dans sa peau

August 21, 2007

Sitting cross-legged, she tugged at her thighs, playfully smoothing out her stretch marks. Through the cavity of her legs, she could see the taut folds that her bent ankles made above her heel. Her hand graduated to scratching the prickly stubble on her shins as she frowned at her many mosquito bite scars. More generously, she began to count her moles, dark brown, some with one or two hairs breaking through the thicker skin, all special dots infinitely connectible, she thought.

Mole. Mole. Rather than evoke a wobbling tunnel-digger, the sonority of the word somehow called to mind visions of some ghastly protuberance sprouting from a witch’s nose. The English language could be funny that way. She would always prefer to think of her moles as her grains de beauté. That was what her mother had called them from her earliest age. She felt somehow slighted, then, when she looked up the word “beauty mark” on the internet and found that the term only applied to facial moles. A portrait of Marilyn Monroe was meant to illustrate this fact. But if the beauty marks on your face are so prized, and apparently sought after (Don’t have a beauty mark? Get your mouche! Looks like an authentic facial mole! Ugh.), why shouldn’t they also be beautiful on the rest of your body, all the more rare on brunettes? But then again, Americans are more democratic with their use of the word hair.

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