Before and After Photo Shoots (Your Suspicions Were Right)

By Katie, 5:33 am

The new year is approaching, and you know what that means…

Diet Advertisements! :roll:

Since so many people declare weight loss their New Year’s Resolution, it’s no surprise that January 1 brings with it an onslaught of advertisements for diet products. And those ads are sure to include lots of “Before and After” photos. You know the kind – in the “Before,” the person is pale, frowning, slouching, and looking all-around miserable. But in the “After,” the person is tan, standing up straight, smiling, and loving every little thing about life!

I’m sure you’ve already¬†questioned the authenticity of those photo shoots. In some cases, it looks like photos of two entirely different people! In other cases, you suspect a lot of Photoshopping and airbrushing was involved. Well, folks,¬†those suspicions have been confirmed.

Just another reminder that what you see isn’t always accurate. Indeed, it rarely is.

How about instead of vowing to lose weight this year, we instead vow to take care of ourselves as best we can by respecting and honoring our bodies, our minds, and our spirits? And while we’re at it, let’s vow to continue to be critical viewers of the media, refusing to be tricked into feeling bad about ourselves for no reason at all.

It helps me to remember that these companies want only one thing from me: my money. Choosing to feel good about myself without dieting is a whole lot healthier…and cheaper too! ;-)

I bet you weren’t surprised by that video, were you? You always suspected those Before and After photo shoots were bogus, right?

Be sure to check out the blog Before and After: A Real Life Story, which takes the traditional “Before and After” concept and turns it on its head in really insightful ways!

31 Responses to “Before and After Photo Shoots (Your Suspicions Were Right)”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by abbey chapman. abbey chapman said: RT @KatieHWS: Before and After Photo Shoots (Your Suspicions Were Right) http://goo.gl/fb/Mw3Yl [...]

  2. Ugh! I always suspected, but I never realized it was quite that extreme. It’s actually criminal. I mean, that’s fraud, right?

    I’m with you, Katie. I absolutely refuse to be suckered by malicious advertising, and unhealthy beliefs, attitudes, behaviours propagated in the media.

    I absolutely vow to treat myself – body, mind, and spirit – with loving kindness every day of the year, for every year to come.

  3. Karen says:

    I always thought those before and after photos were manipulated but that video clipped settled all my doubts.

    I think it’s wrong that a product’s manufacturer can put a disclaimer in the smallest font possible on the advertisement stating that actual results may vary or actual results may be dramatized and that makes it okay to use those completely fake before and after photos!

    This is the first year that one of my resolutions will not be to diet/lose weight, instead I’ve got better goals that will focus on treating my body better!

  4. Wow I knew it wasn’t reallt but I didnt reallize it was that bad!

    I always love the acne commercials . . . The before and afters have different colored eyes! REALLY?!

  5. I wasn’t overwhelmed with surprise, but it was a little shocking (perhaps unnerving is a better word) to hear the man say they can take before and after photos on the same day.

  6. I’d always had a sneaking suspicion, too, but I never knew for sure. I’m so glad you posted this here! It’s important to know the reality! Plus, supplements, diet drinks and all that stuff are incredibly dangerous in the first place.

    I also can’t believe that they take the before and after photos on the same day. Wow!

  7. Wow, thanks for finding and posting that video! I’ve been swearing up and down that they sit and digitize it, and it’s so interesting to hear it out of the mouth of a professional! Take that, media “perfection”!

  8. Oh wow!! Thanks for the shout out!! And I’d seen that video before…it’s pathetic!!

  9. I am definitely surprised that doesn’t count as false advertising. I wonder how the loophole works…

  10. Alaina says:

    Wow, I can’t believe companies will go so far as to manipulate pictures like just to sell a product. How is this legal??

  11. I couldnt watch the video but I never believe those shots. It’s amazing what a spray tan, some makeup, better posture, and better lighting can do.

  12. Lisa says:

    I don’t trust any of those ads! They are all clearly fake. Sorry, no one can get a 6-pack in 1 month!

  13. Dorry says:

    I touched on this very briefly in my post today – the $40 billion/yr industry that sells unproven weight loss supplements, fat blasters, fat melters and energy boosters. Give me a break! It’s so sad to me that people spend that much money on crap. Hopefully, people will see videos like this and realize that the promises in the marketing campaigns are false.

  14. Lauren says:

    Wow!! That is pretty extreme. I never believe those before and after shots, but I didn’t realize they did a lot of the shots the same day! I guess I just figured they cut out a head and put it on a different body or something like that. I really wish information like this was more mainstream…or that advertising laws were stricter and false ads like this were not allowed to be made.

  15. Sarah says:

    Wow, I’d always thought that before/after ads were photoshopped but I never realized how drastically companies would manipulate the photos/models.

    My resolution is to find MY healthy. It’s been years since I’ve been healthy but I think 2011 is the year to make my healthy happen :)

    • Katie says:

      Love, love, love the idea of finding our OWN healthy place. 2011 is definitely the year! :)

  16. yea some of those pictures are SO bogus! Those companies DO only want our money!! Good for you for sharing this (as so many people are looking to change themselves in the new year!)

  17. No wonder I never look as good as they say I will! Just (sorta) kidding. Seriously, this is disgusting. I *do* want to get healthy this year, but I’m convinced this is not the way to do it.

  18. Seriously amazing!!! So glad you posted that. I reposted on my FB site….

    Facebook.com/FITori

    I hope others listen!!!!

  19. I always knew they airbrussed and photoshopped before and after photos, but I didn’t know they shot them in the same day. My mouth was literally haning open while I read this! Thanks for always keeping us up-to-date on the craziness in the world. My twitter and facebook will be sharing your words of wisdom momentarily!

  20. Jessica Lee says:

    OMG, that’s crazy! I know they edit but I didn’t know they completely FAKE it!

  21. I think this is something every single man and woman should see in their life. it’s amazing how our world is so distorted these days; it drives me crazy!

  22. Liz says:

    I am so glad that you have exposed these frauds for what they are! It’s just mean and tacky to dangle that “carrot” in front of skinny hungry women (and men) when it is all a lie! It should be illegal!
    But I totally agree that we have the responsibility to ourselves and our families to be wise shoppers and watch out for those lies.
    I want to forget about my “ideal weight” and just be healthy and see where that takes me!
    Have a wonderful New Year! :o ) ~ Liz

  23. Sarah Lynn says:

    I am so glad I found your blog. You have inspired me in many ways and I just want to say thank you for writing.

    This video opened my eyes…of course I suspected all of the before/after shots were fake, but seeing the actual photo-shopping process convinced me that you’re right, we MUST be critical viewers of the media. I just wish my parents (their whole generation, really) could understand that what you see is not always real! I worry so much that they are slaves to advertisement!

    Either way, I love your blog. You seem cool. Good luck with everything this year!

    Xo – Sar

    • Katie says:

      Thank you so much! I know that after watching this video, I will never view those before/after shots in the same light. Interesting point about the previous generation…perhaps they’re more likely to be duped because they’re not as familiar with technology as we are? Perhaps we’re more likely to be critical viewers because we have a better understanding of how easy it is to alter images and things like that.

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