Dramatic weight loss pictures. Shocking transformations. Unbelievable before and after shots. They’re all over the internet and we’re exposed to dozens every day. But the sad truth behind many of these photos is in fact they are just that – unbelievable.
Recently, photo sharing app Instagram was named as the most damaging social media platform for people’s self-esteem, especially when it comes to body image and how we view ourselves. And we can see why.
We’re constantly presented with pictures of women who have supposedly ‘perfect’ bodies, and numerous transformation pictures of people banishing their old ‘unlikeable’ bodies in favour of new, slimmer, trimmer forms. Not only does this suggest that we shouldn’t be happy with our figures the way they are, the pictures also push us to believe that we’re not working hard enough to achieve a ‘better body’. If all of these women can hit the gym and control their diets and achieve ‘perfect beach bodies’, then why can’t we?
Well, the ‘Self Love Clubb’ on Instagram is aiming to do their bit online to counter-act the self-esteem epidemic that seems to be sweeping the world. Run by Milly Smith, a student learning disability nurse who cares for people with a learning disabilities and cognitive impairment, the account shares inspirational and honest posts about body image and mental illness awareness.
Following a trend recently of bloggers and social media stars debunking the myths behind ‘before and after photos’, in a recent post, Milly showed just how easy it is to fake the dramatic weight loss pictures we see so often online.
Posting two pictures of herself side-by-side Milly wrote, “Same girl, same day, same time. With a camera angle and clothing I can change my body into something that society would deem more acceptable than the photo on the right.”
The post concludes, “Get rid of accounts that make you feel negative…don’t let an app ruin your life.”
Milly’s post has received widespread praise from her followers and fans across the internet. “I applaud your message and method of delivery” one person wrote. “I just came across this account and it makes me happy because there is such a positive message here” commented another.
So, next time you see a ‘before and after’ photo that starts to make you criticise yourself, stop. Think how the photo might have been taken. As Milly said, get rid of anything in your life that doesn’t make you feel, “happy loved and beautiful.” Great advice!