ...I remember hoping that they would and the sooner the better....and then there was sunburn as a background ...bright pink with freckles ...someting almost piggy like about that I thought...yuk!

  11. Another freckly one here! When I was small I yearned for my freckles to join up so I could be the much-yearned for brown or tanned. Now they have started to, I live in fear of it - as they look more like liver spots. But I've always liked them.....
    Yes, the sprinkling over the nose would be good - mine are the all-over variety.

  12. Goodness me, for the first time in my life I'll be in fashion.


I am sorry to have to add word verification thing again but I keep getting spammed.