Progress photos are where it's at when it comes to weight-loss transformations these days. And while these incredible before-and-after photos are a great way to stay accountable, they often make others feel unnecessarily insecure—especially people who've been struggling with body image issues.
Because of this sensitivity, several body-positive advocates like Anna Victoria and Emily Skye recently decided to share "fake" transformation photos that highlight just how unrealistic it is to have one of those so-called "perfect bodies." Joining this revolution is Milly Smith, a 23-year-old nursing student from the U.K.
In a recent post, the new mom shared a before-and-after picture of herself that unveils a jarring difference you have to see to believe. Since its posting, the photo resonated with many women who are happy to see an honest side of social media, and has garnered over 61,000 likes so far.
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?)
"I am comfortable with my body in both [photos]," she wrote. "Neither is more or less worthy. Neither makes me more or less of a human being... 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 five-second pose switch! How insanely ridiculous is that!?"
While Milly might seem like the epitome of self-love and confidence, things haven't always been so easy. In some of her other Instagram posts, she's revealed struggles with depression, anxiety, anorexia, sexual abuse and endometriosis. She's been using Instagram as an empowerment tool to help her cope. "It helps my mind so much with body dysmorphia and helps me rationalize my negative thoughts," she wrote.
This isn't the first time Milly has shared transformative pictures that show how deceptive Instagram can be. Through several other posts, she's reminded us to stop comparing ourselves to others and to embrace our bodies as they are—something we can all get behind.
Just a same girl, same day, different pose reminder that our bodies look different in different angles and that it's perfectly ok, normal and natural. You don't need to look like anybody else but YOU I get asked a lot recently how to start a Bopo insta page as they want confidence. I often come up with nothing because I'm not entirely sure I understand. Are they asking me how to get started on a journey to self love or just how to start an insta page to get justification that their body is worthy in hope it will bring them self love? Before I put my photos and words out onto Instagram I started my journey to self love with myself; I mean it's still a very personal journey but I want to share it now and help others too. I took photos and wrote down love notes to my body without showing them to a soul- it was just for my soul and my mind. Starting an insta page could help you on your journey of course but your motives are what's important- know what they are before starting is my advice. Maybe do it off social media first and get a feel for your journey and what works/doesn't work for you and do it for YOU. Do it for your soul. Your follower count doesn't matter or make you more or less worthy. 10,000 people telling you your pretty wont bring about self love either. It's so much more than that and it starts deep inside yourself not with your aesthetics. Bopo isn't a 'trend'. It's not about how many you can impress, you need to be impressing yourself. Make yourself proud.
Thanks for keeping it real, Milly. We love you for it.