Florence Baitio is a Ugandan refugee breaking into the modeling world
Florence Baitio has led an incredible life so far, and her journey is just getting started.
This Ugandan refugee felt like an outsider when she moved to Perth, Australia, but after a long journey toward self-acceptance, she’s now breaking into the modeling world.
Read on for Florence’s story — and her beauty tips, obvi.
What is life like growing up black in Australia?
I moved to Australia from a a refugee camp in Uganda when I was about seven years old. Life seemed fine at first in Australia. It didn’t take long before I started feeling isolated and starting feeling different from everyone else.
Throughout my primary school and high school days, I was very unhappy about the way I looked. I constantly found myself comparing how I looked to other girls. I was chubby and everyone else around me was skinny and beautiful. I remember I started having this war with myself. I was sick of being the dark ugly chubby girl. I thought to myself, I can’t change my dark skin but I can change my size. [I developed anorexia and bulimia as a result.] After one or two months I had lost a lot of weight and everyone suddenly seem to care people starting asking me if I was okay. I have never really talked about being bulimic to anyone. Mental illness is not something that is talked about in my community.
To make it short, life in Australia was very difficult for me. I was and still am trying to love myself. Social media and some people around make it so difficult for certain groups to leave in peace in such a beautiful country. I have to say I’ve come so far. I am now comfortable with myself. My skin color doesn’t make me any less of a person. Overall I am so happy for the lessons Australia has taught me. I am now a better person due to my past experiences.
What products do you swear by for your skin?
Shea butter, coconut oil and Nivea do wonders to my skin. They keep my skin glowing.
What are your fall makeup must-haves?
Mac liquid foundation is a must have they have my shade and every time I wear it I feel like I’m not even wearing makeup. It just blends in perfectly with my skin.
What’s your biggest beauty indulgence?
Facials are probably my biggest beauty indulgence. The first thing people look at is your face, so for me maintaining a clear and glowing face is the way to go.
Are you a mascara or eye shadow kind of girl?
What is your go-to nail color?
Burgundy is my fav nail color.
What tips should every girl live by?
Seven billion people on this planet but only one of you. Never compare yourself to others because there’s only one of you.
Girl power motto?
I am special, I am beautiful, I am strong and I am smart.
Who’s your female hero?
I have two female heroes, one being my lovely mother who I absolutely adore and thank her for looking after me and my other five siblings after my biological father left us as little kids.
My other female hero is Michelle Obama, every time I hear her name it makes me smile. She sets a perfect pathway for billions of females out there, she’s such and inspiration in very aspect I love everything about her. I would love to meet her one day.
What emoji best describes you?
The smiley emoji describes me best because I’m always smiling and I just love being happy not a day passes by without me smiling. Happiness is the key to a long healthy life.
What’s the secret to self-confidence?
The secret to self confidence is having the ability to understand oneself fully. Self confidence requires a positive mindset. I find that self comparison to others is the biggest downside to having a high self confidence. We as girls are so caught up about how others look but by doing that we are lowering our confidence.
Who is your idol?
My mum and Lupita Nyong’o. They both inspire me to be a better, stronger and [more] independent person.
What is your life dream?
My life dream is to help young girls around the world. Teach them the importance of self-love and loving themselves.
If you could be a Disney princess, what would your name be?
Universe or Galaxy would be my name. It’s just out of this world!
What is next for you?
Working hard and traveling to America to work with some people who have reached out to me through Instagram.