Fitness blogger lifts the lid on ‘before and after’ photos

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It’s not far-fetched for fans of fitness blogger Sara Puhto, who has amassed more than 66,000 followers on Instagram, to think this image is a before-and-after montage.

After all, she’s done her fair share of such “transformation” photos. But in the recent post, she files a disclaimer at the top—”This is not a transformation photo”—and goes on to explain that a little lighting and posing is really all that differentiates two photos that were “taken a few seconds apart while I was at the beach the other day.” Glamour notes that multiple bloggers and models are taking to social media to post similar “reality” pics.

View this post on Instagram

Not a transformation photo 🙅🏼🌿 These were taken a few seconds apart while I was at the beach the other day, the photo on the left is what I look like relaxed and not posing, basically how I look 99% of the time in a bikini! And the one on the right is how I look in good lighting, flexed and posing 😁 I wanted to share this because I know how it feels to go through Instagram and see photos of people looking amazing on the beach- which are usually planned and not candid, that's why they look so good. So don't get caught up on how they look and compare that to your everyday relaxed body. It is completely normal to not have abs or look lean all the time! Love the body you have in all its forms, especially when you see it in "bad" lighting, angles and completely relaxed. You are beautiful and shouldn't have to go through life disliking how you look! I hope you all have an amazing day 🌴☀️

A post shared by Sara Puhto (@saggysara) on

Puhto goes on to explain that her inspiration for sharing the side-by-side images is to show that it’s “completely normal to not have abs or look lean all the time!” Refinery 29 says the post “makes the point that no matter how pressured we may feel to have an ideal body, even the bodies that are celebrated as ‘ideal’ aren’t always real.” Meanwhile, the Houston Chronicle suggests that social networking sites like Instagram have come to contribute to “false realities” about how people look and feel.

Puhto regularly chimes in with pics revealing, say, bloating after Christmas and belly rolls while sitting, but this latest post seems to have struck a chord, with more than 4,000 likes.

(Glamour didn’t photoshop Lena Dunham’s thigh on this cover, and she loves the editors for it.)

This article originally appeared on Newser: Fitness Blogger Lifts the Lid on ‘Before and After’ Photos

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