Instagram is full of before-and-after photos featuring weight-loss success stories, booty gains, and yogis who’ve improved their flexibility. While progress photos can help you track your personal fitness journey and be incredibly motivating for many, some #fitspo stirs up unnecessary insecurity, particularly among people who struggle from body dysmorphia, disordered eating, or feelings of inadequacy.
It’s why body-positivity advocates have taken to posting fake transformation photos, or side-by-side photos taken moments apart that only appear to feature drastically different bodies.
Milly Smith, 23, a U.K.-based nursing student and new mother, recently posted one of these photos, reaping more than 33,000 likes overnight. In the first photo, she wears her control-top tights high on her waist, creating the illusion of a flat stomach, teeny waist, and thigh gap. In the second photo, taken a few moments later, she wears the same tights low-slung, exposing her stomach:
Same girl, same day, same time. ? Not a before and after. Not a weight loss transformation. Not a diet company promotion. ? I am comfortable with my body in both. Neither is more or less worthy. Neither makes me more or less of a human being. Neither invites degrading comments and neither invites sleezy words. ? We are so blinded to what a real unposed body looks like and blinded to what beauty is that people would find me less attractive within a 5 second pose switch! How insanely ridiculous is that!? ? I love taking these, it helps my mind so much with body dysmorphia and helps me rationalise my negative thoughts. ? Don't compare, just live for you. There is no one on this planet who's like you and that's pretty damn amazing don't ya think. The world doesn't need another copy, it needs you. ? We are worthy, valid and powerful beyond measure ?? (If you don't pull your tights up as high as possible are you really human?)