We’re all aware of Instagram’s ridiculous policies about what constitutes “pornography.” Such as when they deleted poet Rupi Kaur’s photo of her lying fully clothed, but with period blood on her pants. More commonly, social media sites delete photos of women breastfeeding, women with mastectomies, and even pictures of breasts in artwork. Because of this, since 2012, the #FreeTheNipple movement has gained a lot of momentum.
Looking to desexualize the female nipple, many celebrities including Miley Cyrus and Rihanna, got on board with #FreeTheNipple, posting topless photos of themselves. The idea is that a breast is a secondary sex characteristic, not a sexual organ. There’s nothing inherently sexual about breasts, and it’s a double standard that it’s socially acceptable for men to go topless but not women. According to Instagram’s guidelines, the female nipple is prohibited from the app unless it’s a woman breastfeeding or in a work of art.
Just a few weeks ago, the Instagram account @genderless_nipples appeared, gaining over 63k followers in its short time on the app. The profile features close-ups of different nipples — both male and female — to prove the point that they’re no different from each other. In fact, Instagram actually deleted a photo of a male nipple that they posted.
The project @genderless_nipples was started by Evelyne Wyss, Morgan-Lee Wagner, and Marco Russo in order to expose the flaws in Instagram’s community guidelines. The group seeks nipple submissions from followers over 18 to post, even requesting that those with hairy chests shave to make it even harder for Instagram to decide if the nipple in question is male or female.
“We’re not against the rules, but we think they should be applied to all genders equally,” Wyss told The Guardian. “Society is changing. We want to show Instagram that their policy is not working in today’s society anymore.”
Amen to that, @genderless_nipples. Keep on fighting the good fight!
Top photo via Wikipedia
Other photos via Instagram/@genderless_nipples
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Rafaella is a graduate of The New School, where she majored in journalism and minored in gender studies. She's passionate about feminism, LGBTQ+ rights, combatting online harassment, and ending herpes stigma. Visit her website: ellagunz.com