Proof that you can never trust a before & after photo.



This before and after photo was taken by Mel, a fitness trainer from Melbourne:

It’s your standard transformation photo, right? Just like plenty of others that are all over social media, showing off the progress of those who have dedicated themselves to regimes involving copious amounts of clean eating and exercise.

But there’s something very different about this photo.

There was no diet. There was no exercise.

In fact, the time between the two photos was only 15 minutes. And this is how Mel managed to ‘transform’ herself so completely in that tiny period of time:

That’s right. Hair extensions, fake tan and an outfit change. That’s all it took to make Mel’s body look completely different.

Mel posted the image on Instagram along with the following caption:

“Check out my transformation! It took me 15 minutes. Wanna know my secret? Well firstly I ditched the phonewallet (fwallet) cause that shit is lame, swapped my bather bottoms to black (cause they’re a size bigger & black is slimming), Smothered on some fake tan, clipped in my hair extensions, stood up a bit taller, sucked in my guts, popped my hip- threw in a skinny arm, stood a bit wider #boxgap, pulled my shoulders back and added a bit of a cheeky/Im so proud of my results smile. Zoomed in on the before pic- zoomed out on the after & added a filter. Cause filters make everything awesome. What’s my point? Don’t be deceived by what you see in magazines & on Instagram. You never see the dozens of other pics they took that wernt as flattering. Photoshop can make a pig look hotter then Beyonce.”

To ‘make a pig look hotter than Beyonce’ may not be the most delicate way of putting it, but Mel’s pics do prove that you simply can’t believe everything you see in photos.

It’s not worth feeling bad about yourself when you see a new transformation picture pop up – because you just don’t know what’s gone on behind the scenes. You don’t know how much sucking-in has been done, you don’t know how many bottles of fake tan they’ve been through.

And if a girl at home in her bathroom can make that much of a transformation in an hour, imagine what the difference is after a team of professional make-up artists, hair stylists, photographers and photoshoppers work on a single celebrity photo for DAYS.

No wonder 4 out of 5 women aren’t satisfied with the way they look – they’re chasing an illusion.


And it’s not just women who are affected. Mel was actually inspired by another Australian personal trainer, Andrew Dixon. Dixon wrote an article for the Huffington Post, in which he slammed the multitude of transformations that are altered by Photoshop/lighting/dodgy postures/tans. And so he decided to take his own transformation photos, and just change up a couple of things between the two images:

About six months ago I was around 185 pounds and about 16 percent body fat. I was feeling particularly bloated on the day, so I asked my girlfriend to take a before shot. I then shaved my head, face and chest and prepared for the after shot, which was about an hour after I took the before shot. I did a few push ups and chin ups, tweaked my bedroom lighting, sucked in, tightened my abs and BOOM! We got our after shot.

Here is that photo. As you can see – the difference is shocking. Despite the fact that there was only an hour of time between the two images.

Andrew also took a secondary image just a few weeks ago. He explains that he wanted to show a longer series of transformations that appear as though they would have taken longer to achieve. In the end, though, the series also took him under an hour to actually put together:

Who would ever suspect that these photos had been taken on the same day? Nobody. Which is why it’s important that we all need to keep in mind just how easy it is to create the ‘perfect’ photo.

We live in a world of selfies, and obviously there’s nothing wrong with putting your best foot forward – as long as you remember that everyone else is doing that too.

Of course there are legitimate transformations out there – and of course plenty of people work very hard in order to achieve them and be proud of them.

But the next time you get seduced by the images accompanying programs or diet products, the next time you look at a magazine cover and wonder why you don’t measure up – think back to this post.

And remember that none of it’s real.

Please share this post with someone you know who is feeling bad about how they look.