The Australian singer and entertainment host Ricki-Lee Coulter decided to go makeup-free on Tuesday and post a beautiful selfie. Visibly noticeable? Her freckles, in all of their glory.
The photo's caption was a simple note, reading, "When I was a little girl, I hated my freckles, but one day my pop told me they were just a whole lot of beauty spots and that girls with freckles are special. Now I love them!"
Ricki-Lee's Instagram photo got a lot of love. But when she shared the same image on Facebook, the haters started pouring in, calling her out having past photos with makeup that didn't show her freckles.
At first, Ricki-Lee tried reasoning, pointing out that embracing makeup isn't an act of deception women need to apologize for.
It didn't take long for Ricki-Lee to realize enough was enough, so she shut down the haters with a short note:
Judging by the running thread among the over 2,000 comments, Ricki's fans love freckles just as much as they love her — and she's not the only one who grew up a little self-conscious about them. Fans chimed in about their own experiences and how encouraging words from parents can help them see their freckles in a positive light.
Freckles haven't always gotten love: A popular theme throughout the comments? Inspiring messages declaring that freckles are truly beautiful, something you wouldn't necessarily know if you trusted celebrity and fashion images.
Freckles are a rarity in fashion and pop culture, where smooth and even-toned complexions reign supreme. Plenty of stars have freckles, but they can be minimized through photo editing or heavy makeup so that they're hidden in plain sight.
"Sometimes a magazine wants to see my actual skin, and other times they'll airbrush them out," the famously fair-skinned redhead Julianne Moore told Redbook last year.
Certainly freckles haven't been seen as a beauty trademark or so-called "angel kisses." Called "Freckleface" as a kid, Moore told the New York Daily News, "I was very self-conscious about the way I looked ... That suddenly is the moment kids become conscious about parts of their bodies that they don't like." As adults, women have been trying to cover up their freckles — or devil's marks, as they were sometimes known — since the Middle Ages.
The point, however, is that freckles aren't a trend; they're a real, normal part of beauty, no matter what's "cool" or not. When more models and celebrities like Ricki-Lee show off their natural selves, our definition of what's beautiful can only grow.