Are Transformation Photos Helpful?

At Paragon, we hold ourselves to a high standard of promoting body neutrality, inclusivity, and Health At Every Size (HAES). You may notice that Paragon does not post “before” and “after” photos of clients on our social media. This type of post does not align with our core values and mission as a team and these photos can be harmful for some people.

Here are a few reasons why transformation photos aren’t that useful:

  1. It promotes comparison. Seeing someone’s before + after photos leads to comparison. “Why don’t I look like that?”, “Ugh, I really need to lose weight like them.”, “I hate my body! They look so much better!”. Each person’s journey is different and there is no reason to compare to another person.
  2. It suggests there is an ideal body size. Individuals can be healthy in a wide variety of body shapes and sizes. There is no “good” or “bad” body. Your worth isn’t dependent on your body fat percentage or what jean size you wear.
  3. It simplifies a very nuanced situation. These photos don’t show what took place to get the person from point A to point B. Before and after photos do not capture the journey, which could have easily been harmful and unsafe.
  4. It showcases weight loss being the goal. At Paragon, we don’t promote weight loss to clients. Rather, we promote the implementation of habits that make someone feel better. This requires the coach to take a deeper dive into all aspects of wellness, not just the number on the scale.
  5. It doesn’t give any insight on how that person is actually feeling. Weight loss isn’t always glamorous. It can lead to chronically being unhappy with yourself, poor metabolic markers, poor sleep, decreased mood, and increased fatigue. As coaches, we are more concerned with how our clients feel and long-term lifestyle changes instead of a “before” and “after.”
  6. It doesn’t showcase the true credibility of the coach. Just because someone helped you lose weight doesn’t mean they’ve helped you become healthier!

We hope that moving forward, you scroll past transformation photos when you see them. Your health and fitness journey is much more than the results of a “before” + “after” photo.

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