Instagram keeps removing photographer’s birthing photo
“My image was an image I had taken, [and] it contained no sexual intercourse, no genitals, no buttocks, no nipples.”
Instagram | For photographer Jes Jackson, giving birth is one of the most beautiful things in the world, and he wants to show it to through her photos. Unfortunately, many people don’t see it that way.
She was reminded of this fact when Instagram took down one of her photos and she was locked out of her account.
Speaking to Scary Mommy, Jes Jackson said that she wanted highlight the “real, raw” beauty of the birthing experience. Wary of Instagram’s censorship policy, she decided to crop the image so it only showed the baby’s face and the midwife’s hands.
“I uploaded the image four weeks ago with the caption, ‘Look at this gorgeous, squishy baby half born earth side, with amniotic fluid dripping from his nose (this photo has been flipped and cropped in the hope no one can find this offensive),” she said.
The photo had initially been received positively, accruing hundreds of likes and comments.
Hours after the photo went up, however, Jes found that her photo had been reported. She received a message from Instagram saying, “We removed your post because it doesn’t follow our community guidelines. Please read our guidelines to learn what kind of posts are allowed and how you can help keep Instagram safe.”
Jes was furious.
“I was so angry and upset,” she said in the Scary Mommy story. “How could someone be offended by this image? Why would someone report it? It was really hard not to take it personally.”
Herself becoming a mother at 16, Jes says she wants to empower other women through her photography.
“As a young mother, I was terrified of birth,” she said. “I had no experience other than scenes in big Hollywood films, and we all know how unrealistic that can be."
“I want people to be able to see, look at, and admire real, wholesome images of birth—images that show them strength and power, and that birth is normal and natural.”
Refusing to let the incident slide, Jes uploaded the image a second time. But just as it reached over 800 likes, it was again taken down.
Jes reached out to the social media app for an explanation, but they are yet to give her a response.
“My image was an image I had taken, [and] it contained no sexual intercourse, no genitals, no buttocks, no nipples” Jes said. “It fostered meaningful and genuine interactions. It was not spam, it followed the law, it was respectful, and it did not contain violence…
“I really feel that sharing images like mine can play a part in breaking down the negative stigma surrounding birth culture in our society.”
All over social media, such images are infamous for being taken down, claiming that they’re too graphic for public consumption.
And yet it’s an important question to ask why they are considered so, especially when nude selfies of celebrities like Kim Kardashian never gets reported and taken down.
Jes has since uploaded the photo a third time, and thus far it’s remained up, and she hasn’t yet received any messages about it being reported.
Sharing again, as in my sleep deprived state, I went into edit the text of the image and accidently deleted it and can't work out how to reinstate it! Damn me and technology! So I am sharing again (sorry) New article by Scary Mommy is awesome! Check it out. Link in profile! "I decided I would have a go at reposting this image for the third time, I started to type some censored text to pop over it but then I looked at the image and thought what am I censoring? Either a midwives hand or a baby's head? This image is still floating around Instagram on pages that have so kindly shared it. So please let it stay here on my feed, as it is my image - I promise not to accidently delete it again. Ooops Look at this gorgeous squishy baby half born earthside, with amniotic fluid dripping from his nose (this photo has been flipped) Birthed at home by his amazingly strong mama, ???? One from the archives - Shared with permission by the parents. #ittybittyphotography #ittybittybirth #hobart #tasmania #birth #labour #born #birthphotography #birthphotographer #hobartbirthphotographer #birthwithoutfear #midwife #doula #childbirth #baby #newborn #newbornphotography #hobart #childbirth #amazing #women