Instagram Breaks Our Hearts With New Nudity Guidelines

Don’t take your tops off just yet ladies, Instagram has set forth new transparent community guidelines that address a variety of issues, including nudity. Feminists everywhere have been pushing to #freethenipple over the past year, so when Instagram announced its new and clearly stated guidelines, we were hoping these ruled would reflect in our favor. Alas, we were let down by what we saw.

When looking at these new community guidelines, here’s what you’ll see:

“We know that there are times when people might want to share nude images that are artistic or creative in nature, but for a variety of reasons, we don’t allow nudity on Instagram. This includes photos, videos, and some digitally-created content that show sexual intercourse, genitals, and close-ups of fully-nude buttocks. It also includes some photos of female nipples, but photos of post-mastectomy scarring and women actively breastfeeding are allowed. Nudity in photos of paintings and sculptures is OK, too.”

We’ve seen a slew of celebrities and internet stars in support of doing away with censorship laws pertaining to the female nipple. From Rihanna to Cara Delevingne to Soko, the support is everywhere. Most recently, Miley Cyrus and photographer Mert Alas took to Instagram for a spontaneous #freetheniple photoshoot. Posing with Miley is another celebrity familiar with censorship protests Scout Willis. Men have had the ability to walk around shirtless since 1936, and in some cities, like New York, women have the right to do so as well. The conversation has even shown up in television shows, like Workaholics. Women have come a long way since it was considered scandalous to even show an ankle. We know the support will continue on.

In addition to the inequality posed between men and women with this rule, we should also keep in mind the idea that photography for us is what painting was for others before the 19th century. This rule proposes the concept that photography and its artistic nature is subpar to that of paintings and sculptures. Images that are “artistic or creative in nature” serve the same purpose as these two mediums: to document and perform as a form of expression. Is imposing a line on what is or isn’t artistic the best idea? It’s not hard to tell the difference between trashy porn like nude photos, and those created for the purpose of art. Even more so, sculpture and painting can potentially be more graphic than a photograph.

So what should we do? Keep your top off and continue the fight to #freethenipple.

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