In the wake of the campaign earlier this year, which was openly backed by celebrities including Chrissy Teigen and Miley Cyrus, protesters are using the tongue-in-cheek artwork’s explosion on social media to pressure Instagram into amending their unpopular Community guidelines.
I think it’s complete bullshit. Nipples are apart of the body everyone has Nipples it’s no secret but why is it not okay for girls to show them but it’s fine for guys. #freethenipplecampaign #malenipples
A photo posted by Crissy (@_beautiful_nightmare__) on
For #freethenipple supporters, online censorship of the female nipple has been an ongoing battle for freedom of expression, with their cause routinely suffocated using deleted posts and banned accounts.
For others this whole controversy has been branded a benign issue by a section of female twitter users, who fail to see any pressing issue with nipple-freedom (yes, that’s a thing now) and maintain that the online movement is doing little to affect the every day sexism that they face. The tweets below represent a slice of opinions clashing against the #freethenipple movement.
Struggling to care about, or feel empowered by, women showing their nipples on Instagram.
— Beulah Maud Devaney (@TheNotoriousBMD) July 8, 2015
I wish I cared about anything as much as people on the Internet care about celebrities who can't post their nipples on Instagram
— Eliza C. Thompson (@thompsonplaid) July 1, 2015
Activists behind the #freethenipple campaign will point to the double standards that exist when confronting the censorship of the female nipple compared to men. For many feminists smaller issues such as these are rooted in deeper systemic violence and misogyny and a reflection of inherent sexism in our supposedly post-feminist society.
Instagram user @alinenilsson captioned her viral post (see below): ‘This one was reported again. So here it is with two MALE NIPPLES stickers that I put on to cover my illegal FEMALE NIPPLES! So now you can’t say shit, this is so fucking wrong and this is not equality.’
At the time of publication, Instagram have failed to comment or remove the viral images.
Are Instagram right to conserve their boob-free policy? Should protesting users simply go elsewhere? Or do Instagram have a moral duty to promote equality? Do you care?! We’ll leave you with this food for thought:
Instagram doesn't allow "photos of female nipples". If I photoshopped female nipples over my own, would they take it down? #freethenippple
— Finn Dinneen (@FinnDinneen) July 6, 2015