Social media is a powerful tool. It can be inspiring, like Healthy is the New Skinny’s body positive posts. It can help save someone from an eating disorder, but it can also be dangerous, helping fuel orthorexia and turning clean eating into a serious eating disorder.
With the rise of Kayla Itsines’s Bikini Body Guide, which is a 30-minute bodyweight workout that anyone can do in the comfort of their own home, there also came a rise of body transformation photos flooding Instagram. There’s even accounts that solely post these weight loss transformations.
These can be inspirational, sure — it can be immensely helpful to see how other normal people have lost weight and become stronger. But they can also be hugely demoralizing. Because if you look at the picture above, this very normal-sized girl (whom some might even call skinny), is now borderline skeletal-looking. Yes, she’s gained muscle, and yes she looks good, but for the people who are a lot larger than her looking to lose weight, this can be deterring and even cause a drop in their self-esteem.
There has also been the question of whether body transformations seen on Instagram are even real. Is it possible to suddenly gain a six pack in four weeks? Is it possible to look so goddamn amazing in such a short amount of time? 26-year-old Jessica Pack, also known on Instagram as plankingforpizza, recently shared the real truth behind body transformation photos.
A BBG girl, she’s amassed thousands of followers since she started her BBG journey, and has shown the very real progression of her weight loss.
But last week, she decided to do a different type of “transformation” photo — one in which she posted two bikini shots of herself taken only thirty seconds apart. The only thing she transformed was her posture.
In her caption she says, “I’m trying to show that not everything we see meets the eye here on social media. You can show you best angles and hide your flaws but at the end of the day what we chose to showcase is a reflection of ourselves. My body isn’t perfect. I still have imperfections and flaws that I’m slowly learning to be comfortable with. I want to be real and honest and open. Yes I’ve accomplished a lot, but yes my body still has less than ideal days when it doesn’t look its best.”
This only goes to show that social media isn’t all what it seems to be. From Essena O’Neil’s heartbreaking confession about social media earlier this year to Jessica’s bravery at showcasing how easy it is to look like you’ve transformed your body, there’s been a push to demonstrate to people across the world that there is so much more that goes on behind the picture that you don’t know about. Take what you see with a grain of salt, and remember, no one is perfect.