This influencer just proved how easy it is to fake before and after pics

·3-min read
Photo credit: Olga Shevtsova / EyeEm - Getty Images
Photo credit: Olga Shevtsova / EyeEm - Getty Images

Body confidence influencer Danae Mercer took to Instagram this weekend to prove just how easy it is to fake those ~inspirational~ before and after pics that flood our social media feeds.

Sharing a Reel with her 2.3 million Instagram followers (and over on TikTok too), Danae said: "Don’t trust 'before and after' photos. They are so darn easy to fake. And they often are – especially when it’s a brand trying to sell you some detox products or weird waist trainer or stupid diet tea."

She went on to share with her followers how she herself had managed to create a series of 'fake' before and after shots. "Here's what I did," she said, before pointing out she'd swapped her outfit to "something more sporty [and] flattering." As well as that, Danae revealed she'd "popped" her hips in the after shots, whereas in the before shots, she'd stood normally.

As for the logistics of the shoot, Danae explained she'd "changed the lighting from harsh top down light to softer light," and also "lowered the camera in the after so that the angle slightly elongated me." But that's not all, the influencer also highlighted how she purposely "worked" her angles for the after photos, on top of "squeezing" her core tight.

She ended the insightful post by reminding her followers not to compare themselves online. "Don’t compare yourself to strangers on the internet," Danae said, "Your body is great. Your health is more important. And girl, social media is so rarely real – especially when there’s money involved."

Speaking about the need for content like hers on social media, Danae told Cosmopolitan UK: "I think before and afters are so important to talk about and understand. A lot of them are legit – but loads of them aren’t."

She continued, "Just by changing the lighting, my styling and shifting my pose, I can adjust everything about how my body looks. And a lot of really dodgy brands do stuff like this to fake transformations, that way they can sell diet teas or detox products. I want people to understand how all this works. I want them to know they really must be careful online, because so much is so easy to fake."

Her post clearly went down a treat, as it's already racked up nearly 20 thousand likes on Instagram, and plenty of comments from followers and fellow body confidence influencers. "You have no idea how positively you impact my life," said one Instagram user, with another adding "We need to see more of this!! Thank you for sharing."

It's not the first time Danae has shared content to highlight how damaging social media can be when it comes to our relationship with our bodies, and she uses her platform to help educate followers on how to feel more body confident. One of her recent posts reveals how some influencers and social media users are now faking "thigh gaps" online, and in another Reel she uncovered how the "ideal" body type is constantly changing.

Ultimately, through her content, Danae hopes to transform the way her followers see themselves. "Above all, I want them [her followers] to know they’re not broken or abnormal or flawed," she told us, "However they choose to show up is worthy and incredible – whether that’s posed or relaxed or any way at all."

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