Postpartum Photographer Launches Campaign to #StopCensoringMotherhood in Social Media
byKaitlin StanfordJul 16, 2014
It seems like Instagram and Facebook have been pretty busy shutting down accounts lately — specifically, shutting down accounts that belong to moms. You may remember the case of mommy blogger Courtney Adamo, whose Instagram account was disabled (and later restored, after outcry) just last month over a few harmless photos of her daughter. More recently, Facebook took down a Coppertone-inspired photo one mom took of her own daughter and her friend.
And now this week, mom and photographer Ashlee Wells Jackson is the one crying foul. It seems both her Facebook and Instagram accounts were down for apparently violating photo guidelines. The thing is, she's still not exactly sure why her photos were deemed inappropriate — neither social networks went into much detail about which guidelines were breached before deleting them.
But of course, she can guess what happened. All of Jackson's deleted accounts were devoted to her photo series, the 4th Trimester Bodies Project, which captures the images of moms together with their children. These moms are not posing with their kids in just any old attire, though — they are all clad in their bras and underwear, bravely bearing their postpartum bellies, stretch marks and all. The point, explains Jackson, is to show real postpartum bodies on real women, a sight she believes is important for all to see.
"It’s meant to heal and empower women, worldwide, and we’ve started to do that," she told Today.com. "And not being able to publicly and socially share our work and our message that is helping and healing so many women, is damaging."
The photographer is not sitting back idly. She's calling on moms everywhere to tweet, Instagram and post images along with the hashtag #StopCensoringMotherhood, in the hopes that both social networks lighten up on their photo guidelines when it comes to motherhood, kids, and the reality of what happens to our bodies after kids.
So far, the photographer has prompted the following response from Facebook, which implies that the images were removed based more on the children than the moms themselves: "It is very hard to consistently make the right call on every photo. Images showing nude or partially nude children may be removed for safety concerns. While these images may be uploaded innocently, we are particularly sensitive to the fact that other people can share and reuse the content in unintended and inappropriate ways. We’ve always allowed breast-feeding photos."
However, Today.com reports that on the morning before Jackson swung by the TODAY show to share her story, Facebook not only flagged one of her breast-feeding photos, but sent her the following message:
"Please Review the Community Standards. Your Page, group or event was reported to Facebook. After reviewing the report, we determined one or more photos or posts don’t follow the Facebook Community Standards."