LOVE–HATE RELATIONSHIP WITH INSTAGRAM

It is always so enlightening to hear the stories of our followers. We love getting you all involved in this community because we're all in this together! 💥👊🏽 Paige contacted us, asking how she could be a part of #bebonafide and immediately we knew the best way to get involved is to share part of her story. She was so brave and had so much zeal and willingness to get involved. If you ever overthink reaching out to someone, just do it. You never know what can happen from it. :)

 

Hello! My name is Paige and I have a love-hate relationship with Instagram.

I love how it keeps us connected to so many of our family and friends, how it can help many people start up businesses, and how it can influence others to do good. However, what troubles me most, is the fake persona that many people tend to display.

 
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Manipulation of what is real and what is not is lost in social media. Viewers and followers begin to question the "perfection" and "realness" of the photos. This can only result in an immediate need to compare oneself or to be content with one's life. But, who can really say the latter is always what happens?

I feel that we, especially as women, choose to start comparing ourselves in every way imaginable. Or at least, this is what I do.

Am I the only one out there?

I can’t be.

I get into depressing cycles, wasting time looking at profiles that make me feel “less than _________” (pretty, capable, athletic, skinny, blessed). Then I become frustrated that my life isn’t like theirs, and that I don’t have what they have. As a result, my relationship with my husband is effected for that day because I am focused on these unimportant, superficial, false thoughts. I’m happy to say that these days are far and few but unfortunately, still make their appearance.

Am I alone?

No.

Thanks to Be Bona Fide, I was able to find fellow Instagram viewers that felt this frustration. Thankfully, I stumbled across this account because I was following @TheRealBrookeWhite (who is AMAZING at being real), and she happened to post the Be Bona Fide event she was speaking at. I clicked on the account and looked at the amazing story behind Nicole and Laura’s goal of being genuine and real.

Then I thought to myself, “how I can I be more relatable and authentic for my fellow followers and friends?”

As this thought often crosses my mind, I am still nervous to be real on Instagram, questioning if my followers will judge me, or use my vulnerability against me. Being vulnerable is difficult. It is hard to be open and transparent, to allow others to see my “messy,” and not see my “having it all together.” But then I think to myself, how is this perspective helping others feel normal? How does a portrayal of an unrealistic lifestyle help society feel included and supported? Especially in this day when so many of us, especially women, feel that we need to be perfect by behaving and looking a certain way. To assume that we must be so perfect is miserable, in my opinion. For it is unachievable, it is harmfully obsessive, and it will only destroy you and others around you. Perhaps this is blunt, but I honestly believe it does no good to keep wanting something you cannot have. I believe the way to overcome these harmful thoughts towards ourselves it to be true to ourselves.

I feel I have some sort of calling, a responsibility to be open with my struggles and thoughts. To share my weaknesses and be vulnerable. Brene Brown (if you don’t know who she is, look her up, listen to her TED talks, and be ASTONISHED) states that being vulnerable is not a weakness but a sign of “truth and courage.” I had to think about why vulnerability is a courageous act as I listened to Brown’s talk. As I’ve thought about it, I feel vulnerability can allow us to be honest with not only others but with ourselves. It’s part of the journey to self-acceptance.

My sister, who is in recovery from a horrible eating disorder, told me something she’s learned through therapy. She said,  “We cannot accept others if we don’t accept ourselves first.”

Like duh, Paige!

But really, it was an “Ah-ha!” moment to me. I need to accept things I cannot change; frizzy hair, imperfect skin, a nose that I think is too big for my face, naturally saggy bosom (TMI?) and just accept me.

Social media has its clever tricks, making us feel that “less than _____” feeling all too often. However I am striving to look beyond that, and know that everyone is struggling one way or another, and if they need to post that bikini picture to make them feel more confident, more power to them. But I want you to know that I am more than my “likes” on Instagram. I am working on this every single day, but from the help of amazing companies like Be Bona Fide, we can all help each other out. This is why I am hoping to be a more honest person with myself and my followers, to show the messy life I have, because let’s face it, don’t we all want to Be Bona Fide?

–Paige Ginther (@paigeginther)

 
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Learning to Be Present at The Happiest Place on Earth

"Hi, I’m Katie, and I am addicted to Disneyland. Lucky for me I live about an hour and half away from the magic kingdom and I have annual pass. Unfortunately, it is expiring at the end of September – so last Thursday my boyfriend Sean and I decided to ditch our responsibilities for the day and head to The Happiest Place on Earth.

We have been to Disneyland together more times than I can count and have all of the mandatory Disneyland couple photos in front of the castle, the Ferris wheel, on Splash Mountain, with the characters, walking down Main Street USA… you get the picture. In the spirit of Be Bona Fide we decided to go phone-less this trip. This meant no looking at your phone while waiting in line, or checking the Disneyland app for wait times, and if we were taking a picture we only got one shot, ONLY ONE SHOT!

 
 

I was reluctant to give up my phone at first, but the second I tucked it away I automatically felt relieved and stress-free. It is such a nice feeling to not be glued to your phone and detach from social media for the day. We headed to “Soaring over California” first, because they added new high tech screens that allow you to experience the 3D motion of flying without 3D glasses – it was seriously amazing!

Anyway, while waiting in line without our phones, we were able to spend time reading the bios of all the pilots that cover the walls leading up to the entrance of the ride. These fun facts lead to conversations about female pilots, fighter jets, and WWII – all while helping past the time of waiting in line. Once we jumped on the ride the girl sitting next to me began snapping (snap chatting) our flight. Not only was the light distracting but I couldn’t help but think that she was missing out the ride because she was choosing to document and share this moment on social media. Instead of experiencing the ride, she was viewing it through her iPhone screen, a tiny tiney  5.44” x 2.64” screen, compared to the massive high-tech jumbotron right in front of her! 

Running around Disneyland phoneless, watching people constantly on their phones, posing and snapping pictures, and documenting and sharing their experience for the sheer pleasure of posting on social media got me thinking, why do we choose to view life through our iPhone screen? The beauty of our surrounding is only adequately captured by the beholder - YOU and your eyes only! Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook had allowed us to share our surroundings with others but it will never quite do it justice. The snapchat of “Soaring over California” could never capture the nostalgic feeling you get when your legs are dangling from a ride, the wind blowing in your hair, or the smell or California Orange fields or the Pacific Ocean.These little moments add up and make memories and this is something you will never be able to capture and share with your followers, friends, or family. 

I am challenging you to choose a place where you have envisioned taking the perfect picture for instagram (you know that place, the “Nikon Picture Spot”) and go phoneless for the day. Fight the urge to live your life looking through your iPhone screen. There is so much more beauty in the world and all you have to do to enjoy it is: look up."


How many of you have had this same experience? *insert raising hand girl emoji* We sure have and know first hand how easy it is to get lost in your iPhone, especially waiting in those long lines! At Be Bona Fide we are striving to be present in everything that we do and L O V E how Katie is challenging us to put down our phones and enjoy the moment. Are you going on vacation, have a day trip planned, or visiting an Instagram worthy place soon? We want to hear your experience about being present and going phone-less! Make sure to tag us @bebonafide, use #bebonafide, or email us at hello@bbonafide.com to have your story featured. 

Don't forget we will be in Southern California TOMORROW at LUX Clothing (@shopluxclothing) in Riverside from 10 - 12. We would absolutely love to mix and mingle with the people who are keeping this movement alive. Stop in for sips, snacks, and a little (or a lot) of shopping! Can't wait to meet you!

New Town, New Girl

My name is Rachel, and I’m a small town girl. In high school, I was made fun of for being the super neurotic girl who always tried too hard to fit in. I can count on one hand the number of real girlfriends I had, and I was not by any means considered one of the pretty or popular girls. You could say my choice of after school program was silently comparing everything about myself to others. 

Fast-forward 6 years later: I still see a glimpse of that insecure girl inside of me; but I try my hardest not to give it away. (Being born and raised for 23 years in the same town hasn’t encouraged much change.) I still see those girls who would mock me, and the jocks who never once looked my way. And I’m constantly reminded of my past. Though I am very good at faking confidence, the reality is I’m probably looking at popular Instagrams, Pinterest boards, and more to figure out how I can be more like others.

I have always struggled with figured out how to be my own individual, because I want to be an individual who’s well liked. But it was just the other day my boyfriend said something very eye opening: “Rachel, you’re such a yes-girl. Every time someone throws out an idea, or opinion, or suggestion, you’re the first to jump on board with that person. And sure you’re building rapport in doing so; but having your own ideas, opinions, suggestions- that’s what will get you farther.” 

Wow. I was being the same girl I was in high school- doing whatever I can to fit in and have people LIKE me. But why do I care? Why is it so important to me? 

I’m writing this to not only get real with myself, but because I want to know if any of you have gone through this too. *Insert girl raising hand emoji

The media shoves “what’s hot and what’s not” down our throats every single day- buy these shoes, try doing your make up like this, use this filter on your posts. And because I don’t choose to make an opinion of my own- I just blindly subscribe to all of it. I’ve never considered myself a follower, and I don’t want to begin now. 

Which brings me to my point: new town, new me. 

After 23 years in a one-horse town of people judging one another, I moved to Seattle, Washington. And although it’s nearing August now, I have a resolution: be my own person. I’m going to stop caring about what other think is cool and create my own identity, my own style, my own personal brand of girl. 

Here’s what I’ve got so far: I’m Rachel, I’m 23 years old and I do not have it together. I like walking around (and getting lost) in unfamiliar neighborhoods with my pup, Matilda, trying (and occasionally failing) new recipes, and I sing all the time without realizing that the setting doesn’t always call for it. I’m a liberal at heart but also very spiritual. And I think dancing awkwardly in public is really funny. 

I like to wear stripes with floral print, karaoke, and any amber ale I can get my hands on. I think Sara Bareilles is ghastly underrated and I know every word to every song on T.S. 1989. 

I want to be outspoken sometimes, and I want to have an unpopular opinion. I want to stop caring if people like me or if they think I’m annoying. 

I want to be a new kind of me, and I want to use this new place as a guide to finding her.

- Rachel Sanchez


*Aggressively raises hand.* We have definitely been there, Rachel! Breaking old molds is difficult, but can be made so much easier with not only new vibes but new scenery. Jumping into new settings is scary but so rewarding! Being Bonafide is all about being unapologetically, genuinely YOU. We can't wait to hear about the new girl you discover in Seattle, but we're pretty sure we already love her. :) 

Be Present

Let me take a minute and just say how  grateful I am to have Be Bona Fide's message in my life!  Even though I catch myself doing and thinking un-bonafide things everyday it has brought such a light to things that I didn't even know I needed it. 

I was lucky enough to travel to Europe last week, and while there it brought back so many memories of my travels last year. Looking back I had no idea how consumed I was in social media. Sharing my travels with everyone is so easy with social media just a WiFi click away. And don't get me wrong, sharing what you are up to and what you are seeing is the coolest part about social media! But last year while in Europe, every new place we went, I was constantly visualizing the perfect post, then spending a lot of my trip trying to recreate it (which never took just one attempt).  I was so concentrated on getting the picture exactly how I wanted I was so far from being present and soaking in the moment.  I would constantly be going into cafes and hotels and the first thing being said is  "do you have wifi?". I could not wait to post my next picture. Why was I so consumed in it?? The more I think about it, the more I realized: I needed... validation. I subconsciously was looking for comments and likes to validate my trip.   

I remember one day specifically where everything was going wrong. The vibes between Ryan and I were off but I was determined to get this "perfect" picture of Ryan and I kissing in front of the Eiffel Tower. I hauled Ryan around the tower trying to figure out what would be the best angle. I seriously cringe when I think about that day, and really even that picture. Once I got the shot, I went into a Cafe and spent the rest of the day "instagram-ing". Not experiencing the moment. 

This year, although traveling still came with complications and silly arguments, my mind set was completely different. Did I still take ALOT of pictures? Of course! But I was no longer visualizing what I wanted and caring more about the picture than the actual moment. I'm so happy to be constantly reminded by each of you who can relate one way or another (I know I was definitely pushing the crazy card last year). I have said it before and I will say it again: It. Is. Not. Meant. To Be. Perfect. Take in each moment with the struggles life gives you or the unperfect picture with a guy photobombing or your double chin showing more than you hoped. Be Okay with it. We are in this together so let's BE PRESENT which is so much more important than getting that perfect picture.  Head over to our shop and get a bracelet for a reminder. 

- Nicole

Dare to Bare

When I first heard about “No Makeup Monday” a few weeks ago, I had a moment of mini panic.  I love the idea of others feeling comfortable in their skin and flashing their real beauty because everyyyyone is beautiful naturally.  But me??  Just no.  I don’t EVER go out without makeup on.  I probably haven’t since before I started wearing makeup when I was 12.  My panic was subsided when I decided I’d just slide under the radar and avoid posting my own. 

Once I started asking people to participate, I realized I couldn’t sit this one out.  How could I ask others to go a full day makeup-less if I couldn’t walk out the door without it?  My friend Jessica was so pumped to brave her bare face on instagram.  She is so confident in her skin, and I look up to her so much for this.  

Me?  I’m comfortable hiding behind my layer of makeup.  I have dark circles under my eyes, the shortest little eyelashes, and freckles covering my nose.  These are my imperfections and insecurities.  These are what I’m hiding with my foundation, concealer, powder, mascara, etc. 

I like makeup.  It’s one of the fun parts of being a girl.  I like trying new looks I learned from youtube videos, and going to Sephora to try new products with friends.  Colorful lipstick is one of my favorite accessories.  But why does my makeup offer a confidence that no outfit or personality can?  Why do I worry so much about appearing “pretty” in the eyes of others? 

I honestly don’t know the answer.  I have no idea why I care so much about hiding the face God gifted me.  I’d rather be known for my beautiful personality than my beautiful face.  I want people to look at me and say wow look at her pretty grace, pretty compassion, pretty selflessness. 

These are the things I have to work for.  These are the things I try & fail & try again at. 

I’m embracing my imperfections.  I’m embracing my insecurities.  I’m embracing the skin I was given and daring to bare. 

I went a whole day without makeup today.  And it was so, sooo freeing.  I’m not going to say I’ll never wear makeup again and that everyone should go around makeup-less from now on, but I do challenge you to try it.  For one day.  Or for as long as it takes for you to know your face isn’t what makes you pretty.

You are all beautiful because you were hand crafted and chosen by someone greater.  You are beautiful for paying it forward, for forgiving, and for hanging out with the new girl.  You are all beautiful for the love you share & spread around to those around you. 

This is me...  Foundation-less, mascara-less, lipstick-less; no filters; all natural. 

- Madi (ohmymadi.squarespace.com)

We're so proud of Madi and her determination to Be Bonafide, even when it's not comfortable or popular. THAT is real bravery, being afraid and doing it anyway! You can participate by posting your own makeup-less selfies with the hashtag #BBNoMakeupMonday. We would love to see our feeds crammed with your beautiful, natural faces! Let's conquer our fears of social media and GET REAL.