You already know that a lot of the images you see on social media are posed and unrealistic. But just how easy is it to transform the shape of a woman’s body or erase marks from her skin?
That question is addressed in the latest viral transformation photo to hit Instagram. Posted by fitness influencer Laysa Neto, it reveals that using certain camera angles, posing your body, and positioning your clothing can completely alter how you look.
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Neto, a 28-year-old from Rhode Island, put three photos of herself together and posted them on Instagram. In the first photo, she is relaxed, revealing what she looks like “99 percent” of the time, she says.
The photo on the right displays her flexing her abs. “I am literally not breathing in the photo,” she admitted in the caption. The image in the middle is her most vulnerable one, as the mother of two grabs her stomach.
“I show my wrinkles and ‘sags’ and extra loose skin from having two kids,” she explained in the caption.
Neto’s post promotes her body-positive approach to health and wellness. Her point is to show her followers that social media is not a realistic depiction of a person’s everyday appearance.
“[I’ve] been doing a lot more showing all the angles someone can pose or what leggings can do or what [lighting] can do because I don’t do it enough,” she wrote. “I still get girls who feel they need to be this picture perfect model and you don’t!”
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Neto tells Health that she was motivated to help women struggling with body image issues, particularly moms, who typically have loose skin or belly flab and feel bad about it when they see selfies of other moms who don’t seem to have these postpartum changes.
She wants her followers to know that in many cases, those other images aren’t accurate and can do a number on your self-esteem.
“I have the cellulite, I have the stretch marks, I have the wrinkles,” she says. “It may not show in every picture but it’s there. And sometimes we get caught up on who had more stretch marks or who has less stretch marks or who is perfect … it’s not about that. It’s about accepting your body and knowing what it went through and loving your body at any stage.”