In honor of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, a #BoycottTheBefore challenge was started to encourage people to stop sharing the "before" photo comparing themselves to the past and instead embrace how far they've come. In lieu of the challenge, model and body-positive queen Iskra Lawrence is explaining what it means to her and why she's not against transformation photos, because everyone can celebrate their journey differently.
"Please read before passing judgment as this is NOT me telling you NOT to post before and afters or diminishing the achievements and accomplishments of those who are proud of their journeys," she wrote on Instagram. "I love seeing people celebrating how far they've come and totally get why (myself included) choose to post before and afters. But let's open the discussion. . . #BoycottTheBefore was started by @soworthsaving and I'm so proud to be part of this movement."
Iskra continued, "I myself have felt the pressure to post before and after pics to validate that I too suffered. . . but that's not right. We do not need to prove that we struggled, we do not need to feel like anyone may have struggled more or less because maybe there before and after photos aren't as 'dramatic.' It's not even about that, it's always about how far you've come so @boycottthebefore is here to celebrate YOU right now! To celebrate how far you've come and maybe how far you still have to go — there is no perfect recovery & everyone's is completely unique."
The #BoycottTheBefore challenge was started by a woman named Lexie, who was inspired to do this because of what photos imply: physical results. As someone in recovery, she wanted to remind others that the mental and emotional recovery is even more important than the physical changes. It's interesting because the left space where a "before" photo would live is blacked out by the message "I am so much more than a 'before' photo."
Iskra closed her post with a powerful message and photos of other people celebrating the #BoycottTheBefore movement.
"I do however want to say I'm not against posting before and afters, I have done so too and will be keeping them up," she wrote. "I'm forever inspired by the recovery & bopo communities and I'm grateful for every single person who empowers each other and shares their beautiful unique spark with us all."
While we have featured before and after photos here at POPSUGAR, we'd also like to stress how important it is for every individual to celebrate their recovery in the way they are comfortable.
This post was originally published on March 1, 2017.