This Fitness Model Is Calling B.S. On the Industry That Made Her Famous

February 11th 2016

Laura Donovan

Jessica Pack, who runs the popular fitness Instagram page Planking for Pizza, just pointed out how easy it is to fool people into thinking you're in shape on social media.

A landscape architect in Florida, Pack is gaining a lot of attention for her "30 second transformation" photo, which reveals side-by-side images of her in a bikini. It looks like a standard "before and after" photo used by people to tout their exercise results,  but the pictures were actually taken within 30 seconds and appear drastically different because Pack is standing in different postures in each pose.

The bikini shot on the right seems to convey a more toned look than the one on the left, but Pack explains that she was merely standing differently in both photos, proving to her followers that so-called perfect looking fitness photos can be deceptive.

"On the left my posture is poor, I'm pushing my belly out as far as possible, I adjusted my bottoms to show my gross, unsightly and horrid love handles," she wrote. "On the right I'm standing straight and comfortably. I'm lightly flexing and I've adjusted my bottoms to hide my love handles. I'm thankful for bikini bottoms that now fit well and hide these but I'm also trying to show that they still exist quite a bit and that not everything we see meets the eye here on social media."

Pack wrote that while it "pains" her to reveal the truth, it's helpful to remember that fitness posts can be misleading, an important move because some people develop eating disorders or take on excessive exercise regimens after obsessing over #Thinspo and #cleaneating posts. She added that this was a personal issue to her, because she feels her appearance could still use improvement.

"You can show your best angles and hide your flaws, but at the end of the day what we choose to showcase is a reflection of ourselves," she wrote in her side-by-side Instagram caption. "My body isn't perfect. I still have imperfections and flaws that I'm slowly learning to be comfortable with. I want to be real and honest and open."

More people are sharing their own "30 second transformation" photos.

Pack told BuzzFeed News in an interview that many other people have undertaken the "30 second transformation" photo to call B.S. on seemingly perfect fitness photos as well:

"I literally took these 30 seconds apart...I get irritated with phony before and after pics!" Instagram user @rose_scarby_fitness wrote in the caption for the above photo. "If you want to show a before and after picture stand in the same the same lighting...there!

Instagram user ersgettingfit noted in the photo below that clothing choices can affect how thin a person looks:


A photo posted by @ersgettingfit on

"Isn't it funny how much clothing (and lighting) makes a difference??!" she wrote. "I knew spandex wasn't my friend. These pictures aren't even 24 hours apart!"

Many have pointed out the deception that social media presents.

Late last year, Instagram model Essena O'Neill made a viral video calling out how social media can frequently be used as a tool to portray unrealistic depictions of people's lives. O'Neill edited the captions of her old Instagram posts to provide more context to the captions. She admitted that she had acne in one picture but that no one on social media would have known because of the amount of makeup she used to cover it up:

"I had acne here," she wrote. "This is a lot of makeup. I was smiling because I thought I looked good. Happiness based on aesthetics will suffocate your potential here on Earth."