Meghan Markle made sure freckles weren't airbrushed out of her guest-edited Vogue cover
Wikipedia / Vogue U.K.

Beauty magazines are notorious for removing perceived "imperfections" from their photos of women, but these perceived flaws are what make each individual beautiful and unique. So when Meghan Markle became the first-ever guest editor during British Vogue's 103-year history, she had one specific request for the cover image: leave the freckles.

The cover photo of British Vogue's "Forces for Change" issue features 15 strong women who come"from all walks of life, each driving impact and raising the bar for equality, kindness, justice and open mindedness." Women such as Adwoa Aboah, Jane Fonda, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Jameela Jamil, Laverne Cox, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Selma Hayek are all on the cover. So are their freckles and beauty marks.


RELATED: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry just delivered a very personal and positive message to sex workers

Photographer Peter Lindbergh was told to highlight the natural beauty of the women and skip out on the airbrushing magazines are notorious for."My instructions from the Duchess were clear: 'I want to see freckles!'" Lindbergh told the New York Daily News. "Well, that was like running through open doors for me. I love freckles."

Markle is proud of her own freckles, saying she hates it when they're removed either through photoshop or foundation. The removal of her freckles is a form of colorism. In 2017, Markle told Allure she remembers "feeling too light in the black community, too mixed in the white community," and as a biracial actress, was labeled "ethnically ambiguous" during castings. "To this day, my pet peeve is when my skin tone is changed and my freckles are airbrushed out of a photo shoot," she said. "For all my freckle-faced friends out there, I will share with you something my dad told me when I was younger: 'A face without freckles is a night without stars.'"

RELATED: Lady Gaga calls out interviewer's 'sexist' double standards when he asks about her 'provocative lyrics'

Makeup artists who have worked with Markle say the Duchess requests less makeup so that her freckles stay visible. "Every time I'd do her makeup, she'd say, 'Can we just make sure my freckles are peeking through? I don't want a ton of foundation,'" makeup artist Lydia F. Sellerstold Refinery29. "It was more about the amount of product that went on her skin and keeping it really fresh and dewy, rather than caking it on."

Fashion magazines shouldn't dictate which spots on your face are right or wrong. The fact that Markle embraces her freckles (and those of other women) sets the right example and can help other women embrace theirs.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less

Simon & Garfunkel's song "Bridge Over Troubled Water" has been covered by more than 50 different musical artists, from Aretha Franklin to Elvis Presley to Willie Nelson. It's a timeless classic that taps into the universal struggle of feeling down and the comfort of having someone to lift us up. It's beloved for its soothing melody and cathartic lyrics, and after a year of pandemic challenges, it's perhaps more poignant now than ever.

A few years a go, American singer-songwriter Yebba Smith shared a solo a capella version of a part of "Bridge Over Troubled Water," in which she just casually sits and sings it on a bed. It's an impressive rendition on its own, highlighting Yebba's soulful, effortless voice.

But British singer Jacob Collier recently added his own layered harmony tracks to it, taking the performance to a whole other level.

Keep Reading Show less
Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less