Stunning before-and-after photos are everywhere on the internet. Seeing somebody struggle to accomplish their fitness goals is inspiring.
But too often, these photos are not what they seem. With a plethora of easy-to-use slimming apps and a mere switch of lighting, what looks like months of hard work can easily be faked or exaggerated. And one woman used a pair of tights to show us just how it’s done.
The photo comes from Milly Smith, 23 who lives in the U.K. A nursing student and new mother, Smith recently posted one of the famed before-and-after photos to her own Instagram—a body positivity-inspired account entitled @selfloveclubb.
In the side-by-side comparison, Smith wears a pair of control-top tights high on her waist. The getup makes it look like she has the body of a supermodel: flat stomach, tiny waist and super-slender thighs. In the second photograph, she wears the tights low on her stomach and the difference between the two photos is staggering.
The picture has since garnered almost 75,000 likes—and mostly because of the accompanying message.
“I am comfortable with my body in both [photos],” Smith writes in the caption. “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 5-second pose switch! How insanely ridiculous is that!?”
This isn’t the first “made you look” before-and-after photo Smith has posted on her Instagram feed. She often points out how ridiculous it is to model yourself after what you see online because of how easy it is to self-edit.
“THIS PHOTO HAS BEEN EDITED ON PURPOSE! 1 minute to do on a free app, my waist is smaller, muscles more defined, arms and thighs smaller and butt bigger,” Smith wrote on one before-and-after photo.
This sort of confidence is newer for Smith, who has been open about her past struggles with eating disorders and body dysmorphia. This post is a sincere and healthy reminder to love your body, regardless of what it looks like… and to not always believe what you see on the internet. All thanks to a pair of tights.