Pregnant Black woman causes controversy with Instagram post

A photo of a pregnant Black woman which is sparking controversy and supporting advocates of more diversity in medical illustration has racked up thousands of shares since it was posted on Facebook last month.

The image that has received thousands of shares came out of an attempt by one woman to show how there’s a need for diversity of images in medical illustration.

The Black woman in the photo is pictured on an ultrasound. The shadow on her belly should be filled with a full round image of a baby but it is basically simply a shadow. The article accompanying the photo explains how it’s a shortage of realistic images of infants that is holding back medical profession.

According to the article, there are fewer than 30 photographs in the medical profession for the face of a newborn. “The only child facing human beings is the ‘welcome to the world’ photo of newborn babies,” the article continues.

“In medical illustration there is not a single baby facing a human face in medical illustration. Too many illustrations carry the outdated image of a woman’s bodies with no one to share her fate with and no pictures of medical innovations that affect the prenatal experience.”

Phyno Melissa Allen, who works as a photojournalist for Blame The Pin, published the post to Facebook. It has garnered over 12,000 shares and is shared with comments supporting the need for more diversity in medical illustration.

“We don’t have much of an appreciation for and an increased understanding of race and ethnicity as they impact medical professionals,” she said in the comments. “This is a microcosm of a larger issue that we have collectively had a lot of experience with, which is the lack of access to fair representation.”

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