Before and After Pictures? No Thank You.

If we all sit back for a minute and ponder the whole “before and after” picture thing, the problem becomes pretty clear. I mean you don’t even need to be a body-positive, girl-power health coach to understand the implication, right??

 The implication is: the before picture is bad, and the after picture is better.

Huh. Isn’t that pretty black-and-white thinking? That Judge-y McJudgerson brain coming into play again? The before picture is bad and the after picture is good* Says who??? Says me? Your friends on Facebook? The internet and society as a whole??

*Ok, to be fair, I will give those posts the benefit of the doubt and say the implication could be “the before picture was unacceptable and it needed to be changed, and I finally feel worthy to share my progress, so look at me now!” but it still boils down to this: COMPARISON.

See, I don’t see the before pictures as bad after pictures as better. I see a human being in both pictures. A picture of an amazing human body in both pictures and that’s it. The comparison is lost on me.

In EITHER photo you cannot tell:

If they have good overall health and genuinely feel good from day to day

If they enjoy their food and gain pleasure from eating it

If they are connected to their spouse, family, and friends in a deep and meaningful way

If they value their actions and contributions to society more than their body

If they felt worthy of love and affection at either size or weight

If they are being a positive role model to their children/young people 


So I choose not to buy into the before and after picture trend. It is simply smoke and mirrors. Like using the scale to determine your success or failure for the day/week/month.

If you want to share personal growth and meaningful progress, please do! I would love to see pictures of you having fun with your friends, going on dates with your spouse/boyfriend, tackling an amazing home project, creating a unique birthday party for your kids, trying out a new haircut or make up trend. It’s not that “appearances” can’t be celebrated, they just don’t need to be compared… to each other or even to our past selves.

To see the picture and story that inspired this post, click here.