Rihanna's Nipple Revolution

Rihanna is a sneaky little evil genius - assuming it’s still evil for a woman to expose her nipples on her own terms. Instagram certainly thinks so; the popular social media app has come under fire recently for disabling the accounts of people, namely women, that post pictures exposing the female nipple. These penalizations extend even to celebrity users like Rihanna, Scout Willis, and Grace Coddington who are not taking it quietly.

Yet the CFDA’s brought perhaps Rihanna’s sneakiest rebellion against the photo sharing app, if not all of censoring social media outlets. Her outfit of choice to receive Fashion Icon of the Year award was a sheer dress consisting only of body-hugging diamonds, letting the world soak up (and Instagram) the thing that got her kicked off the app in the first place: her nipples


The pop star (and all around badass) had her account originally deactivated when she posted a picture to Instagram of her cover of Lui magazine, a former French pornographic magazine that was relaunched in 2013 as a culture magazine. Instagram cited the takedown as violating the community guideline that prohibits “nude, partially nude…pornographic or sexually suggestive photos”

This vague guideline, however, does not specify the nipple (which both men and women have) as being against Instagram rules, but does also not bar hundreds of “sexually suggestive” photos of women that are being uploaded. And let’s be frank, what exactly is fair about dozens of straight boys uploading photos of almost-naked Sports Illustrated models as their #womancrushwednesday, but those same women being unable to post an image of their own breasts? 

Scout Willis is similarly frustrated; after posting an Instagram of a sweatshirt that features two topless women, her account was temporarily disabled as well. Again, the image was not of an actual topless woman, but of an article of CLOTHING that pictured two topless women. 

Willis took to nipple-friendly Twitter, posting a photographs of herself walking around Manhattan topless, noting it was “legal in NYC but not on @instagram”. She now is at the helm of a new hashtag movement, #freethenipple, aiming to de-stigmatize the female nipple as a banned nudity, but rather as a nakedness that women should have the right to express. 

Vogue's Grace Coddington took a more satirical route regarding her brief Instagram banning. Using the app mainly as a cartoonist, she had no idea her illustration that depicted her naked at the beach would be grounds for disabling her account. Once Coddington had access to her account back, she fired back at Instagram by posting two hilarious comics. One depicts Coddington doing some fully clothed penance at a chalkboard, while the other covers the nude areas of her pet cat according to Instagram's precious community guidelines. 

Where is Rihanna in all of this glorious nipple-revolting that happened in her wake? She has proudly retweeted Scout Willis’s twitter campaign, shouting FREE THE NIPPLE from the rooftops. For now, she has deleted her Instagram on her own accord rather than playing by the rules of a discriminatory app. Instead, check out her celebratory CFDA mini-twerk against the haters in her wonderfully anti-Instagram dress. 


Images via GQ, NY Mag, xojane, Twitter, Instagram

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