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Digital Body Morphing Tool: Cool or Not?

When it comes to body image issues, it's safe to say that many of us have trouble accepting our bodies as they are. For every positive influence there seems to be one negative, which makes it even more difficult to believe that perfection is an unattainable and unproductive goal. Health should be the number-one concern when we're getting fit and making the best eating choices — but then again, we all have personal ideas of an ideal physical appearance.

In a recent issue of Life and Style, the gossip mag showed side-by-side photos of Michelle Trachtenberg posing on a red carpet — they were the same photo, except one was a slimmed down image of the already trim actress. The magazine used a website called that allows users to upload pictures of themselves for free, and the site generates new versions of ourselves that can make us look up to 50 pounds thinner.

I can see how viewing a slimmed-down version of oneself could be motivating for some people, but I can also see how these images could perpetuate dissatisfying body images in people who are perfectly healthy. What do you think? Is it a cool tool to help people get motivated? Or is it an uncool tool that could be harmful to the already fragile issue of body image?

Join The Conversation
candace87 candace87 8 years
I don't want to give my information to the website, maybe if it was a free online thing I'd try it. I doubt it'd be realistic at all though, like someone said above they wouldn't make your face or boobs smaller, and everyone knows that the boobs are (usually) the first thing to go:P
TidalWave TidalWave 8 years
I got my result back and it was extremely unrealistic. They basically erased my butt and my hips. Also, with the height and weight that I put in, if I did lose 20lbs, I would be underweight according the bmi scale and definitely unhealthy. They need to add some sort of positive affirmation to their email, when they send you the result. Such as, "You already look great!"
bonniebonnie bonniebonnie 8 years
I don't think this is a motivating tool at all. "You are one click away from not ever looking like this fantasy!" Open a magazine, you'll get the same "motivation." That website is all about weight loss, not healthy living. Being healthy, and subsequently losing weight, takes more persistence than a single click of the mouse.
myswtghst myswtghst 8 years
I think it might be motivating to some, but might not always be a good option. For some people, it might be inspirational or give a positive reason to exercise, but I can also see how it might give people unrealistic expectations, or feel poorly about themselves when the results don't "match up."
La-Heidi La-Heidi 8 years
well its cool for others to see it but not good for oneself coz its not motivating for anyone to see a false photo of himself and then look in the mirror to find that ur not that slim, so its actually depressing
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
well i think that it could be a good thing but then it could give you unrealistic views on what you can look like and then people will get obsessed i think. (at least i would)
Squeaks26 Squeaks26 8 years
I think the only reason for this is to give, someone who is looking for it, a little extra push. It's always hard to get to the gym or eat healthy and we need all the help we can get, when we're looking for it. To see yourself twenty pounds lighter, might be all you need to keep at it. If there's no end in sight you might give up.
mod16 mod16 8 years
i think this should only be used for the people who REALLY need to lose weight... this whole idea of digital body morphing only condones unhealthy ways for girls to lose weight. if you have an amazing image of yourself 20 pounds thinner, it will lead to unhealthy and dangerous habits of weight loss. people's bodies can only lose a certain number of pounds... usually when you want to lose more, your body normally cannot, so you begin to do unhealthy things to your body in order to meet your goal weight as pictured in this body morphing idea.
TidalWave TidalWave 8 years
oh i guess fcseamstress said that sorry. anyway, to gothamgal (for real this time): it is unrealistic. if you put up this photoshopped pic on your fridge, you are -never- going to look like it. at all. ever. so we still have people striving for the unattainable. this is some graphic design student guestimating how much 10,15,20,25,50 pounds is with the clone tool.
TidalWave TidalWave 8 years
gothamgal, yeah i couldn't believe that they didn't even attempt to go near anyone's face! they also left the boobs alone too. of course it's realistic! i guess that no self-respecting graphic designer is going to work for a site that offers free photoshops to women.
gothamgal gothamgal 8 years
I've know people who post photos (of athletes, etc.) on their fridges for inspiration. Why not photos of themselves as inspiration? I wouldn't do it b/c I'm not the type of person who posts photos but I think it's a great idea.
fcseamstress fcseamstress 8 years
I dunno... I think this is a bit unhealthy... A good motivator, but probably unhealthy nonetheless. Especially if you already have body/eating issues. Did anyone else notice how on the 50lb results none of their faces were slimmed down at all? Losing 50lb on most people will eliminate the turkey neck effect, as well as slim down your face shape (make cheekbones more prominent, neck more slender, etc.), but it didn't seem that they bothered with the public results (although their main ad pics were). Plus it's kinda unrealistic... Some people only gain weight on their hips, so when they lose it, it all comes off from their hips, not necessarily from all over. If I wanted this kind of motivator I would do it myself... No need to get myself on a spam list for a photoshopped pic...
meechie meechie 8 years
I went to the site but it takes 48hrs to process. So I will have to get back to you on how I feel about it.
TidalWave TidalWave 8 years
javsmav: that is incredible that you ran a marathon and finished it!!!! congrats!
javsmav javsmav 8 years
I look great in my after photo. Now if I could only make that a reality. I felt a little guilty using a photo of me finishing a marathon & setting a PR because I should just be proud of that, but looking at all the marathon pics, I really wish I was 15 pounds lighter. The website just reinforced that desire.
runningesq runningesq 8 years
My curiosity got the best of me ;) and I checked out the site. I would like to try it... but there is no way I am giving out all that information to a website!
mcproject2600 mcproject2600 8 years
Based on the videos on the site, its seems as if the point of this site really is to help people seriously looking to lose weight. I watched to videos, one was done by Rachel Ray and the woman who tested the product really found it helpful (as opposed to the other products they tried). Also, I watched a news story that interviewed a leader of a weight watchers group that talked about the value of this tool from two perspectives 1) the motivation of seeing yourself thinner to help you keep focused on reaching your goal and 2) it helps eliminate the misconception that "if I only lose 15 pounds I'll look like Jennifer Anistion." Like anything else, there clearly is room for abuse, but nobody can deny the issues this country has with obesity. It is an epidemic in our society. And there are many many people who struggle each day with losing weight to combat serious health issues and improve the quality of life. For a free tool that seems to offer motivating help to people struggling with a very real problem, it seems like a very cool thing. I just hope they keep it free and provide more support tools to "members" than just the image.
dreamstar1979 dreamstar1979 8 years
Wow! This is a pretty nifty tool. I just got my 'after' photo back and I am amazed. I have my after photo saved as my screen saver to motivate me to workout and eat healthy.
sundaygreen sundaygreen 8 years
I know the girl holding up the poster, heh.
simply-me simply-me 8 years
ehh, I think it's looks pretty lame. I understand the concept, and at first I thought it would be a good idea for people who had a lot of weight to lose. When I clicked on the site though, it just seemed fake. For those kind of results (given on the website), I feel like you could just take a picture of yourself, cut out your face, and put it on a skinnier person's body. Voila! lol :)
margokhal margokhal 8 years
This service is cool...I just wish they didn't ask so much information! For some people, it really helps to see what you're aiming for when you're losing weight. yes, you probably won't look exactly like they project, but it's still an idea. When you see what you want to be, it's a good motivator to do what it takes to get there. Of course, for people with eating disorders or other serious body image issue, this can be a double-edged sword. It's good for people like me though, who have a ton of weight to lose and just can't imagine what it would look like to NOT have all this extra poundage.
brownsugamama brownsugamama 8 years
I think that it's a great tool for those who need a positive visual of themself when the reach their goal weight. I'm going to check it out!
krae85 krae85 8 years
cool for high school reunions on facebook. not cool for when you run into old classmates in real life. lol
kelliegonzo kelliegonzo 8 years
not gonna hate, i say it's cool!
soapbox soapbox 8 years
I guess it's cool if it's used the right way. I guess it could be dangerous for girls who have a history with eating disorders, yet it's great to motivate those who want to become healthy. I agree with Colleen on this one. I think this would be a great tool for self motivation if used by the right person.
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