A young nursing student took to Instagram to share a pair of pictures in which she is clad only in a black bra and black tights. Nothing out of the ordinary there, right? Think again. Upon glancing at the bottom portion of her photographs, people are freaking out.
A body-positive advocate is taking social media by storm by posting side-by-side comparison photos of herself, taken just moments apart. Usually, when you see this sort of thing on Facebook or Instagram, it’s to illustrate a seemingly impossible change in a woman’s frame over time, either due to extreme dieting and exercise or some magic body shaper. However, 23-year-old Millie Smith is out to break all preconceived notions about the so-called “body transformation.”
“Same girl, same day, same time. Not a before and after. Not a weight loss transformation. Not a diet company promotion,” Smith, an England–based nursing student captioned her now viral photo. “I am comfortable with my body in both. Neither is more or less worthy. Neither makes me more or less of a human being. We are so blinded to what a real unposed body looks like and blinded to what beauty is that people would find me less attractive within a 5-second pose switch.”
Smith’s inspiring message racked up more than 59,000 likes in just two days. In the snapshot, she is wearing control-top tights, but on the left, they are pulled up around her waist to create the illusion of a thigh-gap and a flat stomach. On the right, the same black stockings are rolled down to her hips, exposing her midriff.
For Smith, taking the photos has been therapeutic. The girl who once struggled with depression and various eating disorders has now blossomed into a confident young woman who feels innately that she is beautiful.
“It helps my mind so much with body dysmorphia and helps me rationalize my negative thoughts,” she told Us Weekly. “We are bombarded with fake imagery every day and many of us literally forget what all types of bodies look like! Showing my body online is a few unedited, unairbrushed photos closer to variety and acceptance.”
She continued, “It’s been amazing,” adding, “I’ve gone from not even showering to avoid seeing my body to posting photos of my body in underwear publicly!”
I suppose this is one of those rare occasions when social media has been used for good, rather than shameless self-promotion, bullying, or “fake news.” Everybody God creates is beautiful, if we could only see as much, we’d all be a lot more content.