A wordsmith, recent UCLA graduate, intersectional feminist, muse, and one of the original contributors at Live FAST; Julia-Elise Childs is an inspiration and positive influence for everyone she encounters. She’s got a smile that can light up even the dimmest room and a laugh that can be heard from miles away. When she speaks you can’t help but listen, because you know it’s going to be worth your while.
Photographing her is a dream, with her caramel skin and soft curves, and the way she moves with such elegance and grace. Her cheekbones are magnets for light and her eyes demand your attention. I’ve photographed her before, but each session is a unique experience – totally different from the last – because it’s changed by our presence in that moment and the energy in the space.
I think I can speak on behalf of the entire Live FAST team when I say it is both an honor and a privilege to know Julia. She’s got a quick wit and a sharp tongue, while simultaneously being one of the most gentle-hearted humans one could ever know. She lives and breathes the hustle, pushing her limits to reach her goals, yet always making time to look after herself. Her passion for creativity, intellectual curiosity, and loyalty to the ones she loves are a small sampling of why we think Julia is so wonderful, but if you’re still not sold, see for yourself below.
LF: Welcome back, Julia! As one of the Live FAST O.G.’s, how does it feel to be on the other side of an interview for a change?
JC: It feels very special. I am quite excited to be a part of such a collaborative series that features some of my favorite women.
LF: Describe your perfect lingerie set. What does it look like and how does it make you feel when you wear it?
JC: It is black lace with some sort of sensual detail – a lace-up front bra or sheer panties with intricate details woven into the back. I should feel naked, powerful and comfortable.
LF: What has been your proudest moment or achievement in the last year?
JC: I am a firm believer of reveling in your accomplishments, so I have a few. The biggest ones are graduating college, consistently moving outside of my comfort zone, loving my man and surviving everything in between.
LF: What makes you feel sexy?
JC: Creating. I become a different person when I am in the midst of creating, which feels incredibly voyeuristic.
LF: We all have days where we’re not feeling too stoked on our current situation, confident in our appearance, or just simply not motivated to do anything. What do you do to make yourself feel better in these moments?
JC: I eat a box of cookies and call it “self-care.”
LF: Turn ons? Turn offs?
JC: Turn ons: A strong sense of self, authenticity, honesty, athleticism, kindness, respect, excellent manners, vulnerability. Turn offs: Misogyny in any form, poor hygiene, uncertainty.
LF: What gets you out of bed every morning?
JC: The hustle. If I wasn’t interested in money and success, I would definitely lie in bed and read with my cat all day.
LF: What is your guilty pleasure?
JC: Fetty Wap and tequila.
LF: If you could add 10 more hours to everyday – light or dark – how would you spend the extra time?
JC: 10 extra hours of light! I can’t wait for an extra hour of light to come back next month, so 10 hours sounds like a dream. Hiking, cooking, writing and sleeping would fill up the extra time.
LF: What was your relationship with your body like as a teenager, and how has it changed since then?
JC: I had a very poor relationship with my body as a teenager. I was overweight and grew up in a small town where there were very few black kids. I spent a lot of time feeling like an outsider and subsequently wished I could change my appearance.
My relationship with my body since my adolescent years has changed a lot. I feel like I am in the middle of a personal revolution where I am balanced and truly love my body. I love my thighs; I actually do a lot of spin to keep them strong and thick – which is ironic because they used to be my most-loathed body part. I love my melanin. I love wearing my hair natural. I rarely wear makeup. I finally feel at peace with the shell I live in.
LF: What is one thing you love about yourself – physically, mentally, or both?
JC: My strong backbone – it balances my mild disposition.
LF: You’re a very goal-oriented, self-motivated, and determined individual. What are you looking forward to the most in the current year?
JC: Thank you for those kind words, Olivia. I am very excited to watch my expectations merge with my reality. I am also hoping that I can make time for a trip to Bali with my best friend this summer.
LF: What advice would you give to women and girls learning to love themselves?
1. Other women are not a threat, they are your allies. Trust and support one another.
2. Everyone can “make it” and the more time you spend worrying about what others are doing, the less you are focusing on your own hustle.
3. Write a gratitude list anytime you feel jealous.
4. Do not measure your worth by your waistline. Do not allow a man to determine what makes you sexy. You must find your own worth and through that journey, you will fall in love with your own positive attributes.
5. Fall in love with yourself first before falling in love with anyone else.
LF: How FAST do you live?
JC: I move slow but I live fast.