Swedish naturist Maxinne Bjork has shared a photo on Instagram of herself smeared in her own menstrual blood. In this social media-driven age we are used to seeing weird and wonderful photos every day. We scroll through our feeds and look at everything from Kim Kardashian's bum to someone's incredibly healthy dinner. But one image on Instagram is stopping people in their tracks - because it's rather unusual. Swedish naturist Maxinne Bjork has shared an image of herself, naked and covered in what she calls her own "life-giving fluids" - that's period blood to you and me.
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Being naturally squeamish and five kinds of repressed, I didn't immediately love the idea of watching women menstruate. I was down with Rupi Kaur's protest against Instagram. I dug Petra Collins' psychedelic vag tees. But something about full-frontal free-bleeding seemed a little too "much" for my delicate twenty-something sensibilities. It's a good thing Vancouver photographer Jackie Dives is a certified doula.
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Please refresh the page and retry. P hotographer Rupi Kaur has effectively made Instagram, one of the most popular photo-sharing websites in the world, accept that periods are not inappropriate. Last week she posted a photograph of a fully clothed woman lying in bed with a period stain on Instagram. The guidelines prohibit sexual acts, violence and nudity — they do not mention anything about periods. You deleted my photo twice stating that it goes against community guidelines. Over the weekend her post was shared thousands of times, and Instagram eventually reinstated the photo and apologised. Of us. The adert, showing a pubescent girl thrilled to get her period, went viral with more than 30 million viewers.