The Magic/Myth of Before & After

This video about before/after photos isn’t really surprising – we all know that photos are manipulated for magazine covers, articles, and ads. But it still kinda stopped me in my tracks.

I stopped using magazine photos as a yardstick for my success about 12 years ago when I saw a documentary that explained how a photo of Gabrielle Reece was modified for a Shape cover.

Gabrielle Reece. She of the non-stop legs, the six-pack abs, and flowing mermaid-hair.

They’d tacked a photo of her on the wall and drawn red lines with a Sharpie wherthey “needed” to slim her hips, thighs, shoulders, and waist. They’d dissected her like an old-time meat chart.


Gabrielle Reece.

That was the day I stopped reading “fitness” magazines and started looking inward to find my ideal body. Which, as it turns out, is the one I have right now.

It hasn’t reached it’s leanest state yet, but it’s strong and shapely, 100% real, and 100% mine. No Photoshop or spray-tan necessary. That’s about as perfect as I need to be.

[Thanks to Sociological Images for sharing the video.]

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  • Lydia says:

    Of course, the Google images page that comes up when you click on Gabrielle Reece are mostly all Photoshopped.

    Oh, irony. *sigh*

  • Tanya (a Taste of T) says:

    This blew my mind. Bastards.

  • Dave says:

    knew they did this…but HOLY COW…and Gabrielle…really? Thanks for posting…

  • Anastasia says:

    Love the video. I've always thought those ads were funny. So if I take that diet pill then I will all of a sudden be tan, have a make up and hair stylist and my entire life will have better lighting.

  • Melissa 'Melicious' Joulwan says:

    The part that really got me was the drawing on of the abs. Let me get this straight: almost NO ONE actually looks like the photos that are shoved at us everyday. Why not just hire artists to create all the images from scratch and drop the charade?!

  • morten_g says:

    I really liked Bigger Stronger Faster. Very good documentary.