At first glance, you might think that Sara Puhto’s photos represent a weight loss success story, but that’s not the case.
Puhto, known as “Saggy Sara” on Instagram, says the side-by-side comparison solely reflect how different angles can make or break a picture.
“Instagram vs. real life,” the 20-year-old Finnish woman begins her post. The “real life” photo has the model standing with her back facing the camera, arms hanging loosely at the sides, with her Vegan Booty tights pulled down slightly below her waist. There’s not many angles going on in that picture, although she does prop her left foot on a rock.
“If I saw the photo on the left a year ago I would’ve instantly thought so negatively about my body, that all my hard work from working out was nonexistent, that if someone looked at me they would’ve never thought I’ve been working out for two years and think I wasn’t trying hard enough,” wrote Puhto. “But the thing is, is that all bodies look different. Nobody’s booty looks round and peachy from all angles. Nobody’s body looks the same from all angles.”
To prove her point, she takes another photo — the “Instagram” snap — with her tights pulled up and her body angled toward the side, we no longer see her “love handles,” only a tiny waist. She sticks out her booty and angles her arms above the head as she grabs a hold of her long, flowing hair. The difference between photos so vast that it’s almost hard to believe it’s the same person.
Puhto’s advice is to love and accept your body at all angles with all your “flaws,” instead of trying to fit into society’s image of beauty — because that image isn’t inclusive of all individuals.
“Don’t eat less or miss out on your favourite meals/drinks or over-exercise to ‘look good for a holiday’ or to ‘look good in bikini photos’ because there will always be angles that are ‘unflattering’ that might make you feel bad when you see them,” she said, adding that you should only workout and eat healthy because it makes you feel good, not as a punishment.
“Don’t hate yourself just because of bad photos, they do not define you as a person. You look the best when you’re living life to the fullest and happiest. There’s no point in missing out on things and stressing yourself out so much. Life isn’t meant to be a competition on who can look the best and we should normalize not having to ‘look perfect’ all the time because it’s a ridiculous concept,” she concluded.
“You are perfect the way you are.”