Skinema's Industry player: The Beauty Mark

Is there any skin lesion an actor actually desires? Outside of the occasional tantalizing tattoo, we can think of only one. One that added the mystique of movie icon Marilyn Monroe. A Hollywood standby since the early days of silent film, The Beauty Mark reigns supreme as the spot Tinsel Town can't resist.  

What puts the Beauty in Beauty marks? Why would one want an asymmetric dark spot? How did it catapult Cindy Crawford to the top of the supermodel summit? And why couldn't it save her from her doomed movie attempt: 1995's disastrous "Fair Game." Let's put it this way: Beauty Marks are powerful, but even this lucious lesion has its limits.

Much like real estate, the value of a facial mole depends on three things: location, location, location. As illustrated by film femmes Jean Harlow and Sherilyn Fenn, moles near the mouth and eyes draw attention to those features. Those areas also happen to be proportionately larger during young adulthood when courtship rituals are crucial for the survival of the species. In other words, when being a hottie is most important.

Goldie Hawn's lip mole is a thing of beauty.
For the witch's nose and cyclops' brow?
Not so much.

Since noses, ears, chins, and foreheads grow larger over the years, they are the features associated with (gulp!) old age.Therefore, a mole on the nose or ear is not considered particularly pretty. Forehead moles seem to suggest a one-eyed cyclops, rather than a sight for sore eyes.

Actresses aren't the only ones putting Beauty Marks on their must-have lists...

Mariah Carey makes her "mark"...  

 As do Abdul



and Moore's the merrier!  

What's missing from the top promotional image of supa-star Mariah Carey from the clearly autobiographical "Glitter"? Her left cheek beauty mark, that's what. For several years, only Mariah's right face was seen in publicity images. Was she feeling inexplicable beauty mark insecurity? She seems to have gotten over it, the mole now prominently revealed, resembling a stray speck of black glitter. Perhaps her pain has been lessened knowing that she shares the non-cancerous small lesion with such divas as 80's icon Paula Abdul, songstress Sarah MacLachlan, Latin crooner Gloria Estefan, and pop upstart Mandy Moore. But we're not sure Ms. Carey enjoys sharing anything. Especially the spotlight...

Remember when the only scandal surrounding pop singer Janet Jackson was her sultry facial mole? When her name recalled the phrase "super cute"rather than "Super bowl halftime fiasco? The longetivity of the Beauty mark is also based on the fact that it only suggests sensuality without over-reaching. Something Janet might keep in mind for her inevitable comeback attempt.

Over 100 movie years, outstanding performers come and go, but the beauty mark remains.

© 1996-2008 Vail Reese M.D.

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