Don’t ask me how this subject came to mind. I was talking with someone and the subject of fads came up and I mused, “Whatever happened to The Mole?” Once a popular staple of aristocratic culture and high-fashion which inspired the French to create porcelain limoge boxes just to house these strange little accessories. Ah, the French: masters of deception which sparked such creations as the powdered wig, rouge, and ruffled shirts. But what is it about The Mole that has managed to lend itself to the fashion of every decade?
Wear Your Mole…With A Difference!
Marilyn Monroe is probably the most famous modern-day mole next to Cindy Crawford’s and Eva Mendez. Everything from the placement of the perfect mole to its removal (as with the much-talked about digital deletion of Gillian Anderson’s natural mole in the years she played Dana Scully on the tv show, The X-files). There is something about the flexibility of having one, fashioning one, drawing one on, or wearing one that fascinates to this day.
But since I was musing, I began to think about the etiquette behind mole-wearing. I mean, in the time of the French nobility, were you assigned a mole that only you could wear? Could the mole selection range from Mini-Mole to Maxi-Mole? Like any other article of clothing, could you share your mole-supply with your best friends or were personal moles created to suit the wearer? Who made moles? Were there special mole artists or mole designers who were commissioned to establish a mole to fit a specific face? Were moles passed on from generation-to-generation? If you accidentally left your mole in somebody’s house would the finder be obligated to return it? This and many more…
*Gasp* She’s wearing my mole!
Picture this: a large gala event at a nobleman’s pad. He: bewigged, bespectacled, bewitched by a beautiful creature across a crowded room in her powder-blue gown and matching bustle. He can’t help but notice her smile and her carefully placed black mole just above the right side of her lip. It is enchanting. As he makes his way across the room, he notices a similar creature. This second woman wearing a maroon-colored silk is even more intriguing, as she appears to be competing with the prior, wearing the exact same mole! The woman in powder-blue, noticing, marches across right to the woman in maroon and all hell breaks loose. Could such a faux pas be made in the snuff-filled French Revolutionary world? I dunno. But it could’ve happened, couldn’t it?
Although historically men also wore moles, the mole has been universally accepted as a feminine accessory. There is a mystery behind the mole. It implies a certain confidence, a natural flaw that maybe a subliminal come on. It takes sometimes a strong personality to pull one off say, Bette Davis or Mae West. The mole is sensual, appealing in its own right; a come-hither prelude to a kiss, a wordless invitation just above the lip or on the side of one’s mouth.
The Mole has even entered our modern vernacular as with a popular reality tv show of the same name and our definition of a spy. Why? Well, I suppose the mole is so close as to be forgotten. In this way, it can bear witness to every clandestine affair and in The Mole’s case, rat you out.
Unlike a blemish or a hairy upper lip, the mole need not be corrected. Its type is steadfast in design: it must be clean and natural and not all-encompassing. It mustn’t be hairy or scary or worn by Uncle Jerry. Save for the occasional comedic skit, it is a seriously lauded accessory that will last a long, long time. I guess not much more can be said about the mole except one last thing (as the French would say):
Viva Le Mole!!!!!!!!