From a mole above your knee to a smattering of freckles on your hands, to a port wine stain you swear is shaped like a goat in a top hat, we like to think that our body marks are not only unique, but that they make us special. After all, Marilyn Monroe’s mole above her lip became almost as iconic as her blonde hair and sultry voice, and 30 years later, supermodel Cindy Crawford stood out in a crowd of the world’s most conventionally beautiful women thanks to the mole at the corner of her mouth.
But even more fun than feeling like your freckles make you one of a kind is finding out that against what seem like impossible odds, someone out there shares exactly the same one — let alone a big group of people.
Which is why a discovery by a group of women has shocked, delighted, and amazed the internet. On May 22nd, Twitter user @aarynwhitley posted a collage of four photos, showing different women all with a dark freckle or mole in the middle of their wrist.
ladies..... u got a freckle on the middle of ur wrist or is this a myth lmao pic.twitter.com/VpwkkeWKTj— aaryn ✰ (@aarynwhitley) May 22, 2019
Did you just check your own wrist to see if you’re part of the freckle club?
Because basically every light-skinned person on the internet did! Here are some of the 13.8K responses to the original post:
Some helpfully highlighted:
Some standing out like the North Star in a constellation of lighter freckles:
ladies u got a wrist in the middle of your freckles or is this a myth ? pic.twitter.com/6axvPYhKsb— madeline (@educatedmess04) May 26, 2019
Men tried to invite themselves into the conversation (not entirely successfully):
Yooo wtf us guys too. pic.twitter.com/m3YRlCIJpW— derrick, unlike aghelor (@derrick_foraker) May 27, 2019
And so did dogs, who are always welcome:
Soon, like freckles in the sun, the rumor had left its original home on Twitter and spread to Instagram:
People enjoyed being part of the wrist freckle club:
But as usually happens when there’s an “in” club, people without the freckle membership card started feeling left out:
i appear to be the only female that doesn’t have a freckle in the middle of their wrist and to be honest i feel pretty left out— lo (@dropdeadlois) May 31, 2019
There are calls for a non-freckle club:
I don't have a freckle on the middle of my wrist can we start a new one so I'm involved— Gráinne 🤎🪐 (@grainneleonardd) May 31, 2019
Maybe not having a freckle officially makes you mysterious:
I’m not like other girls. I don’t have a freckle on my wrist. 🤗— $ydnee (@nyneegurl) May 30, 2019
Also, people with brown and black skin pointed out that this is mainly a white/light-skinned phenomenon:
So that myth where every girl has a freckle on their wrist must be just for white people 🤣🤣🤣 pic.twitter.com/Nd4RwO2xaX— Monique Harris (@moniquesharee12) June 2, 2019
Then there are the truly (and beautifully) be-freckled, who are bemused by the concept of only having only one “special” mark:
When people share that freckle on their wrist. pic.twitter.com/RIyG8TX5Qm— MaryElizabeth Thomas (@marylou333) June 8, 2019
Even when they clearly also have a wrist freckle!
This once fun freckle-finding game is tearing us apart:
But according to one Twitter user’s (very small and highly unscientific) poll, the balance between those who have wrist freckles and those without is actually pretty close:
Er, so what’s actually going on?
According to Dr. Debra Jaliman, a dermatologist and author of Skin Rules who spoke to Health.com, freckles are pigmentation under the skin that darken when exposed to sunlight. Since most of us forget to put UV-blocking sunscreen on our wrists (or accidentally rinse it off when we wash our hands), this area is more likely to be consistently exposed to UV rays over the years, compared to other body parts. This means that any markings there get darker than those in other areas. Whether it’s actually more common in women than men is going to require additional research.
While we’re talking about freckles, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on yours.
By now, we all know that sun exposure can cause skin cancer — no matter how dark your skin is naturally.
Please wear sunscreen. I was surprised when my dermatologist checked my whole body for moles. ...but, but, I'm black!— Lawrence Chin 🇨🇦 (@real_xy11xy) August 26, 2018
Black people can, and do, get skin cancer. I read that we get it in odd places, like palm of hand and scalp. Darkening in the sun is radiation damage.
Although freckles aren’t necessarily a sign that you have skin cancer, if you notice that they’ve changed color or size, it’s a good idea to get them checked out by a dermatologist just in case. Even extra cute freckles need professional attention sometimes!
Wrist freckle or not, many freckles or none, layer up on that sun lotion and show your skin some love.