They say the camera doesn’t lie, but in reality, your body’s appearance can change drastically from photo to photo depending on how you pose. That’s the message behind one Instagram post that recently went viral.
Fitness blogger Lauren Tickner, 20, posted three photos of herself taken 30 seconds apart. In the first photo, her stomach is sticking out but in the next, it is noticeably narrower. In the third image, she is still trim, but her new, straighter posture transforms the appearance of her figure.
Tickner, who is based in London, said she posted the comparison photos to serve up an important reminder about the so-called “ideal” bodies we often see on Instagram.
“I get so upset by seeing how disheartened people are through all these photos they see online of these ‘perfect’ bodies (there is no such thing as perfection, FYI!), and I wanted to show people how much of a difference posing can make,” she told TODAY Style in an email. “The body (people) are striving to get is a snapshot of someone’s life. They may have taken 10,000 photos to get that one they liked enough to post online.”
Tickner says photos are completely subjective, and that you should never base your self-confidence off of how you appear in a single picture.
“Sometimes one may see a photo of themselves and think, ‘Agh, I hate how I look,'” she wrote in the post. “But then you have to remember that you may just be MOVING and caught off guard, so your body isn’t looking ‘normal!'”
Tickner’s post clearly hit home for many people, racking up more than 32,000 likes. Some fans thanked Tickner for serving up such an honest reality check.
“I totally ‘let go’ of my stomach after a meal and self-loathe,” one woman wrote. “Thanks for showing me I’m not the only one and that’s normal.”
“So much love for this post!!” another woman commented. “I noticed the same thing about myself today when I got out of the elevator—it’s all about posture!”
As an active fitness blogger who shares her diet and workout routines with her more than 100,000 Instagram followers, Tickner says there is nothing wrong with striving for a flatter stomach or more defined curves.
But, she warns, even if you are in amazing shape, you will not always take “perfect” photos.
“I think is should be NORMAL not to strive to look 100 percent, 100 percent of the time,” she told TODAY Style. “It is such a shame that people are embarrassed if they see a photo where their stomach doesn’t look at flat as usual … Angles are everything!”
“As long as I am helping people, I am happy! I don’t care if I have to make myself look ‘bad’ or stupid doing it,” she told TODAY.
And, she added, her followers can be sure they’re seeing the real Lauren because she never Photoshops her images, apart from adjusting the brightness.
“I want people to see the real me,” she said.