Instagram might as well throw out it’s guidelines for what is and what is not acceptable to post.
Poet and all around feminist badass, Rupi Kaur, has recently done a photo shoot focusing on periods. She posted a photo showing menstruation and it was swiftly removed from Instagram for violating community guidelines.
Taken from their website, here’s the short version of their community guidelines:
- Post your own photos and videos.
- Keep your clothes on.
- Be respectful.
- Don’t spam.
- HAVE FUN!
What about that photo is violating this?! Digging deeper into their guidelines they write:
Remember that our community is a diverse one, and that your posts are visible to people as young as 13 years old. While we respect the artistic integrity of photos and videos, we have to keep our product and the content within it in line with our App Store’s rating for nudity and mature content. In other words, please do not post nudity or mature content of any kind.
If this is the ground they deleted the photo on, do they not realize how many 13 year olds menstruate or soon will?! As for this nudity stuff, I myself have seen dozens upon dozens of nude images on Instagram- there are entire accounts dedicated to it. So why is THIS the photo that they focus on? Kaur herself sums it up.
“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. “
She did repost the photo. And again, it was removed.
The photo shoot reminded me of a street art statement I saw online the other day, asking why our society is more disgusted by menstruation than by rape and violence towards women. Our blood is turned blue in commercials, we feel the need to market products specifically for hiding your tampons. There is a wiki-how specifically made to teach young girls how to make sure no one around knows you’re on your period.
The thing is, the photo is just a piece of art. It’s not like Kaur is standing in the middle of the street with blood running down her leg screaming for people to take notice. She is depicting what millions experience all the time in an artful manner. So what is the big deal?!
This is certainly not the first time Instagram has been under fire for blocking images seemingly “just because.” Below is just an example of the issue Instagram apparently has with female pubic hair. It will allow racy pictures from celebrities and models alike, but if pubic hair not on a man is shown, forget about it.
I guess to sum this article up, men are afraid of the female body when it is not sexy or pleasing to look at. Anything out of their comfort zone of picture perfect sexuality is offensive, and should be hidden away. Guess what, guys?! WOMEN MENSTRUATE. YOU EXIST BECAUSE OF THIS. WE ALSO HAVE HAIR. JUST LIKE YOU DO.
Here’s a badass period poem that everyone, including instagram, should watch.