Posted by: Alicia Phillips | January 30, 2012

“Alicia….You are looking very fat today”

“Bula Alicia, you are looking very fat today!”

“You look different today…… look much fatter than yesterday.”

“Alicia, your cheeks are chubby, Why does your face look so fat?”

“Are you pregnant? Then why is your stomach sticking out?”

“Have you worked out lately? No? I can tell…”

“Why are you on a diet? Is it because you are getting fat?”

If you have self image issues…….don’t come to Fiji till you get over them, because this place will tear you apart.

The funny thing is……being called fat is not an insult here. Sometimes it is a compliment and sometimes it is just stating a fact, like if you were to tell someone “your hair is getting longer” or “you have lipstick on your teeth”…..”you are getting fat.”

The Fijians actually use to word “Uro” (fat) as a way to call someone attractive. You can walk past a group of guys and they will yell “uro” at you. That took some getting used to.

So, my first month at site, once I discovered Indian sweets and started consuming outrageous amounts of red wine, I put on a few pounds. I hadn’t settled in enough to start a workout routine yet and I was still learning how to cook for myself and wound up screwing  everything up and eating Oreos dipped in Yogurt for dinner (don’t judge me).

First time someone called me fat I almost started crying. I was used to living in America where we talk about how fat someone is behind their back, not to their faces! I even tried sitting down with that lady and explaining to her how much of an insult it is to be called fat, but she didnt buy it.

As time went on and I lost the I weight I realized it shouldn’t make me feel like absolute shit every time someone says that to me. They are just letting me know. And you better believe it keeps me in check. I almost wish I would have been called fat more in college to my face so that I would have done something about it.

Now being called fat doesn’t affect me as much as it used to…..I mean I still don’t like it but it makes me think twice about eating the entire pizza in front of me.  Now if someone calls me fat I’m like “gosh i know! I need to diet huh?”

Granted…..I have started eating very healthy and have a workout routine and probably walk 4-6 miles a day so I dont get called fat as much as I did my first month…..but every so often someone will tell me just how fat I am and I just smile at them.


  1. hahahaha! yes! oreos dipped in yogurt rock my socks

  2. Girl come to my village, no one calls you fat here. And they will all just want to marry you because you are gorgeous! I lucked out on a self-esteem boosting village. Come check it out!

  3. I like it when they tell you you look fat & then give you the reason why you got fat. For example, “Oh, you’ve gone fat, buuuut you were on holiday.” As if them giving me the reason or justification for my portly appearance makes it suck any less. The damage has been done!

  4. I’ve lived in Fiji for a while now and comments on my physical appearance from local friends still get to me. Like being greeted with “Hey… are you…’ve put on weight / lost weight!”. Even if I’m feeling skinny/fat/normal/fabulous in that moment, it still catches me off guard. Just a cultural difference that takes some getting used to I guess.. 🙂 And don’t even get me started on comments walking down the street!!

  5. Most people in Fiji are ignorant to the social implications of calling people names. Its a part of Fijian humour which took me a while to avoid using when joking around with my American friends. It is not meant to destroy yourself esteem but you should look at it in light of a person who has nothing much else to talk about…haha. Whenever I get called fat from my friends in Fiji, I just say “It one of those benefits you get from being a loyal supporter of McDonalds dollar menu”…hahaha. In any way, being Fat is a sign of prosperity…haha

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