Jess Commons | Deputy Editor | Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Here's Proof That Those Before And After Pictures Can Be Total Bollocks

The Debrief: Take two volunteers and a whole lot of fake tan....

Flip far enough to the back of nearly any magazine and you’re liable to come across adverts for any number of so-called ‘miracle’ diet pills and body building supplements that feature what’s now become a staple in nearly any body improvement advert; the 'before and after' shot.

The before and after shot is, and pretty much always has been, the most effective way to promote weight loss products.  As PR Peter Davies told BBC Wales, ‘If you’re in charge of advertising diet products, body building supplements of vitamins for a client you’d pretty much get fired if you didn’t come up with at least one campaign featuring a before-and-after shot.’ Now though, the folks over at Week In Week Out have set out to prove just how easy it is to create the effect of an ‘after’ picture using just smoke and mirrors.

The team took two volunteers, a man and a woman, and created their own before and after shots. The period of time between the two pics? Two hours. 'We wanted to show that you can achieve a lot of change in two hours,' Phil Wiliams, the show's producer told us. 'So we found two people who weren't professional models - who were just normal people and we took the "before" photos of them. They look glum, miserable, and I think they were shot from low down, they're forcing out their bellies... I think they were as unflattering photos as it's possible to get. In fact, the female model Sarah couldn't bring herself to look at her picture.'

Up next comes the transformation. 'We got them to do some light exercise to pump up their muscles,' continues Phil. 'The man shaved his chest - much to everyone's amusement - they both got spray tans, then had some coaching on how to pose. The lighting too was so different. The sort of lighting that makes everyone look beautiful. Also, Sarah had some make-up too I should say.' Were they photoshopped? 'The final photos were edited slighting for contrast but in terms of size and shape, nothing was altered.'

The results, as you can see are staggering; the models appear to be two completely different people.  'I mean I was expecting change but the results were a massive surprise.' Says Phil.

'It's important to say that transformation photos aren't always fake and not never a result of hard work,'  he continues. 'We were just trying to show what can be done in a small amount of time and make people aware that they should be wary.'

Week In, Week Out is on BBC One Wales at 22:40PM March 3 and available afterwards on iPlayer.

Like this? Then you might also be interested in:

How To Be Dairy Free Whether You're Allergic Or Just Fancy A Break From The Cow

Apparently Alcohol Is 114 Times More Dangerous Than Weed. Sorry, What?

Bark, Rags And Newspapers; This Is What Periods Look Like Around The World

Follow Jess on Twitter @Jess_Commons

Tags: TV That Matters, Health