Vegan blogger Freelee the Banana Girl (aka Leanne Ratcliffe) has posted several times on social media this week to tell fans and followers more about her new jungle lifestyle. Ratcliffe, originally from Queensland, says her minimal life with her partner in South America saves her thousands and brings her a peace of mind she was unable to find in the conventional “9-5 grind”.
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“I used to work in a concrete jungle, now I just work in the jungle,” she wrote on Instagram on Tuesday.
“How did this happen? Well, I woke up one morning dreading the work day ahead. I was exhausted with the 9-5 grind. Waking to an alarm, commuting over a hour a day dressed in a restrictive suit, painting my face to ‘look the part’, binding my feet in high heels, and faking a smile to the public. I was sick of working my life away making someone else rich.
“Maybe the worst, I was bored.”
In previous posts, she has claimed her new off-the-grid life isn’t about being ‘lucky’ but making mindful financial choices: choosing not to have children, giving up alcohol, working to create an income through her work as an influencer online and “[saving] thousands by not buying makeup, shavers, beauty treatments, jewellery, heels, and unnecessary fashion”.
“My vegan diet is far cheaper than my old sad diet,” she wrote. “It also keeps me healthy and away from expensive pharmaceuticals.”
The blogger is outspoken about the negative effects that mainstream media, beauty and fashion industries have on women’s mental, physical and financial health.
Late last year, Ratcliffe received a significant (and maybe slightly predictable) online backlash after publishing a video that explained her decision to stop shaving.
But now, from her (internet-friendly) home in the jungle, she writes that she hasn’t shaved, dyed her hair or worn makeup in over six months, and has never felt so free.