Vancouver photographer Morag Hastings is pissed. As a photographer/doula, she specializes in capturing birth experiences on camera for the families she works with. After Hastings posted to her Facebook page a powerful photo of a woman giving birth while standing up, the image was shared more than the 2,000 times. However, two weeks later, Hastings was surprised to find that the photo had been taken down because it allegedly violated the website's nudity rules. She'd also been banned for 30 days, and her professional photography page, Apple Blossom Families, would be unpublished.
Unfortunately, this wasn't the the first time Hastings has had to deal with this; she's had birth photographs removed countless times before. On her blog, Hastings couldn't help but wonder why images like Kim Kardashian's now-iconic, partially-nude Paper cover were allowed to stay up on the website, but something as natural as a woman giving birth was deemed inappropriate.
"We need to be able to share images of our babies being born in ways that can inspire women to take charge of their births, to be able to do this we need to be able to share images that show a bit of leg and maybe a bit of blood," Hastings wrote. "We need to not feel scared and oppressed by Facebook's lack of education around women's bodies acting in a natural way. I want to spend my days inspiring women about birth, not fighting the world's largest social media platform when I share images of women being powerful."
"I had no idea the photo would cause such a stir, but I'm glad that it’s bringing awareness to the ways that women and birth are censored and shamed," said the unnamed mother in the photo. "It hasn’t been easy going through this experience being a new mom with a new baby during a tender time. Perhaps if we were exposed to birth and more accepting of it, that wouldn't be the case."
What gives, Facebook? The photo looks to have since been restored, but there should never have been an issue in the first place.