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12th Feb 2018

Weight Watchers is getting rid of ‘before and after’ photos – here’s why

The images are synonymous with the diet brand.

Anna O'Rourke

Weight Watchers is getting rid of 'before and after' photos - here's why

“A journey of health, with no beginning, middle or end.”

It’s the company that arguably invented the ‘before and after’, but Weight Watchers is now waving goodbye to what is essentially one of its biggest marketing tools.

Its social media accounts still have a number of these kinds of images but Weight Watchers has announced that it will from now on be focusing on ongoing lifestyle changes rather than transformation photos.

“We’ve made the decision to lose the expression ‘before and after’ because our members’ journeys are so much more about then than now,” said Weight Watchers head of social media Lauren Salazar. “A journey of health, with no beginning, middle or end.”

Followers of the diet are still free to share their own, added chief executive Mindy Grossman.

“We’re not going to discourage a member who wants to show where they are today versus where they started.

“But when they’re talking about their journey, it’s more about the then and now and where am I going.”

The move shows that the brand is attempting to move with the times.

‘Before and after’ imagery has taken on a new life the era of social media, but not everyone is a fan.

Critics say that pictures like this over-simplify things like weight loss and put too much emphasis on the physical.

They can also insinuate that there’s something wrong or unacceptable about how the person in the ‘before’ image looks, according to writer and runner Kelly Roberts.

“Even after I lost the weight, my life didn’t magically change,” she wrote in Women’s Running.

“I was still incredibly unhappy because I hadn’t found the one thing that helped me feel proud and empowered by my body, running.”