Breaking Instagram

Video honors poet Rupi Kaur for battling cultural norms on Instagram — and winning

Rupi Kaur (Facebook)

Refinery29 has put together a short video honoring Toronto-based Sikh poet Rupi Kaur for her work in “breaking Instagram.”

Kaur is best known for having posted an image of a girl with blood stains on her pajamas and sheets — only for Instagram to flag it and remove it for supposedly violating the site’s community guidelines. The point of the photo series of which the removed photo was a part, Kaur would explain, was that society, and Instagram, is much more comfortable with objectifying women than it is with accepting the fact that women menstruate. The photo, she noted, hadn’t actually violated any of Instagrams written guidelines — the fact that Instagram removed the photo anyway — not once, but twice — she saw as evidence that the site was truly symbolic of “misogynist society.” Instagram would eventually apologize to the poet, claiming that the multiple takedowns of the photo were a “mistake.”

Kaur has continued to use Instagram, writing “body positive poetry about love, loss, and womanhood and survival,” and surrounding her verse with art and drawings. Her work remains no less challenging for those who would rather women accepted being solely the objects of men’s attention — but Instagram admins now know better than to try to get in her way.

Watch the video below.

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