'You literally just pulled up your pants': Shay Mitchell faces backlash for sharing weight loss photos

Ellie Spina
·3 min read

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If you’re an Instagram user, then there is a fairly good chance that you’ve seen at least one “before” and “after” photo, showcasing a star or influencer’s body transformation. While the app is notorious for this kind of content, some of them can be impressive and even inspiring while others are lacklustre, pseudo-transformations used for marketing purposes.

Shay Mitchell, is in hot water with some of her followers with her latest post. On Wednesday, the former “Pretty Little Liars” star shared her own “before” and after “photos” to Instagram, showing off four weeks of progress after using the fitness app, Open Fit.

Although many fans flooded Mitchell’s comments with praise, others accused her of perpetuating fatphobia and diet culture, and exaggerating her headway.

“2020 was the year of searching for something to make us feel good. Not even good…to feel fine. Feel ‘normal,’” she captioned the photo. “For me that came in the form of comfort food, comfort clothes and throwing my fitness routine out the window. And that was OK…for awhile. They’re called unprecedented times for a reason. #4WeeksOfFocus is exactly what I needed. A doable time frame 30 minutes a day for five days a week for four weeks. A clear start, a clear finish and a something that I could totally commit to.

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“I have loved getting up these last four weeks and having a routine and a challenge to start the day. I feel more healthy, energetic and engaged…which makes a better me.Try it out for yourself and work out for the next 4 weeks with me. Link in my bio to start your 14 day free trial on the @myopenfit app.”

Mitchell’s post was a roundabout way of advertising a fitness app. Not only were fans disappointed with the star for her partnership, but several comments also insinuated that the actress intentionally wore her shorts differently and adjusted her posture in the “after” photo to manipulate her followers.

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“Same pose would‘ve been more honest,” one fan wrote. “While I'm so glad you feel great (the most important bit!) I think it's also important to point out the different pose and the way the shorts are worn are both intended to make the comparison seem more drastic,” another pointed out.

Photo via @shaymitchell Instagram
Photo via @shaymitchell Instagram

“It sucks that you posted before and after pics like this. I feel like it perpetuates diet culture and the idea that skinny is all that matters,” someone else chimed in.

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“She’s wearing her shorts and posing differently in both photos. Let’s see a side by side with your shorts on the same way and posing the same,” another fan wrote. “You literally just pulled up your pants.”

Photo via @shaymitchell Instagram
Photo via @shaymitchell Instagram
Photo via @shaymitchell Instagram
Photo via @shaymitchell Instagram

“You were literally skinny stop portraying normal weight as obesity,” one fan sounded off. “Before and after photos are super triggering to some people. Something to keep in mind,” said another.

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