Written By: Delaney Rodriguez
Photography By: @KarloGomez
“Whitening is a really big thing in Asian communities” Julianne ‘Jules’ Aurora explained. “Darker complexions are often questioned and looked down upon. While growing up, the older generations would tell me ‘Don’t spend too much time out in the sun. You don’t want to get too dark.’
As one of the first Asian-American pop singers, Julianne has had to learn how to embrace her heritage and learn to love herself, despite the extra societal pressures for women to be thin, perfect and -- because European beauty standards add another layer -- fair-skinned.
However, she says that society is taking steps towards more acceptance and she loves seeing people (especially the women on SMV) who are unafraid to embrace their genuine selves.
Julianne tries to do this for her followers on her Instagram (@julesaurora) where she posts pieces of her original and cover songs, as well as motivational pictures. She models her behavior and self-love after one of her heroes and influences, Alicia Keys.
“As a singer, I obviously look up to her musical talents but I admire her so much as a person as well. I think her spirituality and self-love is what we need in the world. I would love to sit down and have a soy chai latte with her and talk about music and the world.”
While Julianne looks up to Alicia Keys as a performer, she has admirers of her own.
“I used to teach vocal lessons to kids ages 8 to 13. These kids looked up to me and some of them even told me that they too, wanted to be a singer because of me. I also got to see them grow up and continue to pursue music. Teaching a child and impacting their lives is one of the most rewarding things you can do.”
Teaching those children may have been how she came up with her mantra, “aspire to inspire.” Or it may have been in having a younger sister and being the oldest of her many cousins.
Julianne describes herself as family-oriented, adding that her family is the main reason she decided to pursue higher education and attend San Diego State University, and says her parents are her motivation and her sister is her best friend.
“My family is my inspiration in everything I do. My parents both moved from the Philippines to the U.S. when they were 10 and worked hard to achieve success and build a life for our family. I try to make them proud every day. My sister, despite being 10 years younger than me, is my best friend. I’m her best friend also, but at the same time I try my best to set an example and be a positive influence in her life.”
If she had one piece of advice for those who are trying to make their dream happen, she says “Go after your goals and chase your dreams. No matter now crazy they seem and even if they don’t fit the mold. Find your passion and use it to make a difference. When you’re gone, the all of superficial goes away; and all that’s left is your legacy and the impact you’ve made on the lives of others.”
Julianne learned this lesson through years of hard work and dedication to her dream. She started her performance career in musical theater as a child in San Diego. As she got older, she began getting larger roles including singing the National Anthem for a San Diego Padres home game. As she entered adulthood, she launched her social media pages and has been steadily growing her follower count since.
Through her music, her love for others, and her never-ending aspirations, she makes the world a brighter place.
To see more of Julianne follow her at @julesaurora