After scrolling through a feed of polished, photo-ready bodies on Instagram, not comparing ourselves to that standard of perceived perfection can take a healthy dose of willpower and a whole lot of self-love.
Milly Smith, a body confidence advocate on Instagram, knows the feeling. But in a new viral post, she’s calling on young women to stop the body shaming for good.
“Don’t compare,” she writes in the post. “Just live for you.”
As of Tuesday morning, Smith’s Jan. 29 post had received over 79,000 likes.
In the post, she shares a pair of selfies taken on the same day. The only difference is, in one her tights are pulled up to cover her belly button, and in the other they’re pulled down.
Smith reveals in the caption that she suffers from body dysmorphic disorder, a mental illness in which people perceive contorted versions of their actual physical features, which can lead to a desire for numerous cosmetic procedures and obsessive behaviors to “fix” the perceived defects, according to the Mayo Clinic. Taking these pseudo-transformation photos helps her cope with the condition, she writes.
“We are so blinded to what a real unposed (sic) body looks like and blinded to what beauty is that people would find me less attractive within a 5 second pose switch! How insanely ridiculous is that!?” Smith writes in part. “I love taking these, it helps my mind so much.”
At the end of the post, Smith leaves her followers with an inspiring message: “The world doesn't need another copy, it needs you,” she writes. “We are worthy, valid and powerful beyond measure.”