Media loves weight loss comparison photos with the sad “before” and a supposed happy, thinner “after.” And it’s human nature to want to share successes. But these photos can hurt in multiple ways.

First they cause shame for those who don’t have an “after” picture. Just like posting endless pictures of wealth, travel, or a loving relationship on social media can lead to others feeling they don’t measure up, it’s best to be sensitive to how “after” pictures make others feel.

More importantly they can portray an unhealthy reality. Taryn Brumfitt, who is the woman behind the Embrace film, talks about how her “after” picture taken when she was competing as a weight lifter wasn’t realistic or sustainable. She now uses an “after” picture showing her as a normal mom with a tummy. Weight loss or improved muscle tone isn’t always an indicator of health and can trigger disordered eating and unhealthy behaviors in pursuit of an unrealistic body image.

You can read Taryn’s story below, as well as about the pain of comparison photos.

The Before and After Photo That Changed Everything For This Woman | LA Times

Weight Loss Comparison Photos Hurt Your Fat Friends | Fat Girls Hiking