Instagram took down this mom’s beautifully creative post-pregnancy photo, so now she is sharing her body-positive wisdom with the world

When new mom Desiree Barnes struggled with body image after the birth of her son, she joined forces with the Body Joy Project in an effort to promote body positivity. Her beautifully creative post-pregnancy body picture was removed from Instagram, but that hasn’t stopped Barnes from sharing her incredibly important body positive wisdom with the world.

In the spring 2015 photo shoot, Barnes’ friend Charlotte Dean covered her in finger paint before she posed for the photos with Body Joy Project.

In an interview with The Huffington Post, Barnes describes the experience as an emotional one. “My relationship with my body, like everyone else’s, is a complex one, she tells the outlet. “It has changed so much over the years."

“Now that I have baby Fox, I look at my body in a totally different way. I am amazed by all of its natural functions ― the nurturing and feeding of another human being from one’s own body is a trip!” Barnes continues.

But, she acknowledges that she still has moments when she struggles to appreciate what she sees in the mirror.

When the 4th Trimester Bodies Project posted Barnes’ photos to Instagram, the social media site repeatedly removed one photo (pictured above) multiple times. Instead of letting Instagram’s unfair action destroy her confidence, Barnes chose to post it on her own account.

“I immediately reposted the image because I felt like I had already overcome my feelings about the image, and to have them remove it felt so unfair, she tells The Huffington Post.

Although the photo was removed from her personal account as well, Take Back Postpartum, Tribe de Mama, and The Art of Birth have since shared the image in a wonderful gesture of support and solidarity. You can also read Desiree’s original caption here.

Postpartum bodies are beautiful and it's so important to send the message to Instagram and the entire world that images of these bodies should be embraced, not censored.

Barnes recently gave birth to her second son and, although she continues to struggle with body image, she focuses on the positive.

“I may not always like the way my body looks right now, but I respect it and love it for everything that it is and does for my family and myself, she says. “This is what I want other mamas to take from this picture, that we are in it together, we have to support and uplift one another. I’m pretty sure we all feel this way sometimes.

Barnes’ courage and willingness to be vulnerable in order to help others is something to be applauded — and it’s the last thing in the world that should be censored.

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