I’m deciding to focus on the example of the menstrual collection by artist Rupi Kaur for the analysis of online bodies, while also refer to the ideas of public vs. private space. On her interview with Huffington Post Canada, Kaur talks about her intentions behind the piece and the message she wanted to send to her viewers. The series of images she released on Instagram was her attempt to represent the menstrual cycle in its day-to-day reality in the lives of a woman. For the most part, the images included a female body with menstrual signs either on the woman’s body or their sheets representing the simplest tasks a woman must do day-to-day during the monthly cycle. In her interview with Huffington Post Canada, Kaur introduces the subject and states, “I see in my own community and in the larger Western context, menstruation is something that so many of us go through but it’s completely silenced” (Zamon). Instagram took down these photos due to the breaking of the Instagram codes and conducts of “inappropriate” images. The thin line between the “forbidden” and “taboo” images is a line that cannot clearly be seen in the discussions back and forth between Kaur and Instagram representatives.
The space of the home is commonly a private one, shared only with oneself and/or ones close relationships. This definition shifted when individuals decided to live feed their lives within their homes online. Camgirls, such as the “Jennicam”, channeled her privatized home life into online entertainment for the public audience. The concept of the home states there are various ways the significance of the home can be experienced. The photos by Rupi Kaur, for example, combine the idea of the home and gender identity. These images were taken under conditions that are “meant” to be private. The menstrual cycle is seen as a sensitive and disgusting part of a woman’s life. The space Rupi Kaur intended to have exist online was a space where menstruation could finally be represented as the way it is in reality: a natural and beautiful occurrence. “I bleed each month to help make humankind a possibility.” You tell them, Rupi Kaur.
- What can women around the world do to naturalize the image of the period, not only online but also in the physical world?
- I would want to perform a study on a random sampled audience by showing different pictures of women from the online community, how they are represented, and how they are responded to. I want to find someone who can give me a reasonable explanation for the “disgust” of the period, rather than answering with a simple grunt or unimpressed facial expression.
Zamon, Rebecca. “Rupi Kaur’s Period Photo On Instagram Sparks Change.” HuffPost Living Canada. The Huffington Post, 27 Mar. 2015. Web. 31 Mar. 2015. <http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2015/03/27/rupi-kaur-instagram-photo_n_6953770.html>.