Date a person with a Harelip?

Before dealing with a topic I encountered throughout my adolescence and young adulthood, a few words about Jack Dupree and the lyrics to the song he sang in the You Tube video posted in my last blog.

Singing the “Harelip Blues.”

So here’s what I found out about the song, but not becasue of Snopes (see prior blog). I dug a bit and found–according to a Wiki article–that Jack Dupree sometimes used the equivalent of poetic license for singers—an artistic conceit—by singing as if he had a cleft lip and palate. This, despite the fact that he had excellent, clear speech, particularly for a blues singer.

So, amid his blues and boogie-woogie, Dupree would mimic a cleft palate. In keeping with his wry and clever way with words, he even recorded under the name Harelip Jack Dupree. He got away with all this because, being born around 1910, his audiences were less sophisticated and less PC inclined than today’s.

My guess is that all the references to “Harelip Blues” lyrics on the net—and especially the claim that certain singers sang the song—is the result of websites created by robots.

Stacey Keach

Stacey Keach  Actor w cleft lip

So, back to the topic of today’s blog:  would you someone with a hare lip? This is a common question cleft-afflicted people ask. I deal with this topic in Cleft Heart during my middle and high school years—a period when rating, dating, and mating go on, as the saying used to go.

Date a person with a hare lip?

Here’s the question a guy asked on Yahoo and a coupla responses to his question, including his fave one. I’ve added the boldfacing:

I was born with a cleft lip and palate, 26 years old 6ft 2 in, in great shape and have never had a girlfriend before , I’ve been told by women that I’m hot and adorable but have never had a girlfriend because of my low self confidence about my self image. Girls would you date a guy who was born with a cleft lip and palate? I really want a girlfriend badly.

Best Answer according to Asker:

Have you ever seen Joaquin Phoenix? WOW! That’s one hot guy! He also has the scar from a cleft lip & palate yet he is one of the best actors of our time. He obviously had the confidence to overcome this and pursue his dream and has become very successful.You have answered your own question really. You know you look good and you’ve been told you look good but you have low self-confidence. I can PROMISE you that it’s not the scar that is turning the women off. It’s the low self-confidence.Truth is, we all have scars of some kind. Not all of them show. Some are inside. All have the potential to bind us if we allow them. This may sound cold but you need to just get over it. You obviously have a lot of good qualities.  Why would you let what you perceive (but many don’t) as a bad quality negate all of the positive things you have to offer a woman? Do you think the scar is more important than your personality? Do you think it’s more important than your heart? If you find a woman who sees it as a turn-off I can promise you she is not worth your time.God bless you!
Asker’s rating & comment  4 out of 5

I like honest answers, thank you. I’ll take your advice on the low self confidence.

Ms Ambitious
where do you live?? 6’2″ is perfect for 5’10” **wink, wink** : )
if women tell you you are hot, why not believe them.

Update : I’ve had seven surgeries. I was born with the less severe cleft lip called a lateral.

Update 2: I live in Chicago, and have had braces twice!

Update 3: I was physically and mentally abused in grammar school and high school, and was a cutter in my teenage years.

Gentle blog reader: What do you think of these answers? And do the updates cause you pause?
To be continued…

To learn about CLEFT HEART: Chasing Normal, click the Amazon or Barnes & Noble buttons in the margins. Or click the image of the book cover. My coming-of-age memoir has intertwining love stories, mystery, tragedy, and triumph.


  1. loretta says:

    I would date a guy with cleft lip , there’s this guy I’m crazy for but he doesn’t really kiss girls he has cleft lip but I wouldn’t change that for the world. It’s what makes ultra special and he’s really good looking. The scar on his lip is what makes him different from average guys and I’m scared to tell him how I feel cause I donno if he likes me.

    • Good for you, Loretta.
      Besides being good looking and “special” in your eyes, is he kind, interesting, and both a talker and a listener? If so, you’ve hit pay dirt (gold!) if he likes you.
      If you’ve got these qualities, too, I’m sure you two can get comfortable enough with each other to reveal your true feelings. If things don’t work out the way you’d like, I’m sure you’ll find someone else you like who IS crazy about you.

  2. Anne Smith says:

    Hi there.. woman are more likely to accept a man with cleft lip but what about the other way around? How do men feel about this especially that men are visual and this is facial scar and that, in some cases, this also affects the shape of the nose.
    Interesting to hear..

    • Good point, and would hope to hear guys chime in. As a cleft myself, I probably unconsciously steered clear of dating gals with visible differences (mental diffs.hard to discern!). Both sexes do have DNA urging ’em to date “ideal” genotypes as I’ve noted in other blogs.
      Luckily, surgeons get amazing results w lips AND noses today, now that they’ve learned to tame nose “cartilage” that yearns to return to pre surgery shape.

  3. I’m married to a man that has cleft palate. We recently had a child . Everyone asks me . How do you kiss that guy? Well you know what ? I don’t see it . Honestly , I’ve know him my whole life and he’s more than just that. He’s everything I ever wanted . And we have a wonderful beautiful healthy son! And we’re not ashamed . We are blessed . 4 years down. In being married . And a life time to go! I love my husband with my whole heart , you don’t see the cleft , you see their heart , personality . If your ashamed to be with someone bc of a scar? You have issues you need to work on yourself! Don’t be ashamed or embarrassed by it . It will either make you or break you! And if it breaks you, then well. It breaks you. But we are adults 31 and 28 and have a 3 year old son. To this day I still love every single thing about my husband 🙂

  4. This is absolutely beautiful. There is just something about the form of their lips, whether it’s the softness, the shape, or the uncontrollable desire to hold onto both of them. For me personally, I can tell you all of the above. I’ve been unbelievably in love with the most beautiful man I’ve ever encountered. He’s spent his life worried he’d never be loved but I couldn’t imagine a day of my life where I just absolutely could feel anything less for him.

Speak Your Mind


CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.