Social media giant Instagram faced heavy fire recently after removing a photo of a woman's menstrual blood from the site -- twice.
The incident occurred last week after Rupi Kaur, 22, published a photo on her Instagram account of a woman lying on a bed. Both the bed and the woman’s pants were stained with what appeared to be menstrual blood.
The college senior told Vice that the photo was a part of a series for a class project, and she posted it not to stir controversy but because she was proud of it.
"I guess coming from my educational background, I look at this picture and I just think it's absolutely beautiful," Kaur told Vice. “I admire the body. I admire the colors and the grain and her hair."
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Instagram removed the picture. When Kaur posted the photo again, it was removed once more.
"I knew that it would get backlash, but I never thought that it would be to this extent," Kaur said.
She then posted the photo to Facebook, writing: “It’s sad in this world. That this is still happening. I know that some communities and cultures go out of their way to shun and oppress a woman on her period. I guess Instagram is another one of them. Their patriarchy is leaking. Their misogyny is leaking. We will not be censored.”
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An Instagram spokesperson told Vice in an email that another user had reported the photo and that it was a mistake to remove it.
“When our team processes reports from other members of the Instagram community, we occasionally make a mistake,” the email read. “In this case, we wrongly removed content and worked to rectify the error as soon as we were notified. We apologize for any inconvenience.”
In the end, Kaur found herself victorious, claiming it as a win for herself and women everywhere.
“Really, I feel like I’ve won,” she told Vice. "I never thought it was such a big deal. It’s just a red spot.”
Source: Vice / Photo Credit: Vice