Instagram Bans Photos of Woman’s Period Stains Because Girls Are Gross and Scary Grr
*Gigantic eye roll.*
Apparently, banning photos of female body hair wasn’t quite enough for Instagram; continuing to be terrified and perplexed by the realities of the female body, Instagram has now banned several photos of a woman’s period-stained sweatpants. How dare you show share photos of the miracle of life instead of your latte art!
Artist and author Rupi Kaur published a series of photos called “period.” on her website, which have been making the rounds via Tumblr and other social media sites. The aim of the series is to show that [sic] “a majority of people. societies. and communities shun this natural process,” finding it anger-worthy and bothersome while still being comfortable with the pornification and sexualization of women.
Sure enough, after Kaur posted one of her photos to Instagram, it was removed twice by members of Instagram’s staff for violating Community Guidelines.
Here‘s what Kaur had to say about the blatant misuse of power from the Instagram team:
thank you @instagram for providing me with the exact response my work was created to critique. you deleted a photo of a woman who is fully covered and menstruating stating that it goes against community guidelines when your guidelines outline that it is nothing but acceptable. the girl is fully clothed. the photo is mine. it is not attacking a certain group. nor is it spam. and because it does not break those guidelines i will repost it again. i will not apologize for not feeding the ego and pride of misogynist society that will have my body in an underwear but not be okay with a small leak. when your pages are filled with countless photos/accounts where women (so many who are underage) are objectified. pornified. and treated less than human. thank you.
After the internet pretty much exploded with anger over the controversy, Instagram allowed Kaur to re-post the photo without removal, apologizing to her via e-mail. A spokesperson for Instagram said that they are “very sorry” for their error, and that they “do not always get it right” when removing reported content (who reports a period stain?).
Last time Instagram blew it this bad, they had this to say about their photo policies:
We try hard to find a good balance between allowing people to express themselves creatively and having policies in place to maintain a comfortable experience for our global and culturally diverse community. This is one reason why our guidelines put limitations on nudity.
Though it’s ridiculously irritating, it is nice to see that Kaur’s photoset had its intended effect and generated a conversation about the way in which we think about the bodies of women and people who get periods. You can see more of Kaur’s work on her website.
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