These "Before & After" Photos Were Captured On The Exact Same Day

UPDATE: The Instagram user made her account private after the time of publishing, but you can request to follow her here.

There's perhaps no feature of diet and workout ads more iconic than the "before and after" photo, which purports to demonstrate how drastically a product or service will change your body. Aside from shaming the person in the "before" picture, these photos are often misleading — and a viral post by Instagram user Halle shows why.

The fitness blogger and self-proclaimed "body positive activist" took two photos from the same angle: one in which she's slouching and her stomach rolls show, and another in which she's standing up straight and appears thinner. And the second one was captured just seconds after the first.
The caption explains why she embraces the slouching photo just as much as the more "flattering" one.

"So proud to be a natural woman, comfortable in my body," she wrote. "TO ALL MY LADIES: If you are feeling pressured by society to be on a diet to lose weight, stop it. If you're working out 'so you can eat later,' stop it. If you're wearing a waist-trainer because you think your waist should be smaller so you will be prettier, stop it. If you are getting plastic surgery 'to look better,' stop it. If you think you need to lose 10 pounds because media is telling you that you should, you don't. If you have rolls on your stomach, it's okay — I do too."

"Be kind to your body!" she calls on her followers. "This body that you were given is the only place you have to live. Respect it. Treat it like your best friend. BELIEVE IN YOUR OWN BEAUTY."

There have been a lot of viral posts lately demonstrating that you really can't believe the photos you see in ads or on social media. The position someone stands in, the camera angle, and a slew of other factors can affect how someone looks in a photo.

But the important thing to remember is that no photo, whether it looks like it was taken "before" or "after" a physical transformation, is "better" than any other. We don't need to hide stomach rolls with strategic posing and lighting. We're already perfect in our "before" state.
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