A blogger has shared two photographs on Instagram revealing just how easy it is to fake body transformation pictures, which regularly crop up on social media.
In one of the photos, Milly Smith pouts and flexes her arm muscles while wearing a black bra and tights. Her stance and hosiery make her silhouette more defined.
In the photo next to that, she is wearing a bra and underwear. Her hands are on her hips, her stomach is relaxed and she’s smiling.
Smith, 24, who runs the popular Instagram account @selfloveclubb, described both of the photos as “beautiful” and urged others not to compare themselves to what they see on social media.
“Comparing yourself is a thief of your joy/self love,” she wrote in the caption, “and even more so when you’re comparing aesthetics to images that aren’t reality.”
Smith, who describes herself as a ‘body positive badass momma’, said the photo is of the same person, taken on the same day and at the 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,” she said.
She went on to explain how Instagram had recently been voted as “the most damaging app to body image/self esteem”, adding that it’s “not ok”.
The Royal Society for Public Health asked people aged 14-24 how social media sites made them feel and respondents said Instagram made them feel the worst in terms of wellbeing, especially when it comes to body image.
Smith continued: “The media constantly wants us to be more filtered, more posed, more flexed - making us ashamed, afraid and resentful of our bodies, our natural vessel.
“We compare ourselves to these images of posed, strategically-taken photos. Comparing yourself is a thief of your joy/self love and even more so when you’re comparing aesthetics to images that aren’t reality.”
She concluded: “Both these photos are beautiful. Both these photos are worthy. However only one of these photos is truly me, comfortable and naturally loving myself.”
Smith urged people to stop following social media accounts that make them feel negative and to “get rid of [the] people in your life that don’t make you feel happy, loved and beautiful”.
Her impassioned post resonated with many, accruing 8,000 likes, and hundreds of comments thanking her for speaking out about body image.
“Your posts always make me on the verge of tears,” one fan commented. “You’re the first body positive person who actually had a body type thats similar to mine and it means a lot to me. Thank you.”