Iskra Lawrence Just Made A Powerful Point About "Before & After" Photos

If you've spent some time on Instagram, chances are that you've seen before and after photos that celebrate a person's progress, usually with weight loss. While it's great to be proud of your journey, plus-size model Iskra Lawrence is making a case to #BoycottTheBefore.
On Monday, Lawrence made a post to her own Instagram page, sharing a message about the pressure than can come with the before and after photos we see so regularly. She posted what would have been a before and after photo of herself, with the "before" half blocked out.
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(This post is regarding Eating Disorders & recovery NOT the fitness industry / or weight loss) . Please read before passing judgement as this is NOT me telling you NOT to post before and afters or diminishing the achievements and accomplishments of those who are proud of their journeys. I love seeing people celebrating how far they've come and totally get why (myself included) choose to post before and afters. . But let's open the discussion..... #BoycottTheBefore was started by @soworthsaving and I'm so proud to be part of this movement. . I myself have felt the pressure to post before and after pics to validate that I too suffered... but that's not right. We do not need to prove that we struggled, we do not need to feel like anyone may have struggled more or less because maybe there before and after photos aren't as "dramatic". It's not even about that, it's always about how far you've come so @boycottthebefore is here to celebrate YOU right now! To celebrate how far you've come and maybe how far you still have to go - there is no perfect recovery & everyones is completely unique. . I do however want to say I'm not against posting before and afters, I have done so too and will be keeping them up. However this is also a really great message and I hope to see lots of of you tagging me in your pics (I've shared pics of those who tagged me just swipe to see)... I'm forever inspired by the recovery & bopo communities and I'm grateful for every single person who empowers each other and shares their beautiful unique spark with us all. . To read @soworthsaving blog post about this movement go to @neda or http://proud2bme.org/content/eating-disorder-comparison-photos-boycott #NEDA #everyBODYisbeautiful (bikini is @aerie) No makeup no retouching #aeriereal

A post shared by i s k r a (@iskra) on

Though she doesn't want to diminish anyone's achievements, Lawrence wrote, she wanted to help call attention to the effect that before and after photos can have on those who are recovering from eating disorders.
"#BoycottTheBefore was started by @soworthsaving and I'm so proud to be part of this movement," she wrote. "I myself have felt the pressure to post before and after pics to validate that I too suffered... but that's not right."
Addressing those who have struggled with eating disorders, Lawrence made a point that before and after photos can come with a lot of pressure to prove how far you've come or how much you've struggled.
"We do not need to prove that we struggled, we do not need to feel like anyone may have struggled more or less because maybe there before and after photos aren't as "dramatic," she wrote. "It's not even about that, it's always about how far you've come so @boycottthebefore is here to celebrate YOU right now!"
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Blogger Lexie started #BoycottTheBefore in honor of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week to encourage for people to skip sharing the "before" photos of themselves when they were struggling with eating disorders and to instead focus on where they are now. Lexie shared that she started the movement because she saw that before and after photos could have negative effects on those who are still suffering.
"It reinforces a misconception that you can see who is struggling," she wrote.
Fortunately, many bloggers have been revolutionizing the before and after photos to show that "ideal bodies" can be illusions, but Lawrence reinforces the fact that we are all on different journeys, and those journeys can't always be contained or represented in two photos.
If you are struggling with an eating disorder and are in need of support, please call the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline at 1-800-931-2237. For a 24-hour crisis line, text “NEDA” to 741741.
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