You are beautiful as you are

The second time I visited Vietnam, where my parents are both coming from, I was 15 - we took the train down South to visit my aunt and uncle in Ho Chi Minh City. There, my aunt examined my face and wanted me to get rid of all my moles (or liver or beauty spots). It is bad luck she said, especially close to your eyes. The elders put a paste on specific spots on my face and told me to leave it on for a week. My parents let some of theirs removed. Two days later, in the summer heat, I had the urge to wash my face and cleared myself from the chemicals. The spots remained.

Eight years forward, my American friend examined my face through the screen while skyping and she said: you have so many of them - you pretty girl! I told her that story and she couldn't believe how different beauty is perceived in Vietnam.

Glad the spots remained because after that incident, I accepted them. They belong to me and I am becoming more of who I am.