Birth Images on Instagram: The Disruptive Visuality of Birthing Bodies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


This article examines Katie Vigos’s petition and Instagram account @empoweredbirthproject that protests the social media platform’s censorship against images of physiologic births. In analyzing specific images, captions, and responses from the audience, I argue that Vigos’s project functions as an alternative form of birth educational material that retrains the audience’s gaze and feelings toward birth and the laboring body. I demonstrate that @empoweredbirthproject actively disrupts the dominant articulation of childbirth as pathological and the laboring body as abject by prompting audience members to consider the ideological underpinnings behind their emotional reactions toward images of physiologic births.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80-100
Number of pages21
JournalWomen's Studies in Communication
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, © 2019 The Organization for Research on Women and Communication.


  • Abject
  • birth
  • body
  • feminism
  • health
  • social media
  • visual rhetoric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Communication


Dive into the research topics of 'Birth Images on Instagram: The Disruptive Visuality of Birthing Bodies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this