When you’re on the hunt for new workout routines, recipes, or endless fitspiration (may we suggest: #iamwellandgood), Instagram can be your best friend.
But it’s also no secret that scrolling can sometimes do more harm than good. (Cue the Saturday morning still-in-bed scroll, where you realize that while you were lying there all of your friends already ran half marathons, whipped up picture-perfect acai bowls, and Kondo-ed their kitchen.)
But social media isn’t always as sexy and sweaty as it appears. That’s why 26-year-old fitness blogger and Instagrammer Jessica Pack wants to remind the masses that what you see isn’t always what you get—and often the secret to living a seemingly perfect life is all in the lighting, the angles, and the many unseen test shots.
Last week, Pack, a Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide devotee, decided to post a different kind of side-by-side transformation photo. At first glance, it looks like the usual before-and-after selfie. But, according to Pack, the two photos—one of which appears significantly more toned and tightened—were taken just 30 seconds apart. The comparison clearly shows the difference posture, lighting, and a bit of flexing can make.
“Not everything we see meets the eye here on social media,” Pack wrote. “You can show your best angles and hide your flaws, but at the end of the day, what we choose to showcase is a reflection of ourselves. Fitness and health is not a fix. It’s not a destination. It’s a lifestyle. My body isn’t perfect. I still have imperfections and flaws that I’m slowly learning to be comfortable with. I want to be real and honest and open.”
The post drew a lot of attention, and now fellow BBG-ers and others have started posting their own #30secondbeforeandafter and #30secondtransformation photos. So, the lesson is: Social media is not reality. (Which is why we too have been pushing for more transparency and honesty in what we share with the world with our #iamwellandgood campaign.) And, of course, there’s no shame in sleeping in on Saturday morning. Did someone say breakfast in bed? —Alison Feller
Pack’s not the only one pushing the #nofilter agenda ahead: Check out Jordan Younger’s recent photo diary for Well+Good.