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Woman Scoffs After Female Friend Claims It’s ‘Cultural Appropriation’ To Wear Fake Freckles

A woman with freckles on her face.
Peathegee Inc/Getty Images

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

More often than not, what really makes us beautiful is what makes us stand out from others.

While these little blemishes or abnormalities might make some people self-conscious, others might envy them, even going so far as to add them to their own complexion.

A decision not everyone might appreciate.

Redditior Moths2Flamez was prone to a certain skin condition growing up that she came to embrace.

So much so, in fact, that the original poster (OP) made the decision to replicate this condition using makeup.

Upon noticing that she was doing this, a friend of the OP’s wasted no time in scolding her, even going so far as to accuse her of “cultural appropriation”.

Wondering if this was the case, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for wearing fake freckles?”

The OP explained why her faux freckles rubbed her friend the wrong way:

“I work in a beauty supply store where we sell makeup, hair care products, etc.”

“We got these little ‘freckle pens’ in recently.”

“When I was younger, I would always get a few freckles in the summer from playing outside in the sun all day.”

“Now that I am older, I try to take better care of my skin.”

“I use sunscreen and try to limit my exposure.”

“I miss my freckles, so I decided to try the pen.”

“I picked out the lightest shade so they would look natural.”

“It worked wonderfully, and now I use it almost every day.”

“I met up with one of my friends for lunch yesterday, and she looked at me funny and asked ‘have you always had freckles?’”

“I told her about the freckle pen and she told me that ‘it doesn’t sit right with her soul’ that she was bullied as a child for having freckles and now people wear them as a fashion statement.”

“I told her I that I just thought they were cute and she said that it felt like ‘cultural appropriation’.”

“I don’t think I’m in the wrong here.”

“Obviously, it sucks that she was bullied, but I don’t think using a freckle pen is the same thing as cultural appropriation.”


Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

The Reddit community unanimously agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for adding fake freckles to her face.

Just about everyone agreed that the OP putting on fake freckles was anything but cultural appropriation, but instead was simply embracing who she was.


“Freckles are not a culture.”

“It’s like dying your hair blonde if you’re not a natural blonde.”

“I’m a redhead and I have freckles mostly all over my body, and more so in the summer.”

“For some reason, though, I rarely get freckles on my face anymore, and I wish I had them there!”

“I’d love to know what pen you use and if you know any waterproof options!”- rachaubrey


“Oh please.”

“How is having freckles cultural appropriation?”

“You do you.”

“You do what makes you feel beautiful.”

“This is not personal towards your friend and she is making it so.”- Worth-Season3645


“I was bullied as a kid for having thick eyebrows and now a lot of people get their brows microbladed.”

“Also it isn’t like YOU bullied her in the past.”

“Sounds like a her problem.”- MerryMir99


“You HAD freckles as a kid.”

“How can you culturally appropriate your own childhood?”- cassowary32

“I also was bullied for having freckles and seeing those bullies now paint freckles on them irritates me sooo much, but I would never go and tell anyone to not use the pen.”

“NTA.”- kypsikuke


“Piece of friendly advice, when some says something ‘hurts their soul’ you can basically ignore what they are bothered by as they are likely an idiot.”- Varkyvark


“This is not cultural appropriation, and it is not offensive to a reasonable person.”

“I am covered in freckles from head to toe.”

“I don’t own freckles, and frankly, the idea of being invested in who does and does not have freckles seems bananas to me.”

“Your friend needs to chill.”- Zamastyle

“Cultural appropriation?”


“As someone covered in freckles 24/7, I give blanket permission for everyone everywhere at any time to fake some freckles if they like the look lmao.”- Anonkip16


“Of course it us ok for you to have fake freckles.”

“Your friend is very immature and just weird.”- Agreeable_Rule_7768


“I have freckles.”

“Like. A lot of them.”

“Idgaf if someone puts on fake freckles.”

“They aren’t my race.”

“They aren’t my culture.”

“They aren’t my people.”

“They aren’t history.”

“They aren’t plight.”

“They’re pigment spots.”

“Get over herself.”

“I also have a chicken pox scar on my face. Should I make sure others scars are real in case they’re stealing my scar style?”- SafeWordisFilibuster

“Freckles are not a culture.”

“NTA.”- Future-Resource-4770



“I am pale as hell and have freckles all over my shoulders, back, chest, and face.”

“If someone wants to draw on themselves who the hell cares?”

“People draw on their eyebrows, wear fake lashes, get things filled in and sucked out of their face, why is the line in the sand at freckles?!”- MomLovesMonsters

“An individual case of bullying isn’t the same as something systemic like racism.”

“Your friend’s comparison to.cultural appropriation is ridiculous.”

“I got bullied for curly hair as a kid; does that mean everyone who uses a curling iron has wronged me somehow?”

“NTA.”- Responsible_Wait9772

“Exactly what culture would that be appropriating?”

“I hate it when people use wording like that because it just waters down the meaning.”

“It hurts people who are experiencing real cultural appropriation.”

“NTA.”- Mrs_Weaver


“your style and makeup choices are your business.”- subliminal_sanity76


“Her soul needs to grow the hell up.”- PreoccupiedMind


“As a freckled person, wear the freckles.”

“The more we accept that freckles are beautiful, the less bullying there will be of future generations.”- Major-Distance4270


“It is a bit of a sting sometimes to see things we were bullied intensely for our entire childhoods become trends, but that doesn’t mean people shouldn’t participate in those trends.”

“If anything, after the initial bitterness I’m usually happy that at least now kids who naturally have these qualities and attributes can be themselves without being bullied for it.”- Due-Review-8697


“Everybody gets bullied for something.”

“There is no damn freckle culture.”- Aliteracy

“The freckle pen is a great way to conceal small blemishes.”

“Use the darker shade(s) for ‘beauty’ marks, and the lighter shade(s) for freckles.”


“I have two freckle pens.”

“It’s no different than wearing colored contacts, dying your hair, or getting a spray tan.”- Character-Section-79

“I’m covered in freckles.”


“And I find it hilarious how the people that used to make fun of me use the freckle filter.”

“NTA.”- bwizzle0927


“If this were a real issue people wouldn’t be allowed to dye their hair ginger either.”- Ugly_Quenelle


“Freckles are not linked to a specific culture, so can’t be culturally appropriated.”-InappropriateAccess


“Cultural appropriation?”

“Wow. Just…wow.”

“NTA and thanks for my first laugh of the day.”- No_Builder7010


“How are freckles cultural appropriation?”

“As someone who hated her freckles as a kid, I have no desire to use a freckle pen.”

“I do know other people who like them and wish they had them so if they want to use a freckle pen, who am I to say they shouldn’t?”

“Wearing fake freckles is no different than someone wearing fake nails, lashes, hair, etc. in this day and age.”- chemicalscream

There were a few, however, who at least sympathized with the OP’s friend, pointing out how freckles were, and continue to be, something of a sore spot for her, even if they still agreed that the OP was doing nothing wrong by using a make-up pen to add freckles.


“She’s probably in the wrong for saying it’s ‘cultural appropriation’, but she can feel annoyed or frustrated by it considering her past with being bullied.”

“I think the freckle pen and trend are silly, but I can’t call you an a**hole for using them.”-cthulhusmercy

The OP later returned, sharing an update on how she planned on handling things with her friend going forward.

“I’m probably just not gonna use the pen anymore when we hang out.”

“I only see her once every few weeks anyway! “

“Not really worth it.”

It shouldn’t need to be said that we live in a world where black, brown, and yellowface should never be tolerated.

However, for the OP’s friend to get as angry as she did over her adding something to her face that she openly said she had as a child seems a bit excessive.

It says a lot about the OP’s character, though, that she’s willing to stop every time she sees this friend, knowing that her doing so upsets her.

Hopefully, something this friend will grow to appreciate.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.