The Booty Foodie

Buns and Bites' Laura Afonso talks iconic Rhody eats and body positivity on social media

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What are the origins of Buns and Bites?
Buns and Bites was originally supposed to be just Bites. I’ve always counted going out to eat as a hobby of mine and wanted to blog about that experience in a way that felt unique. It wasn’t until the Instagram algorithm started showing me loads of food and booties that the idea clicked! Additionally, as someone who’s modeled in the area, I’ve had my own challenges with body image and not fitting the mold. Should I stress out over every bite of food I eat or accept who I am and continue loving myself? I appreciate the pressure most women feel with regards to appearance standards and starting Buns and Bites felt like a great way of showcasing an array of women who own their body and constantly change the perception of beauty.

Did you have any idea that it would catch on as quickly as it did?
No way! The seedling for Buns and Bites was planted in my mind in 2015 but I was hesitant to start it. I felt like it would flop and everyone I knew would laugh at me! It wasn’t until I read a book called You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero that I felt courageous enough to share these buns with the world, and boy am I glad that I did!

I am eternally grateful that so many people love and support Buns and Bites, and have helped it grow! We are just over a year old, and we have so much more to come!

Body positivity is a big part of your brand. How have women been responding to that message? How does if feel to have them react so positively to what you're doing?
Body positivity is undoubtedly a main theme for Buns and Bites. Too often women see other women on social media and compare themselves to pictures that have been photoshopped, over edited, and filtered twice; scroll through instagram, see super model in bikini, put down the donut. But we want you to enjoy that donut, and love yourself while you eat it! We want to show these ladies that your stretch marks are a part of you, that cellulite is beautiful, and your booty – big or small – should be the focus of shameless self worship.

I am absolutely blown away by the support we have from so many young women. A great deal of Buns and Bites’ success is built off the strength of women feeling comfortable in their skin and I am so grateful for that. I love getting messages from followers who identify with the messages we share, who share their own struggles with their body image, and can relate to wanting to love food and love their bod! And if I have one thing to say, it is “eat your hearts out, babes!”

How do you find the other women you've featured?
We definitely find most of our models through Instagram, either by sifting through the inbox or coming across girls we want to work with. During this process, we try our hardest to own diversity in every sense so that any girl can scroll through and identify a reflection of herself.

We love that so many girls want to be involved, and we do our best to respond to inquiries and get in touch. One of the best parts about getting to work with these women is the friendships we have made along the way! These girls are hard working, strong willed females who are leaving their mark on the community in their own ways, and we just adore each and every one of them.

What about the restaurants? Are you reaching out to them or have they started coming to you?
It is a little bit of both. At first we did most of the reaching out but as we started to grow, more restaurants started contacting us, which is always nice. We do still have a wish list of places we want to visit but we also love hearing from our followers about places where they’d like to see us.

What's one iconic restaurant or Rhody food that you've been dying to bring to Buns and Bites?
I have to say that my favorite Rhody food has got to be a classic slice of strip pizza – also known as bakery pizza. It is something that true Rhode Islanders worship, and I love how confused out of staters are when they ask where the cheese is! I tell them, you just have to trust me on this one. I would love to go on a strip pizza tour of Rhode Island, to find my favorite slice. A whole day comparing corner pieces sounds glorious to me!