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in brief: mother banned from Facebook over water birth photo


In yet another episode of Social Media Double Standards, a woman has been temporarily banned from accessing her organisation’s Facebook page after sharing a photo of a water birth.

Why? The image posted to the Positive Birth Movement page featured buttocks and was removed because it ‘doesn’t follow the Facebook Community Standards regarding nudity’.

Milli Hill wrote in the UK’s Telegraph tabloid about her ordeal, which went beyond just a swift removal of the image as it ‘was not [her] first transgression’.

‘Sharing birth images on social media is just a small part of what we do, but many women report back to us that they find these images empowering, inspiring and informative,’ Hill said of the Facebook page’s content.

Hill was told she would be barred from using the site for seven days and would be required to send the social media giant a copy of her passport to confirm she was a real person.

‘The timing couldn’t have been more ironic,’ Hill said.

‘As Kim Kardashian’s cartoonish behind was busy “breaking the internet”, I was being treated like a criminal for showing a real [sic] woman’s rear end – just after she’d done the most natural things on earth.’

While Hill’s argument about “real women” is problematic and implies its own standard of what a feminine body constitutes, this quote highlights the logic behind Facebook’s move: to not prompt a removal request, it seems women’s bodies on social media must be oriented around the male gaze.

Hill’s saga follows innumerable instances of Facebook removing images of breastfeeding mothers, and vlogger Meghan Tonjes having her partially covered buttocks removed from Instagram because they did not fit a certain type of body standard.

One thought on “in brief: mother banned from Facebook over water birth photo

  1. Women’s bodies are allowed in the public space only if they’re for male sexual gratification. Our society obviously continues to be uncomfortable with the greater purpose of female bodies.

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