This self-love Instagrammer reminds us that it’s incredibly easy to manipulate body photos online

Sometimes self-love is hard. It’s easy to look at what you see on social media and make damaging comparisons between yourself and photos online. That’s why a self-described “body positive badass momma” took to Instagram to remind us that it’s easy to manipulate body photos for social media, so we shouldn’t compare ourselves to people we don’t know — or anyone, for that matter.

Milly Smith, who has more than 140,000 followers on her self-love-centered, body-positive Instagram account, posted two side-by-side photos on the social platform. In one, she wears a pair of black tights pulled up to her waist, and is posing for the camera while flexing her muscles. In the other, she stands relaxed, wearing a pair of black panties.

"Same girl, same day, same time," she wrote. “With a camera angle and clothing I can change my body into something that society would deem more acceptable than the photo on the right."

The side-by-side body photos send a strong message of self-love, reminding us that when it comes to social media, all is not what it seems.

“Recently insta was voted as the most damaging app to body image/self-esteem. That’s not ok. The media constantly wants us to be more filtered, more posed, more flexed. Making us ashamed, afraid and resentful of our bodies, our natural vessel. We compare ourselves to these images of posed, strategically taken photos. Comparing yourself is a thief of your joy/self love and even more so when you’re comparing aesthetics to images that aren’t reality," she wrote in the post. 

Let’s take Smith’s words to heart today: Any time we worry that our natural, real selves don’t hold up to what we see on the internet is precious time wasted. We’re all too exceptional for that.

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