If you’re into wellness at all like we are, we’re gonna bet that anytime you scroll through your Instagram Explore page you’ll stumble upon some kind of “transformation” photo. For body-positive blogger Milly Smith though, there’s an even more powerful social media trend. And, instead of being taken over the course of time, it’s snapped within seconds. Meet, the side-by-side comparison, which has become a favorite among self-love social stars like Smith. Her latest entry is one of the most compelling yet.
In one post, blogger Milly Smith reveals just how flattering tights really are—and how much what you see on social media is perfectly staged. Smith achieved that by uploading two photos of herself where, in the first she’s wearing tights hiked up to her waist and flexed with her shoulders back and, in the other, she’s completely relaxed with the waistband of her tights positioned on her hips below her abdomen. The difference between her silhouette in both photos might make you do a double take, but there’s no photoshop or weight loss at play.
“Same girl, same day, same time,” Smith writes in the caption. “Not a before and after. Not a weight loss transformation. Not a diet company promotion.”
The blogger, who Instagrams under the handle selfloveclubb, goes on to point out that—despite the stark difference between photos—neither is more beautiful in her mind.” I am comfortable with my body in both,” she says. “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.”
What the photos do invite, however, is more conversations about how damaging the aspirational perfection of social media can be, where many users set out to constantly project the best versions of themselves. “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!?,” Smith asks. “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.” Though, the world could use more copies of side-by-side comparisons like these.