A Toronto based poet and artist, Rupi Kaur took a bunch of themed photographs of her sister as part of a Visual rhetoric course at the University of Waterloo.
In these grainy, understand and seemingly innocent photos is an image familiar to all women – a situation where period blood has leaked through a woman’s pyjamas and onto her bed sheets.
So why did Instagram take it down within 24 hours of it being uploaded?
Kaur received a message from instagram saying her photo had been removed for violating the site’s “community guidelines”.
The fury amongst Instagram followers was so huge, that Instagram went on to restore Kaur’s photo and personally emailed her to apologise for the ‘error’.
However Kaur, like many others is unimpressed. How is it fine for g-string bikini clad women in provocative poses able to keep their images online, however a fully clothed women in an innocent setting with a natural occurance taken place is frowned upon?
Instagram has had a tendency to censor photos that it deems ‘too natural’.
“I was made to feel ashamed of my period before I even got it, and once I got it, society began to enforce its own shame on me” Kaur wrote. “Why is society so afraid of it? Why is the period so taboo?”
It is important to note that Instagram has a huge team of mediators, dealing with thousands of reported photos everyday and, sometimes things fall through the cracks, or a personal opinion may differ to that of the companies.