Growing up in Los Angeles, I fell victim to the latest fashion trends, makeup products, workout programs, health craze, you name it! While I may have been seen leaving my house with a cute pair of yoga pants and a messy bun, you wouldn’t catch me dead without my makeup done. Nor would I dare miss my weekend hikes or early morning yoga classes. And I may have even gone so far as eliminating dairy, sugar, and gluten from my diet.
Low and behold, things are far different here in Fiji. For one, beauty is in no way defined by the size of your waist, but instead may imply whether one’s wife is well taken care of. And when a man or woman is a little bigger than average, it is quite normal, and often, that people will call you fat. As I have been told time and again, “Julie, you’re gotten really…FAT.”? But Fijians love to laugh and joke, and it is almost always all in good fun. Along with that, it is not too often you see someone wearing a full face of makeup. In fact, I don’t think I have ever seen any locals here in Fiji wearing a full face of makeup. Not like in Los Angeles anyways.
So where am I at now? I am actually quite refreshed to live in a place where there is not an incomparable standard of beauty to live up to. Living in Fiji has made me redefine what makes me, well me. It has allowed me to be accepting of who I am and the way that I look. It has gotten rid of my fear of being caught off guard by a cute guy out in public without being all done up. Because well, I have live my life makeup free for the past year. I have gotten used to natural beauty. Yes, I may still wear mascara or put on some lip gloss, but the term foundation has become a foreign term to me. I have never been less concerned about perfectly fitting into the beauty standards.