Why I Don’t Believe in Before and Afters

Why I Don’t Believe in Before and Afters

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When people hear that I have an account on Instagram, they almost always say the same thing “you must have so many before and afters!” and my response is always the same;  I do not believe in before and afters.

I don’t think it is fair to compare one style to another or one person to another even if I would be comparing them to themselves.

I understand that they are necessary to tell stories on TV or sell skincare. I would be the first one to admit that I watch a few minutes of an HGTV show to see the decrepit, overstuffed house and then fast forward to see the “after”. But I don’t think that same concept belongs in the world of Image Consulting.

A before and after picture leaves out all the important stuff. Like why the person was unhappy with their look before or what they wanted to achieve.

For my clients that after photo is so personal. And more importantly it doesn’t deserve to be judged because as long as they feel amazing no one else’s opinion matters.

My clients are smart and beautiful human beings that need a little help making sure that their outsides match their inside or working on their style goals. All I do is help guide them in the right direction. There is no judgement. I am just there to make sure they are the best version of themselves. Do they feel amazing after they work with me? Absolutely. Do they look like their ideal style? For sure.

But if you don’t know their background or their wants and needs, then all a before and after picture does is allow you to judge and evaluate them.

A before picture doesn’t tell you that she had 3 kids in 5 years and barely had time to shower never mind shop. The before picture doesn’t tell you that she went through a horrible divorce or beat cancer. Just the same as an after picture can’t tell you that finding clothes that she loves in her size made her cry or discovering her style was more liberating than any self help book she had read.

When I was a teenager, I absorbed fashion magazines like jube jubes. I spent ridiculous amounts of money on them and even more time reading them. It affected the way I saw the world and more importantly the way I say myself. When you place two stunning women dressed the same beside one another on a page and ask the reader to judge who looks better, you are encouraging a seriously unhealthy mindset. We are saying, “this person is better than this person because of xyz”. Moreover, when we plot women against one another and create a hierarchy of what we deem beautiful we create a culture of rivalry and judgement. What if instead of saying “who wore it better” we said “look how amazing this dress looks on two totally different women”? What if instead of criticizing other women we started to empower them?

Until we live in that world, my Instagram will be filled with amazing Toronto cafes, pretty clothes and amazing style tips – with no before pictures to be seen.

Your Style Queen,

S.C.