According to an article by Alene Dawson in the Los Angeles Times, such sentiments are changing fast, thanks in at least small part to actress Lucy Liu, perhaps the most famous Asian actress to flaunt her freckles with pride.
In non-Asians, sun damage has a way of bringing out fine wrinkling at even young ages. That's not quite so true in Asians, who instead react to sun damage with more pigmentary build-up that can take on various forms, including the suddenly hot freckle.
Freckles are clusters of melanin triggered by sunlight and can range from a delicate sprinkling across the nose to almost total body coverage. According to Dr. Jessica Wu, an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at USC School of Medicine, "freckles are a sign of sun damage, regardless of age or the color of your skin." The more you have and the bigger and darker they are, the more serious your degree of damage.
"Anyone with freckles, regardless of skin tone, should be more careful about sun protection," warns Dr. Wu. Short of staying inside or never going out without a hat and long sleeves, your best bet is the regular use of a good sunscreen.
While freckles can be removed with non-invasive skin treatments like chemical, laser, or intense pulsed light skin peels and prescription bleaching creams, they can also be hidden by makeup. In the past, many of Asian descent chose thick concealers that tended to make the skin look chalky.
Now that freckles are joining the ranks of "cool," there are other cosmetic options to consider, like use of a light-reflecting powder that lessens the color while letting the freckle shine through in all its glory.
While going bare is now totally modern, don't forget and step out without the sunscreen. Makeup artist Brett Freedman who works with actresses like Lucy Liu offers some good tips and recommendations here.