Birth photographer Jessica Jackson, the woman behind Itty Bitty Photography, has been making headlines for her work in recent weeks: She has a keen eye and the ability to capture some of the most beautiful, raw moments of childbirth.
Jackson, from Tasmania, is passionate about her work and this absolutely shines through her photos, but she was dealt a blow recently when Instagram chose to remove one of her images. The photo in question was taken four years ago during a home birth in Hobart and shows a baby being birthed, covered in amniotic fluid. What an incredibly beautiful moment, a reminder of how precious life is and how powerful a woman’s body is, right? Well, according to Instagram, the image didn’t adhere to their community guidelines.
Here it is. Pretty incredible, right?
Jackson told SheKnows that she’d been nervous about uploading the image in the first place because of the stories she’d heard about other photographers’ pages being shut down, but she couldn’t believe anyone could be offended by a moment as magical as this.
But within eight hours of uploading the image, Jackson had been blocked from her account because the photo was not considered to be “Instagram safe.” Instagram’s decision left the photographer furious. “How could someone be offended by this image?” she said. “Why would someone report it? I could not believe that we are in 2016 and we are censoring a baby’s head.”
The banning of this image, and images like it, serves as a reminder of the double standards that Instagram upholds. Female nipples are not allowed. A picture of a baby being born is deemed offensive. Yet, countless sexually suggestive images (you need only glance at certain celebrities’ Instagram accounts to see this) are apparently perfectly acceptable.
Jackson is determined to defy Instagram, and she has once again uploaded the photo to her account.
“Sharing birth imagery like this online is so important to me. As a young mother (16 years old when I fell pregnant), I was terrified of birth; I had no experience of birth other than scenes in big Hollywood films, and we all know how unrealistic that can often be,” she said.
We applaud Jackson for standing up for what she believes in and fighting against Instagram’s seemingly whimsical decision to flag her image as violating community guidelines. But most of all, we applaud her for reminding people that birth is beautiful and meant to be celebrated.
“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,” she explained. And instead of birth being portrayed in a negative light, Jackson wants it to be talked about, which is why she feels it’s so important to share images like this — images that represent real birth stories.