Let's Get Reallllyy Real.


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. 


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



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!



"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:


"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

Split Image / Madison Holleran

Madison Holleran was a 19-year-old freshman at the University of Pennsylvania when she died by suicide on Jan. 17, 2014.

An hour before she jumped from a parking garage in downtown Philadelphia, she posted an image on Instagram of Rittenhouse Square; holiday lights are twinkling in the trees.

That image was one of hundreds on Madison's feed that projected a happy, content existence. But as Madison's friends and family now know, the track star from New Jersey was struggling more than anyone realized.

From "Split Image" in ESPN The Magazine's May 11 Fight For Perfection Issue:

"Madison's high school friends had told her they were also struggling. Emma Sullivan was running track at Boston College and having a hard time. Another friend, Jackie Reyneke, was playing basketball at Princeton and feeling overwhelmed. They had all shared some form of their struggles with Madison, yet in her mind, the lives her friends were projecting on social media trumped the reality they were privately sharing.

This confused them, and it still does.

Checking Instagram is like opening a magazine to see a fashion advertisement. Except an ad is branded as what it is: a staged image on glossy paper.

Instagram is passed off as real life.

Yes, people filter their photos to make them prettier. People are also often encouraged to put filters on their sadness, to brighten their reality so as not to "drag down" those around them. The myth still exists that happiness is a choice, which perpetuates the notion of depression as weakness.

Life must be Instagrammed -- in more ways than one."


(Article found here)


This story is one of many that happens every day here in America. In 2013 it was reported that someone died by suicide every 12.8 minutes, making it a total of 41,149 suicides reported. Depression is a mental illness that we are all still trying to understand, and some people can hide it very well. There are many reasons why people commit suicide and many reasons why people get sad and depressed, but there are many ways that we can try to understand and help them.

In my personal opinion, I believe that some of it goes to the fact that our society wants us to keep some of our problems to ourselves. To not be as open as we should, because it could offend some people or it may give you or your family a bad image. Depression runs in my family and I have seen the effects it makes when you don't communicate and be open about it. This is why we want Be Bona Fide to be a platform to share who you really are! Share with us what you like about yourself, because there is no shame it that. Share with us your struggles, because I know many others can relate to you and help each other through difficult times. Share with us your victories and your setbacks, because that is what life is. Life is a roller coaster, we aren't always on a steady pace and that's okay. Social media has so many wonderful abilities. We get to share our stories, memories, pictures, videos, music, etc., but we also need to remember that not everything is as perfect looking as you see in pictures. It is one snapshot that gives you a small glimpse into the surface of someones life. As we learned from Madiosn Holleran, she looked like she was having the best time of your life and had it all, when inside she was trapped, alone and suicidal. 

Let's share our struggles, our happy moments, and our fears. Remove the filter, both literally and metaphorically. #bebonafide #letsgetreal #removethefilter

I am going to #removethefilter on this photo above. I went to Boise, Idaho to visit my family after a shocking and emotional suicide was attempted by one of my family members (not pictured). It was a scary time for my family, but we banded together and tried to stay strong and help this person in my family. She fought many internal and mental battles and we had found out that there was a lot more that she was dealing with than we had thought. 

We were trying everything we could to help, and one of the things she loved so much was the outdoors and taking walks. So we drove up to this little mountain and climbed to the top where it over looked the city and the rolling hills. We were all trying to take in everything that was going on and get through it day by day. It is still a struggle to think about and worry if it will ever happen again. But I know that these struggles and trials we go through make us stronger and help us understand each other better. I love you sister, and I will never lose hope in you. I will never give up on you.

Take us behind the scenes with one of your pictures and tag your friends with @bebonafide and #removethefilter.

xo | Laura

Your Life is Way bigger than a 612by612 Square

It's easy to miss out on life's moments when we get caught up into thinking that a 612by612 square is better than the real thing. Our life can't be contained in a lil gram! Just a reminder to spend less time filtering/captioning/posing and more time experiencing/enjoying/living. #bonafideconfessions  -@stef_sjo

It's easy to miss out on life's moments when we get caught up into thinking that a 612by612 square is better than the real thing. Our life can't be contained in a lil gram! Just a reminder to spend less time filtering/captioning/posing and more time experiencing/enjoying/living. #bonafideconfessions  -@stef_sjo

This Instagram from @stef_sjo has really got me thinking tonight. There was a stage in my life, and by stage I mean ever since Instagram came out to up to a few months ago, that I was attached to social media. I would spend a good hour or two a day scrolling through pretty pictures. I would be on a friends page, then off to their cousins page, then off to that cousins...sisters and then repeat. After a good half hour I would have Insta-stocked that friend's cousin's sister until there were no more pictures to see. I had no idea how I got there and who it was, and chances are I would never meet them, ever.  

I would get down on myself if my life did not look as fun/pretty as their lives. I pictured how I could make my life look as great as all my fun social media "friends", and make prettier pictures. I honestly can't believe how good of a sport my husband was during my social media obsession.

cue the music please "...There something in your eyes..that makes me want to loose myself.." #namezemovie #go

cue the music please "...There something in your eyes..that makes me want to loose myself.." #namezemovie #go

I can't believe that I'm going to share the story behind the picture above. But I guess I can count this as my contribution to the  #bonafideconfessions campaign for this month! When Ryan and I were in New York for Medical school interviews, we decided to take the Staten Island Ferry. Me being the social media/pretty picture obsessed person that I was, had envisioned a picture on the balcony of the ferry. Yes, I think I got the picture in my head from the movie, "How to Loose a Guy in 10 Days." So we entered the ferry and all was well....until I realized that that particular ferry did not have a balcony to take the picture?! WHHHATTTT.

 After some solid debating and persuading on my end, I convinced my husband to get on another ferry and do the whole ride again. Never mind we had limited time in NYC, that it was about 20 degrees outside, and that we were both 'hangry' as can be. I had my heart set on that picture and it took priority over actually enjoying the city. AH. I'M INSANE! But when all was said and done, I thought that it turned out all right and obvi posted it. THAT is why Instagram is so deceiving! During the picture above my husband probably wanted a new wife, my hat was blowing off, we could not feel our fingers.. and I was still so worried about getting my "How to Loose a Guy in 10 Day Pic." 

I realized something had to change, after launching Be Bona Fide I can honestly say I have made a conscience effort to be present and to just enjoy the moment, rather than trying to capture the perfect pictures that I have envisioned in my head. I am happier and my husband no longer wants to run. Haha. But really, I cannot tell you the difference that I feel. I have become more confident and happier. Don't get me wrong, I still love a good picture as much as the next person, but am no longer willing to let that picture get in the way of me experiencing LIFE. 

I'll keep you posted on how my emotions are feeling/changing as I try to keep Being Bona Fide. Stay Tuned. 

XOXO Gossip Girl

wait. thats not right....




Numbers Don't Define You

Numbers Don't Define How INSANLELY Cool You Are

We are SO excited to bring this collaboration with Hailey Devine to you! The bona fide vibe of Hailey's Instagram is what brought us to her. 

"My house is upside down, I have blood shot eyes from my baby that decided to sleep only two hours last night, and I have endless projects on my computer that must be done. This is my life. I try very hard to keep my feed positive, uplifting and REAL. I do not have any intention to portray that I have the "perfect" life -- I just choose to document and share the things that keep me going. The things that make me happy!...."

"My house is upside down, I have blood shot eyes from my baby that decided to sleep only two hours last night, and I have endless projects on my computer that must be done. This is my life. I try very hard to keep my feed positive, uplifting and REAL. I do not have any intention to portray that I have the "perfect" life -- I just choose to document and share the things that keep me going. The things that make me happy!...."

"Surfs Up!"

"Surfs Up!"

Welcome to the Be Bona Fide Family Hailey! The Slogan that she chose to have us customize really does say it all. I think we can get such a skewed perception on what and who  is "cool" when social media is involved. 

hailey 6.JPG

"Everyday I scroll my Instagram, Twitter, & Bloglovin' feeds, and I find myself smacked in the face with these constant numbers. So-and-so has 597K followers, getting 27,000 likes per picture, and 800 comments. My first initial thoughts are, "Wow that's impressive, they must be pretty cool." - I'm sure that they are pretty cool, but I believe that the numbers are not what make a person "cool". At the end of the day, what do these numbers really matter?" The truth is that they don't matter at all, they are just numbers. Numbers don't define how insanely cool you are, & I think that realization is insanely cool. 

Let's join together, no matter how many 'numbers' we have, & try to be a little more Bona-Fide or 'insanely cool'. Compliment a stranger, mail a thoughtful note, & reach out to an old friend! THAT is what makes you insanely cool". -Hailey

Check Hailey out, you wont regret it!

Instagram: @haileydevine ---- Website: www.somethingdevineblog.com