Health

A Pair Of Tights Exposes The Myth Of The Before-And-After Photo

You can't always believe what you see.

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.

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?)

A post shared by Milly🌻 (@selfloveclubb) on

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!?”

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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. Again highlighting how easy is is to manipulate and change the body at your finger tips in seconds. I've had so many of you message me today especially saying how you can't stop comparing yourself to 'fitness' pages. I hate them; I'm not saying all of them are the same but we all know the ones im talking about- the ones making aesthetics out to be your life's goal using the same body type over and over. 'NO EXCUSES YOU LAZY TWAT'… you know the drill. First off, the women on those pages represent a TINY minority of women, beautiful just like the rest of us and their beauty does not take away from yours- there's such a lack of variation with body types portrayed in fitness . Many of them have starved, restricted and over exercised to get the physique they have in the photo and if photoshopped hasn't been used often strategic lighting/posing has. Secondly. STOP (hammer time) unfollow the pages if they are a negative source for you. Don't look at them and instantly feel the pressure drop. Any page that tells you to look a certain way or hat exercise is purely weight lifting for aesthetics can't be healthy for your mind. I used them as a form of self destruction to punish myself; I can only assume a lot of those pages thrive from insecure men and women. However fake or real the image take a step back and realise you don't need to look or act like anybody else. You don't need muscle tone, restriction or unrealistically hard abs to feel worth. Don't waste your life chasing an image. Don't wake up one day at 70 and think "I never did look like those women and I wish I'd of made memories and smiles with the time I spent comparing" We are worthy, we are valid and we are powerful beyond measure 💪🏻❤ Ps it's so super hard and triggering for me to post these. It takes a lot of courage and you guys give me that courage ❤️

A post shared by Milly🌻 (@selfloveclubb) on

“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.