By Malwina Gudowska
While most childhood memories are composed of bosom friends and pivotal events, my youthful days can be mapped out in a connect-the-dots trajectory—literally. I rarely spent serious time in the sun, but I have plenty of little dark marks on my skin, including the four moles on one side of my face that I’ve had since birth.
At seven, when I dressed up as Madonna circa 1984 for Halloween, my mother drew a small mark above my lip with her brown eyeliner to mimic Madge’s signature mole. A couple of years later, as if I’d willed it to happen, a mark appeared above my lip, just a centimetre down from where the Material Girl’s spot had been. I was no longer a fake; I was part of the Marilyn (Monroe), Cindy (Crawford) and Madonna club. Plus, my mole quintet was complete! But what I thought was a blessing—who wouldn’t like the comparison to Cindy Crawford?—became a curse when a cruel classmate took notice and used it as a source of inspiration for his playground intimidation tactics. Upset and teary-eyed, I sought refuge near the balance beams, and a teacher came up to ask what had happened. “David says that if you connect all the moles on my face, they make an upside-down house,” I said.
“Those aren’t moles, my dear,” the teacher replied. “Those are beauty marks.”