Most of you know by now how much I dislike “before and after” photos being used as a way to display health. I’ll never forget when one of my friends was complaining about her weight. I’d tell her she looked great (she did), and she would say she wasn’t as skinny as she had been the previous summer.
I finally looked at her and said, “do you remember last summer? You had just broken up with your long time partner, you were depressed and not eating. I came to your house one day and made you get out of bed, shower and take a walk outside because you couldn’t do it alone. You were working out rigorously to the point of exhaustion. Yes, you were really skinny, but you were also really sad.”
My friend was using her “skinniest weight” as a benchmark for her “goal weight”, but in the end, it was unrealistic — her thinnest so happened to also be her saddest. If she scrolled back through insta, I’m sure she could find herself looking seemingly happy and toned (we only post the glossy stuff) but if she inspected closer, she would see that sadness brimming through her eyes.
So, this is why I don’t like before and after pictures. Too easy to lie. Not to mention lighting, camera angles, poses etc etc. Side note: I am however a fan of movement progression videos. I would love to see some of you film your favorite sequences now, and then film them again after 3 months of be.coming. You’ll be surprised at how much smoother your body is able to move. Just a thought.
Anyway, what sparked me to write this (and I WILL be writing more notes from bethany once things are operating at a smooth pace) is an email I received from a client named Chelsea. Chelsea is the model front and center in the photo when you open the app (you know, the one with the three women looking like badasses). She started doing be.come during the January beta project and when I asked for people to model for the website, Chelsea was one of my favorite submissions.
Her email was basically like “WTF AM I DOING SENDING IN A PIC OF ME IN MY UNDERWEAR. I’M SO SCARED BUT ALSO PICK ME”. Okay, not exactly that, but her email was really vulnerable and honest. She talked about not being there yet, but still really working hard on the self-love thing, and that doing be.come beta had helped.
When Chelsea arrived to the shoot I saw the most beautiful spark in her. I really can’t explain it, but something about her soul spoke to me. I watched her become more and more comfortable in her skin during the few hours she was with me. It was pretty amazing. And now, of course, Chelsea is one of my most used faces for be.come.
I recently received the following email and photos from Chelsea.
“Okay I have to share this with you. When I got married at the end of January and we got our pictures back I couldn’t even LOOK AT MYSELF. I was in such a dark place….Today I looked through the pictures again & NOW I can only see how happy and in love I was with my husband. I can’t thank you enough for the mindset shift that you and the project have brought me. Slowly but surely loving myself more every day.”
THIS is what a before and after picture should be. Being able to look at a photo of yourself that you once hated, and now being able to look at it with love. THIS is the change we are making. THIS is what be.come is about.
I love you all. Thanks for bearing with me as we’ve been working on app updates. There have definitely been some roadblocks this week but I’m doing all I can. Have the best week
xx – bcm