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Posed vs. Relaxed Instagram Photos

The 30-Second "Tummy Control" Transformation We All Need to See

It's hard to look at other women at the gym, in magazines, or on Instagram and not compare ourselves. It's often about appearance — and it makes us feel bad. We might think, "I wish my stomach was as flat as hers," or "Her arms look so much more toned than mine."

We've all done it one time or another, so Zoe Novota posted this "30-second transformation" to make a point, "for a little perspective." She captioned the above photos (taken seconds apart), "A lot of pictures on Instagram, including a lot of my own are posed, in good lighting, getting the best angle. It's still me, but I don't walk around in the best light, at the best angle, posing and flexing every second."

In the photo on the right, Zoe says, "Thats me relaxed without the flattering tummy control of my high-rise leggings. The person on the right still works out almost everyday and eat healthy at least 75% of the time. She is also still 100% beautiful and strong." And on another important note, Zoe shares that you don't have to be "super lean and tiny to be healthy and to be body positive."


So the next time you catch a glimpse or photo of yourself "unposed, in bad lighting, etc. don't be hard on yourself because your body is still so amazing and does so many amazing things for you if you let it." And remind yourself that when you see posed pictures of women on Instagram, "know that the people in them are perfectly imperfect too." We all have our good and bad angles, so don't let one unflattering picture get in the way of your happiness.

View this post on Instagram

Happy Friday! 👏🏼👏🏼 Just wanted to talk real quick about society's standards for women's bodies (surprising, I know). If you've read any of my other posts, you've probably seen me say that you don't have to be super lean and tiny to be healthy and to be body positive. This is a mindset that is so opposite from the ways most of us have learned to think based on societies standards of beauty, fitness, etc. But something else that I have noticed is that many people don't think that women should be muscular. Muscular women are often called manly, chunky, bulky, etc. I've actually personally had people question why I want to build muscle when it will make me "bulky"...what? There are so many reasons I want to build muscle: to improve my body's metabolism, to be able to physically defend myself, to be more competent at at an array of things that require physical strength in daily life, and because I feel DAMN GOOD. Oh, and because I like to LOOK muscular. I don't think it makes me look like a man, I think it makes me look like a badass WOMAN. My point is the same point I try to make in all of my posts: Do what makes your body feel good, love yourself, and pursue what you want to pursue regardless of the judgement of others. And if you can admit that you've passed some judgement onto someone else's body (it happens), remind yourself that we are all going through different things that influence our bodies and we all have different goals for our bodies and that's 100% okay. 😘

A post shared by Zoe Novota (@zoe_se_sas) on

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