Let's Get Reallllyy Real.

BonaFideConfessions_BrooklynPowell

Bona Fide. Being Real. 

Ummmm ok. 

But if we are being real, then let's be really real. We often have a mask on, a perfected side of ourselves that we show the world. It’s hard not to with all the social media platforms at our finger tips, photoshopped & airbrushed models we see when we are checking out at the grocery store in our sweats, & not to mention the insane amount of pressure that subtly makes us feel inadequate in every way… it’s hard to feel good enough, worthy enough, & loved enough just as we are! Now more than ever, we get a front row seat into other peoples lives & it would be impossible not to compare ours to theirs. “The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.”

-Steve Furtick

We have our perfected side, the side of ourselves that is the least like our truest self. We have our “real" side, the side that we share when we want to open up, get deep, be vulnerable. Then we have our really real side that we rarely share with anyone. When we can share that part of us, the really real, ugly, stuff that might make people think of us differently or even gasp… that's when we are really living bona fide. There will always be a constant flow of things around us that make us feel like we need to be more, do more; but when we can take off the masks, filters, & edits (no matter what people might think)... that's when we are living true to ourselves. Living with nothing to hide, & vulnerably sharing the deepest parts of our insecurities, in hopes of helping someone… that's when we are being true to ourselves.

My really real side is something that my husband, who is my best friend & safe place, doesn't even know about me. Not because he would be mad or angry… no. It really has nothing to do with him. It has everything to do with me: my heart, feeling entitled to more than what I have, the need to feel good enough, worthy enough, pretty enough. It’s a reflection of how I view myself & the brokenness that is there. 

I have always struggled with wanting to be smaller & prettier… beautiful. My senior year in high school, I battled with an eating disorder that was damaging in every way. It took so much away from me. Looking back, this struggle brought me to my greatest strengths, but only because I let my struggle became my story, that I shared with the world in hopes of helping even just one girl. At one point, my eating disorder was my really real side & it was a secret that I was ok with taking to the grave with me. But we grow & change, & our deepest secrets die if we don't keep them locked up inside behind the masks, filters, & edits. I have shared this countless times & I am not ashamed by it. But if I am getting past that & down into the dirty stuff in my life right now… although it doesn’t look the same, I still struggle with body image, beauty, & control.

If I feel ugly, it can completely ruin my day & in a split second I question my beauty all together. But isn't beauty more than the way we look? How can I question my beauty based on something that is the smallest factor of true beauty? "If only our eyes saw souls instead of bodies... how very different our ideals of beauty would be." 

It seems like I am living a bona fide life… when you look at my Instagram, you will see an "honest" feed about my struggles with type 1 diabetes, my dreams to have kids someday, inspiring quotes, & a handful of picture of myself........................ that I have edited to make myself feel more beautiful. If I take a picture & I don’t think I look good enough, I don’t hesitate for one second before I am editing it to make me look "better"! I have my own set of scary standards... that usually include making myself smaller, patching my pimples, & defining my freckles. It started out harmless, I would edit my arms just a little bit or make my the curves of my stomach smaller, but a little here and a little there & over time it has altered my perception of beauty. 

Every time I edit a picture, whether to make my arms a bit thinner or my waistline more narrow… I am saying I am not good enough the way I am. Yet, I don’t believe that at all. Oh, it's just a little nip & tuck on my arms (just a little)… it can’t hurt anyone. True, maybe it won’t hurt anyone, but it surely hurts me & my view of myself. It hurts the control we have to inspire girls to think of their bodies as beautiful no matter what shape, size, or weight they are. I am passionate about telling girls that they are beautiful & unique & perfect just the way they are; but for me, it's different... it's not enough. If I don't think I am pretty without nipping and tucking my arms, then how do I expect them to feel pretty in their own skin.

Absolutely no more! I want girls to be able to look at me & really see me “imperfections and all”. I want my life to be an example that we don't have to be perfect to be beautiful. There is so much unique beauty in each of us, if we just open our eyes & search for it. None of the photos on my instagram or blog or anything for that matter will be re-touched. Raw. Honest. Finding the beauty that is already there, without the need to re-touch it. Finding beauty in my imperfections instead of editing them away.

Feel good about the unedited version of yourself.

Let the world see you without filters.

Be rooted in truth, rooted in self-love, rooted in confidence.

Put yourself out there & be the reason the worlds perception of beauty is changed.

Accept your flaws & imperfections.

Be proud of the things that make you unique.

Love your curves or lack-there-of. 

Be YOU.

Live genuine. 

I think Jennifer Lawrence (from the movie The Hunger Games) is beyond beautiful, but I would be silly to think it was her outer beauty alone that drew me to her. She is beautiful, but the confidence she has in her body image, that really draws me to her. In an interview she said, “In Hollywood, I’m obese. I’m considered a fat actress. I’m never going to starve myself for a part. I don’t want little girls to be like, 'oh I want to look like Katniss, so Im going to skip dinner'.” 

If I told you, I thought I was beautiful I would be lying. I have a hard time loving myself & not being critical about something... anything! Yeah, sometimes I feel cute or pretty, but more often than not, I look in the mirror & wish for a different body. Sometimes when I look at my arms I wish the “reshape” tool was a real thing so I could make my arms look how I think they should. How totally screwed up. Typing those words out on my computer, makes this real, really sad… there is no one else in the world with a body just like mine & I would be willing to throw it away to have a different one, someone else’s; one that's no longer unique to me, one that fits the mold. 

I knew when the girls behind Bona Fide asked me to write a post for their blog, that I was going to have to get really real. Get down & dirty into my little secret. But, oh how thankful I am for it. I knew when I started to write, I would have to be true to you & to myself, & with that I would have to make a promise not to re-touch my photos no matter how bad I wanted to. 

Bona Fide: (adj) not counterfeit or copied.

Real: (adj) fact, actual, true

Genuine: (adj) not fake, not pretended, undisputed credibility

We all have struggles & insecurities, & I choose to bring them them out into the open, so that you know you’re not alone. We have an opportunity to kill the worlds completely altered ideas of beauty & replace them with ideals of grace, self-love, confidence, & honesty. From here on out, what you see is what you get, & I will intentionally aim to fall in love with every inch of my body... un-edited & un-touched. 

You are beautiful JUST THE WAY YOU ARE.

You are good enough JUST THE WAY YOU ARE.

You are loved JUST THE WAY YOU ARE.

You are ___________ JUST THE WAY YOU ARE.

 

xoxo, Brooklyn Powell

www.thepastelfox.com

 

Brooklyn— I think we all can relate to EVERY WORD you said. Especially myself. Thank you for getting vulnerable, raw and bona fide with us! We are so inspired and happy that you were bold and brave enough to tell us your "secrets". Body image is something that we all struggle with, including men and even children! It is so important for us to be real with ourselves and this world that promotes perfectionism. Because at the end of the day, none of us our perfect and we are striving to be better each day. Let's make sure to feed our minds with healthy images and thoughts about ourselves. We are all unique and beautiful, and like Brooklyn said, you are beautiful just the way YOU are!   xo | Laura

Brooklyn also created a FREE DOWNLOAD in our shop that says "love yourself just the way you are". Thank you, thank you for creating this free print for us all to be inspired and live by!

#BBnomakeupmonday

 

"Sometimes I just want to walk out of the house ready and dressed for the day, without any makeup on, and not feel so self conscious to moment I enter public. 

Because a lot of us put some form of makeup on each day, we are so used to seeing a refreshed version of ourselves. There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to look good, but it is so easy to get caught up in it. We as women begin to think that we have to wear it to be beautiful or presentable. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to promote “laziness” or the fact that it is okay to go out looking like a hobo all the time. But it is okay to feel beautiful in your own natural skin. You don’t need makeup to be beautiful. You need grace, love for others, and self-confidence to be beautiful.

We are so excited to begin this No Makeup Monday campaign and we challenge you to dare to bare your beautiful self! Give your skin a break, show the world your refreshing face and that beauty isn't all about your outside appearance. 

When I was a teen I absolutely hated having freckles, I wanted to have a flawless, clear face like all the models did, so I would apply a lot of coverup to hide all my "angel kisses". But as I got older I began to embrace my freckles and realized they were a unique feature of mine. I still cover them up out of habit, but when I go makeup free, they pop out and I am reminded of the unique beauty that everyone is given." - LARZ

We have teamed up with one of our devout followers, Alexandra Butz (@missginger13) to start #BBnomakeupmonday/#BBNMM. She was the one who inspired us to add this to our movement and we are more than happy about it! We loved what she had to say about #BBNMM:

#BBNMM-Alex

"Makeup: Something to enhance or change the ‘make-up’ of our face.

Consider how much power we give that 1 fl. oz bottle of Bare Minerals Foundation. We give that tiny bottle that is SMALLER than us the power to make or break our day with how the application of the cream goes. Consider how much money we spend on makeup. Now, I am not disregarding that makeup is fun for women to use. In my last article for Be Bona Fide, I told you about how my love for lip gloss and lipstick started at a young age; an age where it was purely for fun and not for the impressing of others. But I was scrolling through my Twitter the other day and a picture of the quote that had a couple hundred retweets and over 1,000 favorites that stated, “why does my makeup always look good when I’m staying home but doesn’t when I’m going out?” It dawned on me: Females of all ages are told NOT to be confident. It’s in magazines, TV, and all over social media even though it might not be spelled out for us, we are smart enough to feel it. So, what if our makeup is the same, but we are more confident in our own homes without the pressure and influence of the rules of womanhood that society has laid down for us and less confident when we are out and about amongst other women and men?

Be Bona Fide and I are starting this movement because it’s something we can relate to and something that all of our female sisters everywhere will be able to relate to as well. We’re all in this together, so if we can admit to our struggles with makeup, and come together to realize that it’s a universal feeling of not being good enough, feeling uncomfortable, and not being able to enjoy what we are doing because of how we MIGHT be portrayed, we will be able to change the thought process one woman at a time. I want to be able to say that I wear makeup because I WANT to, not because I feel like I HAVE to. Ladies, we need to realize that there IS a difference. 

If you want to join Be Bona Fide and I in this movement, I would be glad to welcome you with open arms, as I speak for myself and Laura and Nicole of Be Bona Fide. Today, Monday, July 27 there is a FREE DOWNLOAD where you can choose from two different graphics and print out. It’s a print that Laura Rush (@ruffled_inkdesigns) made especially for this movement. Hold up the sign with no makeup on and write a post about YOUR experiences. Make sure to hashtag #BBnomakeupmonday & #bebonafide with your post so we have a collection of all of the participants!"

Can't wait to see your beautiful bare faces!!

Here is the link to our free download >> http://www.bbonafide.com/shop/bbnomakeupmonday-free-print?category=Free+Downloads

Saying Yes to Self Love

SAYING YES TO SELF LOVE

Thank you, Maddison for reminding us that it is okay to love yourself and be confident in who you are. Read her words and remember to love yourself and don't let anyone get you down about it. Head to the shop to download this image ^^^ (for free!!) to remind yourself daily to work on improving who you are and learning to love yourself through every journey of life.  

image2.JPG

I'm getting ready to move for the 9th time in my life. Every time I move I take it as an opportunity to purge, clean, and start over. I generally like the process; the idea of organizing puts my OCD brain at ease. As I begun my pre moving rituals; de cluttering, donating clothes, and sorting through memories I had collected over the past year, nostalgia set in. My roommate and I took our time looking at old photos from my childhood and I shared with her bits and pieces of myself she hadn't really seen before. I proudly showed her goofy pictures of me posing for school dances and relived adventures. Halfway through this show and tell she half jokingly, half seriously asked me "have you always been this in love with yourself”? 

I looked at her with surprise and thought about that sentence. We, as a society and especially as women, have been taught to not love ourselves. It’s everywhere. We are constantly critiqued and convinced that who we are isn't good enough. Magazines trick us into thinking we need to be better.  We are constantly hounded to sex up, slim down and become smarter. If we are emotional, we are weak. If we are strong, we are frigid. We are ambushed on both a physical and mental level to seek something unattainable. And even if we do achieve this "perfection" that is so sought after, god forbid we acknowledge it.  We have to act as if we still aren't proud of ourselves for our achievements OR our looks. That would be conceited!  How dare we work hard at something and then feel the slightest bit of pride! Well news flash, no one is perfect and the standards of our society are warped. No one is going to fit perfectly into a cookie cutter mold of some fake happy person. Every single person has flaws but for every flaw there is something equally good, it’s just a matter of recognizing it. 

 I am 25 years old, living with roommates, working at a grocery store, getting out of two and a half year relationship, and reinventing myself, yet again. I cry at commercials on TV, don't know how to ride a bike, can be overly insecure, and am deathly scared of spiders, but guess what??? I LOVE myself (a lot). I haven't always and I struggled hard to accept the weaknesses I felt I had (and still occasionally do). But instead of hating myself for what I wasn't, I loved myself harder for what I was. I am loyal, an excellent chef, resourceful, good with people, fun, adventurous, have great freckles, organized, enthusiastic, and I love...deep, hard, and sometimes to a fault. 

I refuse to let anyone take my self-love away from me because at the end of the day, this is me. I am constantly changing and growing. I learn something new about myself every day. I am aware of what I need to work on in my life and I make a point to challenge myself to be the best version I possibly can be. But when I mess up, when I am weak, and when I allow that self doubt to creep in as it most certainly has and most certainly will again, I forgive myself and take it as an opportunity to learn from and move on. I am proud of the person I am today because I struggled and pushed myself to get here. Self love not only allows you to be free from the standards set in place by people too insecure to express themselves, but it also allows you to be open to fully love someone else and let them love you.

 If I could tell that 16 year old me, smiling goofily with friends for homecoming, it would be to get to really know yourself and to love and appreciate all that you are and all that you aren't. Life is about expansion. Expanding your mind, your ideals, your ideas, and soaking up as much of it as you possibly can. I wasted so much time on being insecure and feeling like I wasn't good enough when really I have tons of amazing qualities that I over shadowed with negative thinking. 

So as I sat there with my roommate, and boxes full of pictures of myself, and my memories, instead of feeling embarrassed or narcissistic, I looked up at her, I smiled and I said,"YES!”

By Maddison Dario 

The "Perfect" Look

    "Known as the girl in either all black, head to toe leather, or even a tutu here and there, fashion has most certainly been my passion. I had always been back and forth between different interests and hobbies - always trying to find that little escape. It wasn’t until my Junior year of high school where my liking for this new enticing adventure began.   Fashion was something that I loved to explore because it was my way of being 'different.' It also terrified me. What if I didn't have that 'perfect look?' What if someone didn't like my style? I certainly was no professional stylist or designer.   Everyone correlates the fashion industry with having having a size 0 waist, perfectly clear skin, and ever glowing summer tan. In no way am I a size 0, but I am average for an almost eighteen year old. Don't even get me started about having perfect skin. I have probably been on every medication under the sun, from simple lotions to monthly doctors appointments testing new products. And even thought I’m only 15 minutes from the beach, I have yet to experience a tan what so ever. My best friends even refer to me as 'String Cheese' because I am long and white, but hey, it’s true!   Living in southern Orange County, I always felt like it was a competition between the girls in my school to have the better, more expensive clothing. At some points, I felt that if I wasn't dripping in designer clothing that I wouldn't be considered 'fashionable.'   Once enrolling into my first fashion class, I finally discovered that fashion is anything you make it to be. It amazed me how well I was grasping the assignments and those girls I was once jealous of were taking a liking to my work! It was within the next year that I truly felt like I was doing something for myself. Something that made me utterly happy. At this point, I didn't care if someone didn't like my outfit or if I didn't exactly fit into the 'fashion industry mold.'   As I am entering college now in Dallas, Texas (yes very different from Orange County and I couldn't be any happier) I am majoring in Fashion Merchandising and hope to one day be a buyer. With this degree I hope to make somewhat of an impact to at least one individual. For instance, if you think your outfit may be over the top, WEAR IT! Embrace the fact you have the courage to express yourself and turn heads doing it.   I’m positive this journey I am now embarking on will be a bumpy one. I won’t be everyone’s first, second, or even third choice. And as cliche as this sounds, every door closed is another door opened. Trust me I’ve heard it all. I’ve had people say, 'You know the fashion industry is very competitive,' 'You know you have to stand out and be different then everyone else.' I am completely aware that people will knock you down and criticize you for just about anything. Staying true to myself will shine through anything. There will always be obstacles and hardships that may be discouraging, but having my own self pride and individuality will be the reason why I am different."   - Meggan Spellman

 

"Known as the girl in either all black, head to toe leather, or even a tutu here and there, fashion has most certainly been my passion. I had always been back and forth between different interests and hobbies - always trying to find that little escape. It wasn’t until my Junior year of high school where my liking for this new enticing adventure began.


Fashion was something that I loved to explore because it was my way of being 'different.' It also terrified me. What if I didn't have that 'perfect look?' What if someone didn't like my style? I certainly was no professional stylist or designer.


Everyone correlates the fashion industry with having having a size 0 waist, perfectly clear skin, and ever glowing summer tan. In no way am I a size 0, but I am average for an almost eighteen year old. Don't even get me started about having perfect skin. I have probably been on every medication under the sun, from simple lotions to monthly doctors appointments testing new products. And even thought I’m only 15 minutes from the beach, I have yet to experience a tan what so ever. My best friends even refer to me as 'String Cheese' because I am long and white, but hey, it’s true!


Living in southern Orange County, I always felt like it was a competition between the girls in my school to have the better, more expensive clothing. At some points, I felt that if I wasn't dripping in designer clothing that I wouldn't be considered 'fashionable.'


Once enrolling into my first fashion class, I finally discovered that fashion is anything you make it to be. It amazed me how well I was grasping the assignments and those girls I was once jealous of were taking a liking to my work! It was within the next year that I truly felt like I was doing something for myself. Something that made me utterly happy. At this point, I didn't care if someone didn't like my outfit or if I didn't exactly fit into the 'fashion industry mold.'


As I am entering college now in Dallas, Texas (yes very different from Orange County and I couldn't be any happier) I am majoring in Fashion Merchandising and hope to one day be a buyer. With this degree I hope to make somewhat of an impact to at least one individual. For instance, if you think your outfit may be over the top, WEAR IT! Embrace the fact you have the courage to express yourself and turn heads doing it.


I’m positive this journey I am now embarking on will be a bumpy one. I won’t be everyone’s first, second, or even third choice. And as cliche as this sounds, every door closed is another door opened. Trust me I’ve heard it all. I’ve had people say, 'You know the fashion industry is very competitive,' 'You know you have to stand out and be different then everyone else.' I am completely aware that people will knock you down and criticize you for just about anything.
Staying true to myself will shine through anything. There will always be obstacles and hardships that may be discouraging, but having my own self pride and individuality will be the reason why I am different."

- Meggan Spellman

The Secret's Out

A photograph is so misleading because it’s just capturing a millisecond. Everything is flexed or tucked (or photoshopped), so it’s not real. It’s important to remember that.
— Allison Bagg
    Buzzfeed recently posted an article called:  We Tried on Victoria's Secret Bathing Suits and This is What Happened.  Six girls with different looks and body types modeled Victoria Secret's bathing suits to prove a point about media distortion (yes, this is real.) Magazines aren't real life- we are in constant pursuit of standards that do not exist.   Okay, inhale now exhale.   Go look in the mirror.   You're beautiful.   We are giving you permission to love yourself again because you are so worth loving.   Now grab some popcorn (or chips and queso) and follow the link to the article to read about self-discovery and the hilarious time the girls had in the making of this article. 

 

Buzzfeed recently posted an article called: We Tried on Victoria's Secret Bathing Suits and This is What Happened. Six girls with different looks and body types modeled Victoria Secret's bathing suits to prove a point about media distortion (yes, this is real.) Magazines aren't real life- we are in constant pursuit of standards that do not exist. 

Okay, inhale now exhale. 

Go look in the mirror. 

You're beautiful. 

We are giving you permission to love yourself again because you are so worth loving. 

Now grab some popcorn (or chips and queso) and follow the link to the article to read about self-discovery and the hilarious time the girls had in the making of this article.