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Neti. New Zealand.


Neti. New Zealand.

When I look in the mirror; I see my thick thighs, big butt, boobs and small waist and think… actually I’m okay.

When I look in the mirror; I see my thick thighs, big butt, boobs and small waist and think… actually I’m okay.

Everyone in my family struggles with weight. I learned to love my body through my cousin who has the same shape as me. we’re both pretty ‘heavy’ But I think she looks great and realised I can see myself looking great too.

Sometimes I think maybe I should go on a diet and then five minutes later I’m like nah. If I’m honest I want to lose weight because not enough clothes are in my size! Never because I think I look ugly.

My name is Neti Fa’Au. I’m from Christchurch but I live in Auckland. I’m twenty five and I’m a researcher/soundie/director in Film and TV.

As a daughter of immigrants I feel I have two different worlds. The traditional Samoan world that I grew up in and then the New Zealand western world. I’ve have to balance where I stand.

Mum and Dad moved our whole life here and we struggled for years and years in poverty. Since I was born they said you’re going to be a doctor, make it worth it that we came to this country.  I love my parents and although I never became a doctor I try to please them by excelling in Film and TV.

Living in Christchurch with little diversity was challenging.I started at a low decile primary school full of people that looked like me, all Maori and Pacific Islanders. Then I changed to Christchurch Girls High School which was a very different culture. I had to learn to adapt really fast.

I’m quite a thinker, I’m always thinking about what I can do to make people feel better about themselves and that in turn will make me feel good. I remember the way people feel to me more than what they look like.

I’m the youngest of five and had to always be like ‘I’m here!’ I’ve also grown up with happiness and laughing all around me. Family gatherings are always full of laughter.

I had a lot of alone time which now makes me be so excited to be around people and really appreciate them. Everyone is so different how can I not be interested in other people?

I feel much freer now living away from home in Auckland. Growing up was quite strict and religious. I wasn’t allowed to have sexual needs or feelings at all. Being able to look a guy in the eyes was difficult for me. If I would look at a boy in the eyes my parents would ask if I wanted to marry him?

I have memories with my family at the beach where I had to be very covered up.Hoodies, board shorts to my knees...that sort of thing. I had to hide any hint of sexuality and was always reminded that my virginity is special. I could never wear something that shows my tits like I wear now.

My Skin Story

I see other people with acne and think they look great. It doesn’t have to be a big deal.

I never saw pimples as a big deal until until I had cystic acne and I thought everyone was staring at the pimples and not me and I was disguitising.

I was like I am the pimples now. They should be looking at my tits and my arse but my pimples are in the way!

I lost my confidence and stopped making my funny video’s I used to always post.

In the end I don’t think people were thinking anything bad at all. It was all in my own head. This went on for about a year.

It’s only just cleared up. I decided to stop using so many products and go for the ones with the least amount of crap possible. I thought it might be my diet but then I also thought I’d been eating crap my whole life so why is now different?

I’ve always been insecure about the colour of my skin. I’ve always felt  it (my skin) was like a dirty brown. I wanted it to be that golden colour everyone desires. In Samoa light skin is considered pretty. We were told to keep out of the sun because that would make us darker. The sun would be boiling and we’d have hoodies on. Now I’m just like fuck that.

Now I’m free of all those insecurities. I just embrace how I look. I embrace my skin so hard now because I feel so bad for the old me who didn’t enjoy her life because of something so miniscule.

I love the beach and I can’t believe I used to wrap up because I didn’t want to get darker. I didn’t want to show off because I was so ashamed. Gradually I started seeing my friends in their togs and not wearing board shorts down to their knees and rasher shirts and they were so happy. I wanted to be happy too.

Now I feel lighter, which is weird because I’m heavier than I’ve ever been! But I don’t feel like that.

I just feel free.