Milly Smith, a body positive advocate, took to social media on January 29 to show how pictures can be deceptive.
In two side-by side Instagram selfies, the 23-year-old used control-top tights to put her message across. In one photo, the tights were yanked up around her waist, showing a thigh gap and flat stomach. In the second picture, the tights were pulled down, showing a not-so-flat midriff.
She captioned the post: “Same girl, same day, same time. Not a before and after. Not a weight loss transformation. Not a diet company promotion. 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.”
Smith has been honest about her struggles with depression, anorexia and binge-eating, and expressed that taking the photos was therapeutic: “It helps my mind so much with body dysmorphia and helps me rationalize my negative thoughts.”
The post got more than 59,000 likes in just two days.
She told Us Weekly: “We are bombarded with fake imagery every day and many of us literally forget what all types of bodies look like! Showing my body online is a few unedited, unairbrushed photos closer to variety and acceptance.”
Since she began posting the “before-and-after” photos three months ago, she said that her self-esteem has skyrocketed: “It’s been amazing. I’ve gone from not even showering to avoid seeing my body to posting photos of my body in underwear publicly!”