Important: Why This CrossFit Athlete's Side-by-Side Photo Is Going Viral




When you think of the fitness phenomenon that is CrossFit, you probably think of super muscley men and women accomplishing great athletic feats. You wouldn't be wrong; those athletes are undeniably fit. (Have you ever seen competitions? They're intense, like the closest thing we have to a real life Hunger Games intense.) But being a champion CrossFitter or working out 24/7 doesn't mean you leave behind all of your self-criticism or perceived flaws.

Take it from CrossFit athlete Jennifer Smith. She took to Instagram to share a side-by-side image of herself with her almost 100,000 followers. Even though it was a lighthearted post that was all in the name of good fun (it parodies the before-and-after fitness transformations that litter social media), we love the deeper message it sends.


A post shared by Jennifer Smith (@jensmith008) on

Smith captioned the photo "Ahhh the power of lighting, body posture, and a good smile!" following that up with #transformationtuesday and #fifteenminuteslater. We think she looks absolutely incredible in both images, but it's a good reminder on the illusion of social media. When you only see posed and perfected images—like those that Instagram fitness models post—it can be disheartening, to say the least.

It's easy to forget that everyone has experienced insecurity and negative body image. With this photo, Smith proves that nobody's physique, no matter how healthy or athletic it may be, always fits society's view of "perfection." And that's perfectly okay. I mean, just look at her. She's a totally badass CrossFit athlete who seriously knows how to rock a high ponytail.

Next, read what being body positive means to one writer, over on our sister site, THE/THIRTY