My 13th Instagram
I am on my 13th Instagram account. 11 were removed permanently by Instagram. One was reinstated after a year, but I already had this account, and didn’t want to go backwards.
One account that was removed was where each and every pic I posted was a side by side recreation of a post done by a thin person. I had pics constantly being removed, till they finally banned the entire account. Almost a year later I found out a straight sized mom was doing the same thing that I did, but rather than have her account banned, and pics removed, she went viral. There were articles online, news segments, and an overall positive reaction. That felt incredibly dehumanising, and hurtful that I was seen as obscene, but they were seen as revolutionary.
Another account that I lost had irreplaceable images from my pregnancy with my daughter, as well as pics from her funeral. Nothing on the account violated any community guidelines. In fact, I had only recently become fat and was still shy about posting pics that had my body in it. There were only 4 full body photos. One where I stood at my daughters grave (removed for being sexual? I was wearing a dress that went to my ankles), one where I was at an ice cream shop (comments were filled with fatphobic hate. Pic later removed for “being sexual”), a pic with my grandparents (more fatphobic comments, as well as some racist ones), and a pic of myself in a full length mirror in sweat pants, with a hoodie, lifting it up to show my belly and the words “I may have a belly, but I’m still human”. After a wave of fatphobic comments, the page was removed. I tried desperately to get my page back but nothing worked.
I learned that when you’re fat, you’re expected to live under a separate set of rules than when you’re thin. That if you dare speak of rules, rather than be helped, you are Victim blamed, gaslit, or harassed further. I learned, that Instagram wasn’t for people like me.
I don’t even know why I decided to come back and try again this 13th time, but I’m glad I did. Every time someone tells me how I helped them feel more comfortable in their skin, or learn to love themselves, I know that all this has been worth it. And that I will continue to keep fighting.
Though I often still have pics removed, I’ve learned to not appeal the removals, as that usually leads to instagrams admins/moderators removing even more pics, including random archived stories I hadn’t seen in a year or more. I’ve learned that I have to be more careful than others. I have to bite my tongue, and play nice in case I pop up on the wrong someone’s radar who decides make it their mission to mass report, or have others mass report. It’s not easy. But I’m not giving up.