319: Psychologist perspective of before and after photos with Miriam Emad

We are back for 2022! YAY! We recorded this late in 2021 and we’re so excited for this episode because the amazing Miriam Emad, clinical psychologist, is back on the show! During the episode, she offers insight on the before and after photo trend and how it can be unhealthy for all of us.

We’ve spoken on the podcast and across our social media about how we don’t market MerryBody (our Yoga and Pilates App and membership) with before and after photos. And recently, we shared a post about it that got quite a lot of attention. So we asked for Miriam’s opinion on this.

Stuff we talked about…

  • Comparison is a part of the human being. Jealousy and envy are a very primal part of how we exist in the world. Jealousy is the emotion that tells us there is something to protect which involves noticing our surroundings, sometimes comparing. Envy is the emotion that tells us to strive to attain something.
  • In a way, it’s healthy to have some form of comparison, especially if it’s objective. For example, hitting a target of financial savings for a particular reason. Sometimes subjective comparison can be helpful, too. If you have your own personal goal that does not involve anybody else, comparing your past self, present self and future self can be helpful because it helps you notice progress.
  • What isn’t helpful is the construct of comparison based on opinion such as the before and after photos. These are based on idea, neither objective nor subjective perception of what might be helpful in terms of comparison.
  • We all have a social responsibility when we’re sharing things on social media.
  • Ask yourself, “if I’m looking at changing something about my body, what is the promise at the end of it? Is it to have my body function better, have a baby, etc.?” If the promise is something like I’ll look like my friends or so it’s more socially acceptable. It’s coming from a place of misogyny and fat-phobia, and that can be very unhealthy.
  • You cannot tell anything about someone’s health just by looking at the person without any metabolic data. Health can’t be seen on the surface level, it’s deeper.
  • Trying to lose weight is not in itself a bad thing. The before and after is very rarely about improved health. It’s more often about the idea that smaller is better.

Connect with Miriam Emad over on her website! 

It really all comes back to self-acceptance. It is such a beautiful practice because you don’t only begin to accept yourself but also those around you. 

We would love to hear from you. If you have any A-HA moments, questions, comments or feedback about this episode, send us an email at [email protected] or [email protected] or message us on our Facebook and Instagram accounts @themerrymakersisters.

Check out all the Get Merry Podcast episodes on iTunes and Overcast and Stitcher for Androids. Plus we are on Spotify over HERE!

Always merrymaking,

Emma + Carla

P.s if you ever need further help or guidance please contact Lifeline or Beyond Blue. Asking for help is pure courage.

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