On Censorship of Reality: The 4th Trimester Bodies Project


Does this image offend you?

It shouldn't. But for some inexplicable reason, it seems that Facebook, instagram, and related social media outlets don't like images depicting the beauty and reality of motherhood. Facebook has been censoring the project page and even has gone so far as to remove images and lock photographer Ashlee Wells Jackson and her team out of their page and personal accounts. It's worth noting that not a single image violates Facebook's terms of service.

So, what is the 4th Trimester Bodies Project?  The following is a brief description taken from their website:

The  4th Trimester Bodies Project is an ongoing photo documentary created by photographer and mother Ashlee Wells Jackson. This project is dedicated to embracing the beauty inherent in the changes brought to our bodies by motherhood, childbirth and breastfeeding.

Sounds harmless enough. Sounds downright liberating, to be honest. I'm a champion of body image issues because my eating disordered past is not a future I wish for my own daughter. With that realization, I founded Girl Body Pride and work daily to change how I see myself and my own body, always conscious of the fact that what I say and what I do will be internalized. So when I find others working to bring greater awareness to the reality and beauty of our bodies as they are --- as opposed to the photoshopped and over-sexed images commonly found in mainstream media -- I'm all about celebrating and supporting.

In this case, I'm also dusting off my soapbox, standing tall and proud, and asking Facebook what the hell their justification is for censoring reality. Jenni Chiu first brought the controversy and her post is a brilliant commentary on the extreme double standard in Facebook's censorship of this particular project when images of sexy half-naked women in tiny bikinis don't seem to be an issue. Click the link. I'll wait for you to come back.

Read it yet? Good. Are you as mad as I am?

Make some noise. Write about it. Share the story on your Facebook stream. Sign the 4th Trimester Bodies Project petition on Change.org. I just did. My complex feels smaller already.