These Side-By-Side Photos Prove That Even Athletes Don't Always Look Perfect

By now, you know that photos don't tell the whole picture. And sometimes, what makes a "good" photo can come down to a flattering pose. As someone who is used to being photographed by professionals during her marathons, runner Dorothy Beal knows this all too well.
On Saturday, Beal posted two side-by-side photos of herself from the same race, one in which she looked "happy and strong," and another in which she said left her "questioning if there was a part of my body that didn't have cellulite."

Let's get REAL with each other again... 💚 I'm reposting this here because I think we all can agree that we are worth more than a photo captured at a race. Far too many of us let a single photo steal joy - the thing is - it's a single photo and we need to take back any power that photo steals 💚 #Repost @womensrunningmagazine ・・・ @mileposts here 💚 Let's get real with each other for a second shall we!? How many of you have let a race photo steal joy from you?? Both of these race photos were taken on the same day at the same race. In one I looked happy and strong and in the other I was left questioning if there was a part of my body that didn't have cellulite. This race at some points sucked for me - I got sick - threw up before crossing the finish line and had possibly my slowest 13.1 time ever - but post race the sucky feelings faded and I remember the day being fun - drinking wine with friends after, joking how wine cures all. If you had asked me after if I had a good time I would have said YES!! I still felt that way in the days following the race UNTIL I saw the photo on the left and then insecurity set in and I thought about how that day was not fun. But that's silly, because it was fun...A race photo is ONE SINGLE moment in time and I let one of them steal joy from me. Most times we don't look great while we run, but that's not why we run anyways, we run to FEEL like I look in the photo on the right - HAPPY. Don't let a photo steal joy - you are worth so much more than one split second - moment in time. #irunthisbody @ihavearunnersbody #whstrong

A post shared by Dorothy Beal | #irunthisbody (@mileposts) on

"Let's get REAL with each other again," she wrote in her caption. "I'm reposting this here because I think we all can agree that we are worth more than a photo captured at a race."
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Beal also wrote that she wanted to post the photos because she knows what it's like to have a photo "steal joy from you."
"This race at some points sucked for me — I got sick — threw up before crossing the finish line and had possibly my slowest 13.1 time ever — but post race the sucky feelings faded and I remember the day being fun — drinking wine with friends after, joking how wine cures all," she wrote.
But when she saw the photo of herself on the left, her insecurities began to set in.
"But that's silly, because it was fun," she continued. "A race photo is ONE SINGLE moment in time and I let one of them steal joy from me. Most times we don't look great while we run, but that's not why we run anyways, we run to FEEL like I look in the photo on the right — HAPPY."
Beal made an important point — a photo can only capture one single moment, and as she told Health, "I'm not going to say I don't look like the woman on the left. I do. But I also look like the girl on the right."
And anyhow, the way we look isn't nearly as important as the way we feel.
"Don't let a photo steal joy — you are worth so much more than one split second moment in time," she wrote.
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