An Instagram influencer has slammed the decision for pictures of her baring her self-harm scars to be removed.
Milly Smith has 176,000 followers through the SelfLoveClubb account and posted the image saying the scars are “a symbol of past pain and future healing, nothing else”.
Since the removal Milly has been promoting the hashtag #stopcensoringmyscars and told Instagram they “need to figure out a way to keep your community safe that doesn’t entail censoring our warrior bodies”.
The social media site has previously come under fire as models and influencers promote clothes and products in heavily altered images, reports Hull Live.
Many have said that the site is to blame for low self-esteem as some try and replicate models and celebrities that use it to show highlights of their life.
Instead, Milly encourages people to accept their bodies for what they are and to celebrate their hairy legs, tummy rolls or scars.
Proudly showing off her scarred legs, Milly captioned the photo: “Instagram, #pleasestopcensoringmyscars. It’s been months of photos taken down or censored because I exist in a body with HEALED self/H scars. Can you possibly understand what that does to a person learning to accept their body, their recovery, their survival and their past.
“What are you telling us about our bodies? That the way we exist right now, healed and fighting on is not okay?
“My scars are a symbol of past pain and future healing, nothing else. They’re not encouraging, they’re not a negative message, they’re not shameful. They are not inappropriate content, they are not in need of censorship for being too vulgar.
“Now I understand there is a huge need to tackle posts that glamourise, encourage or even show self harm in different ways eg fresh or new scars. We need to protect the community but my posts do not fit into these perimeters, I rarely talk about S/H itself, I just exist in a body with scars…
“I cannot and will not be a walking censorship, I can’t trigger warning myself in real life and I simply cannot live ashamed and afraid to show my body.
“@instagram You need to figure out a way to keep your community safe that doesn’t entail censoring our warrior bodies. Whilst even healed self harm scars are triggering for some we simply cannot hide away, we exist like this now, this is us.
“Scars of your past pain are difficult to accept and live with, we can’t be told each and every day that our bodies are triggering, upsetting or vulgar.
“I know this is happening to some babes on here too. Use the tag #stopcensoringmyscars and let’s create a space free of shame.”
The post was liked by 3,363 people and already people have been sharing pictures of their scars using the hashtag.
Later, Milly shared an update on her Instagram story from the site telling her that her post had been deleted.
She was told by Instagram that it removed the post because it was “concerned it may encourage self-harm or suicidal behaviour”.
It added: “We understand this may not be your intention. We care about your safety, and if you’re going through something difficult, we’d like to help. We encourage you to get support through our resources.”
Milly captioned the post with the words: “The irony.”
She then went on to ask her followers to share the image of her baring her scars as she has been “shadow banned” which means that her post will not be visible to as many of her followers as usual.