Stacey Lee, a psychologist and fitness blogger (@psychandsquats on Instagram), has been posting side-by-side before and after pictures of herself. Yes, this is pretty common for fitness bloggers on social media, but the difference is these aren't before and after workout programs or weight loss. Instead, they're before and after Photoshop, which shows just how easy (and harmful) it is to go from "real and fit" to "idealized and impossible."
Because Stacey Lee is also a psychologist, her captions often involve the psychology behind confidence and self-esteem. In the picture above, she shows her natural, un-retouched body on the left, and a Photoshopped version of herself on the right. In the caption, she writes:
One of the recurrent themes I treat in my profession is body image and its effect on self esteem.
Self esteem is defined as confidence in ones own worth.
However when that worth is tied to an image, a number on a scale, the size of clothes, the smoothness of skin, the smallness of a waist, the bigness of a butt, the definition on your abs, or the gap between your thighs, your worth will never me measured correctly.
One of the reasons behind this is that the measuring stick we use, is based on lies, manipulations and imagined ideals.
We are primed to believe a certain standard of 'beauty' is the goal.
We are shown images every day which are not realistic, even the small changes to photos or advertisements make a difference. They send subconscious messages saying that you aren't enough, and never will be.