Menstruation-themed photo series artist 'censored by Instagram' says images are to demystify taboos around periods

A photo of Rupi Kaur on her period was removed twice

An artist whose image of herself with blood on her bed and trousers was removed from Instagram has denied uploading the picture to be provocative, saying it was aimed at challenging the taboos surrounding menstruation instead.

Rupi Kaur uploaded an image onto the social networking site for a menstruation-themed photo series developed by her and her sister Prabh.

The image, which was taken by Prabh, shows Ms Kaur lying down on a bed fully clothed with two spots of blood visible on her clothes and on the sheet. It was removed from Instagram twice for violating its community standards. Ms Kaur challenged the removal and the image was eventually restored on the site.

However, the divisive photo series subsequently made headlines around the world and received a very mixed response.

Ms Kaur, a university student from Toronto, in Canada, said she choose menstruation as a topic to de-mystify periods and highlight the struggles faced by menstruating women.

Another picture in the photo series (

She told BBC Newsbeat: "I wasn't being provocative. […] When I initially put it up I knew there would be some controversy and some hate comments and then it would go away. Never in a million years did I expect it to be on every major headline everywhere."

"It was interesting the way people were belittling the experience and the struggle of the period.

"You won't go on vacation because of your period, you change your wedding date, it goes everywhere with you and you are in so much pain. Women are hospitalised."

Instagram later apologised to Ms Kaur and said it had removed it by mistake.

View the full series here.