A popular fitness blogger shared side-by-side photos of her abdomen to lessen the stigma of bloating — and her message is having a profound impact.
On June 15, Tiffany Brien snapped the two belly pics 12 hours apart — when she woke up and before she went to bed — and posted them to Facebook.
"No, I'm not six months pregnant," she wrote. "It's just my food baby."
Brien, a former Miss Northern Ireland, posted the photos to change the way women view and judge their bodies. While the inconvenience of a bloated belly is something that Brien has experienced before, she said that she is not sure what caused the bloating on this particular day.
Brien's message emphasizes that although our bodies can change from day to day, we should love them and take care of them regardless. So Brien shared some tips to reduce bloating, including reducing stress and getting more sleep. What you eat, she says, can also be a contributing factor.
It's not uncommon to lose confidence in your own body upon seeing the bevy of manipulated photos posted online, often taken with the aid of careful lighting and deliberately chosen poses. Brien's photo demonstrates just how variable and how subject to outside factors "perfect" photos can be — whether it's a matter of a 12-hour time span or some artful airbrushing.
"We are not all what we seem on social media," she wrote on Facebook. "I thought I would share a bad day with you to show you nobody is 'perfect' and it is ok to have an off day where your body just decides to not play ball. Don't worry girls, it happens to the best of us, all part and parcel of being a female."
Brien's Facebook post normalizes this experience and proves that nobody is "flawless." And with over 19,000 likes, her inspiring message seems to be catching on.
"Relax and be happy... It'll be OK, you're not alone. Promise," she wrote.