Self-Love Blogger Posts Faux Before & After to Show 'How Easy It Is to Manipulate Your Image Online'
This article originally appeared on People.com.
Social media influencer Milly Smith will have you doing a double-take.
The self-described “body positive bad ass momma” posted side-by-side shots of herself on Instagram to show how social media images aren’t always as they seem. In the photo on the left, Smith is seen flexing with her head tilted to one side while wearing a black bra and black tights pulled up to her waist. In the second photo, Smith is wearing the same thing, minus the tights, which allows her stomach to show.
“Same girl, same day, same time,” she wrote under her Instagram name, @selfloveclubb. “With a camera angle and clothing I can change my body into something that society would deem more acceptable than the photo on the right.”
“I wanted to post these photos to highlight just how easy it is to manipulate your image online,” Smith told PEOPLE. “I wanted people to realize that the images they are seeing are not a true representation of how bodies look.”
Smith, who has over 140,000 followers, wrote in the post: “Recently insta was voted as the most damaging app to body image/self esteem. That’s not ok. The media constantly wants us to be more filtered, more posed, more flexed. Making us ashamed, afraid and resentful of our bodies, our natural vessel. We compare ourselves to these images of posed, strategically taken photos. Comparing yourself is a thief of your joy/self love and even more so when you’re comparing aesthetics to images that aren’t reality.”
So far the comparison shots have received more than 8,000 likes and plenty of praise.
“Your posts always make me on the verge of tears. You’re the first body positive person who actually had a body type thats similar to mine and it means a lot to me. Thank you,” said one commenter.
“I’ve had some beautiful feedback,” Smith tells PEOPLE. “It keeps me strong and reminds me why I do this account! One quote which stuck with me was ‘thank you for inspiring us to be ourselves’. We are made to feel so ashamed of ourselves, our natural bodies and that’s not okay.”
Smith also revealed which photo makes her feel the most like herself, and offered words of encouragement to others. “Both these photos are beautiful. Both these photos are worthy. However only one of these photos is truly me, comfortable and naturally loving myself…,” she wrote. “Get rid of accounts that make you feel negative, get rid of people in your life that don’t make you feel happy, loved and beautiful. Don’t let an all ruin your life.”