There are many online trends. Some are funny, like the Hollywood sign vandalism, while others are, frankly, destructive, like the popular “transformation” pictures.
While scrolling through my phone, I came across an Instagram page called “@transformationfeed” which has nearly 1 million followers. The profile is filled with various before and after pictures. Some showed people growing older, more muscular, gaining weight, and, most popularly, becoming thinner. Each photo is flooded with comments about how inspiring these people are, how they wish they could look like him/her, or how they wish they could lose weight.
This page, and its many variants, are just another outlet for people to become obsessed with changing their physical appearance. Little girls/boys will see these photos and want to be older, because that’s the only way they’ll look attractive. Some will see the drastic weight loss and want to lose weight themselves. Obviously this desire will happen anyway, but pages like this just scream that changing ones appearance will make them “inspirational” or “lucky,” among other things.
Of course, these stories are inspiring. And of course, I’m glad these people reached their goal weight, grew older, or fought cancer. However, I don’t like seeing pages that promote unrealistic expectations. These stories spark feelings of discontent, unease, and make those who can’t gain/lose weight feel even worse.
Now, it must sound like I’m complaining, but what if instead of posting before and afters, we just post afters. We just post pictures celebrating the current beauty of these individuals. We just have an account celebrating people of every size. “All bodies are good bodies,” says an article in FEMmagazine.