Moles: Un-American!

Here’s a little story about an audition for an orange drink, which I’ll call Funny C. If you don’t have kids, take a sec to think “What? They still make that?”

The first round of auditions went down like this. I drive like a speeding bullet to Santa Monica and rush into the casting lobby. I check out the storyboard pinned to the wall, sign in, and stand along said wall, pretending to be on my phone, my headshot tucked under my arm.

A tan, creamy-skinned, tall, blonde, beach-y gorgeous Swedish Supermodel walks in and stands beside me. I immediately feel like a stubby troll next to her, but I try making conversation in order to not get into my head about it.

Me: “This sun… it’s making it so hot in here (awkward laugh sound coming from my mouth)!”

Swedish Supermodel: “(Long pause, looking straight at me, serious face. *Say this like a sexy Swedish robot) EEEET EEEEZ HOHHT.” And then she looked back at her phone.

Ah well. I didn’t really need to like, talk with anyone or…anything…

So I get into the audition room, feeling somehow not supermodelly enough, but – chin up. I find:

–  a small red tricycle
–  a hula hoop
–  a beach ball

I make a joke about this being the first round of auditions for Cirque du Soleil. The casting guy starts up some really cheesy kid music on his laptop. “OK!” he says, “You’re gonna show your kid how to hula hoop, then push them around on the tricycle, then let them push you around on the tricycle, then throw the ball!” Keep in mind, there is no kid in the audition room.

All that culminated in a pointedly mentally-disturbed display as I rode around in a circle on a kid’s tricycle, laughing and looking back as my INVISIBLE kid “pushed” me, all to the tune of something from So You Think Your Baby Can Dance.

{Note: I would have paid good money to see that Swedish Praying Mantis ride around on that godforsaken tricycle, trying to laugh. Good, good money.}

So, a day later, I got a callback, where I got paired up with four really sweet kids for the audition. We are drinking Funny C, we are dancing like straight up idiots, we are pushing each other on skateboards, riding tricycles, hula-hooping, laughing and throwing beach balls!! We are AWESOME.

I leave the audition, in love with my new children, and hoping for the best. The producer follows me out of the room and says “Lauren! Come with me – I wanna talk to you a sec.” HELL YEAH HE WANTS TO TALK TO ME! Did you hear that everyone in the lobby? SPECIAL MEETING WITH THE PRODUCERRRRRRRR! YEAH!

He takes me around the corner and says “Sooooo… the client (Funny C) is really particular about SKIN…”

Me: “Oh! Ok…” I kind of make a move to hide the one zit I couldn’t quite cover.

Producer: “—So, this is a little awkward, but I need to look at your moles.”

Me: “Oh, ok. Ah, sure…”

Producer: “(Lifting up my hair to see behind my ears, and around my neck) Yeah, they’re going for All-American, and, y’know, moles aren’t All-American…”

Me: “Pshhhyeah…” Thinking All-American means different things in real life versus commercials, “I’ve had to cover them before – it’s a piece of cake.”

Producer: “Mm-hmm… Ok, we’re gonna have you come back in for some close-ups.”

WHAT?? OK, now that you’ve examined me like a hopeful Dalmation in the Westminster Dog Show — NOW, I will come in for an on-camera once-over???!?!

There’s a feeling to the walk that you take, in that moment. It feels like you just fell on your face, and you have to get up and keep going like nothing happened. See: one of my fav Carrie Bradshaw scenes.

I went back into the audition room, happily drank MORE Funny C, smiled and laughed into camera, while a room full of Funny C people evaluated my larger-than-life-size moles on a monitor.

I didn’t book it.

In 9th grade science class, a kid who sat behind me, did a “study” that involved graph paper and lots of numbers. It concluded that, considering all my moles, and assuming I hung around other people who also had moles, I would be completely covered in moles by the age of 67.  (Can’t wait for that!)

Every dermatologist I’ve seen, has remarked (after I’ve mentioned, “I have a lot of moles”) “Wow! You have SO many moles!”

One time, an old woman – who was having her eyebrows tattooed onto her face at the time – suggested I simply laser all my moles off.

I’ve heard the sweetest terms for them: freckles, beauty marks, angel kisses, chocolate chips… Un-American terrorists.
The first time I saw pics of Elettra Rossellini (Isabella’s model daughter), I thought – Cool! She has moles too! And she’s pretty. Wait — moles can be beautiful?? (It’s multiple moles I’m talking about, not the one universally attractive one by your lip, Marilyn. Cindy.)

Sooo… I’m gonna keep em. And casting will just have to get used to them. And also to spelling my last name without the L.




24 thoughts on “Moles: Un-American!

  1. Lauren, I loved your story. It reminded me of this:

    When I lived in LA I was up for an IBM national. I had already done a call-back and was on avail when I took my 5 year old son Alex to Universal Studios. I get a beep (yes, that long ago) and call my agent. “They want to see you again.” I ask, “When?” He replies, “Now. How soon can you get there?” As luck has it the audition was just down at the bottom of the hill across the street from Universal Studios. As luck wouldn’t have it was the look on my son’s face when I said that we had to leave Universal for daddy’s call-back for few minutes – but we’d come right back. The tears and screaming that followed as I dashed with him to my car through the crowds at Universal Studios drew looks from the crowd pegging me for a kidnapper. I kept pleading that this was going to be fun,…and he kept screaming and crying all the way down the hill and into the casting studio. The CD was a friend and terrific with Alex, who was bathed in sweat and tears and by that time had a splitting headache. I went into the audition room, sat in front of an IBM laptop, made a funny quip about the sweat pouring down my face, and did my best to look professional. All I had to do was type something, look up and say, “Well Gentlemen?” I thought I did that brilliantly. I didn’t get the job, and I truly feel my son will one day sit in a shrink’s office explaining his lack of trust for me and a unexplainable fear of Universal Studios.

    • Hahahaha. Shelly!! I would have loved to see the people watching you drag your own screaming child out of Universal Studios. Scarred for life! But at least it’s a memory of you two spending time together. You’re a good parent!

  2. I really like your posts Lauren, keep it up – its fascinating to hear what its like to be down there working furiously to get into the business these days. I did that in ’79 and ’80 and ended up in Oregon growing pot. Then I got into Will Vinton studios for my so-called career. And recently I had a little job as en extra on “Grimm.” Un-american… HA HA HA

  3. That’s interesting. When I met you (You, a freshman, moving into your college dorm, me, an orientation leader helping your parents cart your stuff to your room.) I thought: “Wow, she’s beautiful! But not in a VA-VA-Voom supermodel sort of way. In a All-American, girl-next-door sort of way.” (Please let this read as the compliment I mean it to sound.)

    But “All-American” was my exact thought. Exact.

    • Thank you Sherrie! I take it as total compliment. And I even met you before I discovered the flat iron. Or hair-styling in general. Oh, beginning of Art School! You were already the cool kid ;)

  4. Not that I didn’t already know this – but I am too thin skinned to survive a minute in LA…. not to mention too disfigured with freckles and moles ;-)

  5. i too, am a moley girl, you are not alone! if you remember, i have a very prominent one above my left eyebrow. kids always point it out and try to scratch it off. and ‘mole’ was one of coley’s first words. not ‘all american’, my ass! i’m a freakin’ american, apple pie (or at least apple dumpling) as they come, and i’m loaded with them. screw that! ha ha.

    • Hahahahaha! Oh my god – Susie. That is one of my fears about children. How they point out things like that. My nephew’s first words to me will be “female mustache”, “sideburns”, and “horse teeth”. *Somehow he will know all my weaknesses and then be able to speak them to me…

  6. So ironically I stumbled upon your blog while in the midst of researching how to get rid of my moles. I admit it made me smile, but it also made me awe struck at how you seem to have zero insecurities about your moles. I’m 30 years old, very fair complected by nature, and for most of my life had very few moles (maybe ten or so) on my body. After years of tanning they started to appear at rapid fire pace around the time I was 27-28. NOW, they are everywhere, most of them are very small, some are not, but I have a hard time feeling confident in my appearance now. I feel like I’m hiding some dirty secret underneath my clothes, and have really come to believe NO man is going to want me with these spots all over my body, when I can hardly stand looking at them. When I think about how much my skin has changed and how little dermatologists I’ve seen seem to care, I get extremely depressed.

    Yet you seem so confident in yourself despite having something I too possess that has seemed to rid me of all my self esteem. I guess my question is, do they ever bother you, have you always been this confident, and if so, what’s your secret?!

    • Harper! Thanks so much for writing this. I can’t imagine you and I are the only girls with moles ;) Maybe other people will read this and be inspired by you, too! First of all, I say find a dermatologist who DOES care about how your skin is changing. Any kind of tanning (I am guilty of fake-n-baking AND laying on the beach with Hawaiian Tropic SPF 8 slathered on my skin) does damage and it’s important to have someone who is just as interested in keeping your skin healthy as you are. SECOND, if a man is turned off by your moles, he’s not worth your time! I’m betting that what you think is freaky, is cute and beautiful and totally attractive to just about everyone else. I was born with a few moles, but I’ve definitely gained more over the years. Since I’m in a profession where people are evaluating how I look, it’s kind of helped (forced) me to come to terms with that — the good and the bad! And in reality, it’s all good. Because it makes you YOU. Living in LA, I get to see a ton of clones walking around — women with the same outfits, the same hair, same botox face, peaches and cream skin, same dog, same Prada bag. It’s so refreshing to see someone being themselves around here.

      I am *TRYING* to be confident in every aspect of my life. It takes so much work and it’s a daily effort for sure. And I have bad days. Definitely. Everyone’s got their insecurities. I know I have mine, so I work to be the best advocate for myself. Treat ME, like I treat others ;) With love and kindness. Even to the moles ;)

      I’m excited to hear about the first guy who agrees that your moles are HOT… ;) XO

  7. wow. I am 27 years old, and still not comfortable with the number of moles I have. I have them everywhere. They don’t seem to stop showing up either. This is such an inspiration. But how have you learned to love them and not feel like you aren’t beautiful? I feel like I am, but I don’t get to skimp about in tiny outfits like everywhere else because I feel like my moles are ugly. They are big, and disgusting to me. How have you gotten through this and learned to embrace it?

    • Jennifer! I’m so glad you wrote ;) I keep getting more moles too (it’s important to check them out at the dermatologist every 6 months, and wear SPF every day to prevent — and reverse! — sun damage.) BUT. There’s also the emotional side to having something that you feel is super visible to everyone else, and that makes you feel insecure. I actually bought a makeup to cover up my moles for auditions. But I hardly ever wear it.

      It truly is in our own heads, to feel like we’re not enough. EVERYONE has something they feel insecure about. It might not be physical, but we all have something we wish we could change. (I’ve got a whole list!) The older I get though, the more I realize that the way I am NOW, is what makes me ME. It’s important to be that person, not try to be an imitation of someone else. Wasting every day, wishing to be what I’m not, isn’t my idea of a fulfilling life. OF COURSE I have days where I’m running around Hollywood and see some model, in a minidress, with creamy skin and I think — “SEE? I could have her life if I didn’t have these friggin moles! All my problems would be solved!” The rest of the time, I try to train my brain to say “Y’know what? If someone’s not cool with who I am and what I look like? FUCK EM — That’s not someone I want in my life.”

      My advice to you (other than protecting your skin from the sun and having a Dermatologist check you out), is to wear the HELL out of some tiny outfits!! Who knows who you’ll be inspiring, just by having the courage to be yourself. It’s not easy. And not a lot of people can do it. But I GUARANTEE no one’s gonna be looking at your moles. They’re gonna be noticing the girl who’s not afraid to go out in the world and kick some ass.


  8. Hello. First of all, sorry for my english (it’s not my native tongue).

    My wife is moley. Not a helluva lot of moles, but quite many of them. They make her unique. She wouldn’t be herself without her mole on her nose’s side, or the little one on the “southeastern” side of her chin. Or the ones on her back.
    She’s beautiful.
    I fell in love with her before seeing her. And when I saw her, I knew I was definitely lost in the maelstrom of love that caught me forever.
    I would never want her moles out (unless a doctor say so).
    Moles are part of what makes her uniquely beautiful and adorable.
    And I adore her just the way she is.

    Kudos from far down south.

    • Gabo! Thanks so much for your message. Your English is more eloquent than mine! What a lovely tribute to your wife – your love for her is inspiring ;) And I’m always happy to hear stories about moles as “beautiful”. They make us uniquely ourselves. And all of that should be celebrated! ;)

  9. I have the same issue with moles.. terribly embarrassing..I too as another post said, use to tan at age of 16-19.. now I am 28 and they are popping up everywhere..It’s a daily battle with clothing, makeup, and a husband..I go to a dermatologist every year to get checked.. but at this point I just don’t care.. I would rather see a plastic surgeon while I’m here to remove as many as I can afford per year..I can’t wait to see what I look like when I’m 50-60.. !!! :P It’s just good to know there are a few others out there with the same thing..

    • It’s SO good that you get them checked out by a pro (and removed if they seem odd). I think the most important thing is to be healthy about taking care of our skin. Using good SPF all the time (I’ve heard it can reverse signs of damage and aging). And enjoying the sun — from the shade! We’ll start a fabulous club of old ladies covered in moles, when we’re 80 ;) Our first meeting will be in the Bahamas, because by then — who cares! XO

  10. I liked reading this article and reading all the comments. I too am very moley. Obtained an insecurity over them when I was constantly picked on at school for having them and being told ewww you are gross or ugly. Throughout time and after getting to be in charge of what I wore I covered up only showing my hands and face its been like that for a long time now and its frustrating that I just won’t get rid of the insecurity I’ve been missing out on living my life to the fullest and instead always hiding.

    • Bre! I’m so glad you wrote. I think it takes time to overcome those things that stab so deep when we’re younger. But truly; Those negative comments have only to do with the person saying them (and screw em!). It’s only recently that I’ve been able to see my moles as something beautiful. And unique to ME. Which is a really cool thing ;) Being kind and gentle on yourself, and accepting (and rocking) what you’ve got — Girl, you’re unstoppable! XO

  11. Please ladies, do NOT get your moles removed!
    I’ve had two surgically removed (one was early stage Melanoma). If you laser them, it will only lighten them and then you can’t tell if they are cancerous. Surgical removal leaves scars, which are uglier!! It is not fun either.
    Just keep an eye on them. I’ve had at least a few since childhood and now at age 52, wish I could tell my younger self to stop laying in the sun and ALWAYS wear sunscreen!!
    I have learned the hard way. Moles need to be addressed as a possible future cancer (especially if you have more than 50 and a family history of Melanoma).
    I sometimes dislike my moles (mostly on my arms and legs) but my late husband adored my anyway and my current love tells me how beautiful I am everyday day!!

    • Jeanne, I love this so much! I totally agree with you. And the older I get, the more I find myself caring for my skin (and all that comes with it!), versus complaining about it. I have melanoma in my family as well and definitely keep an eye out for any weird changes and things like that. And YES. People who really care about you, will love the entire person that you are. Thanks for writing! ;)

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