Facebook Bans Little Mermaid's Breasts, Proves It's Better Under The Sea
Apparently, what happens under the sea, doesn’t stay under the sea. That’s what one famous mermaid discovered, when Denmark’s Social Democrat MP Mette Gjerskov uploaded a picture of the fabled sea goddess onto Facebook—and subsequently got removed for showing “too much bare skin or sexual undertones.” This isn’t a weird video still from a Mermaids Gone Wild porno; this was Edvard Eriksen’s world-famous statue in Copenhagen, Little Mermaid. Yes, that Little Mermaid.
Facebook must not have gotten the memo, because they took one look at the photo of the statue and decided everything is definitely not wetter or better under the sea. The poor unfortunate souls over at the social media giant caused a lot of fanfare with the ban. It’s Denmark’s most photographed statue, and it’s snapped over 5 million times a year. The photo got Gjerskov in abnormally hot water, when she tried posting a link that included an image of the photo and had it rejected on the grounds of nudity. That clashes with Facebook’s own image guidelines, which explicitly state that they “allow photographs of paintings, sculptures and other art that depicts nude figures.”
The post in question has since been restored. But it has us questioning why a statue of a mermaid that is only sexually appealing to people with a bronze fetish is okay, but the hypersexualized portrayal of the Disney princess and her horny minister is totally chill. This isn’t the first time social media has clashed with the human body, either. Female breasts are about as welcome on Facebook and Instagram as a rational person with a conscience at a Republican presidential rally. Back in September, Facebook blocked a Danish tourism organization from posting an image of C.W. Eckersberg‘s 1841 painting Woman Standing in Front of a Mirror, because breasts are evil if they happen to be attached to a female. Danish art isn’t the only frontline in the social media nipple war.
Back in July, artist and feminist advocate Micol Hebron came out with the ingeniously titled Internet Acceptable Male Nipple Template. Since then, the social media nipple war has taken a page from global warming and keeps heating up, as more celebrities join the likes of Petra Collins and Cara Delevingne to speak out and bare all while breaking down the boob stigma. Fresh off a 30-day ban for sharing Lisa Yuskavage painting Northview from the Rubell Family Collection, Micol was eager to talk Mermaid Nipplegate 2016.
“Let’s post mermen and see what happens. A merman would undoubtedly be allowed on Facebook. How can they censor a mermaid when they don’t even exist in reality?” she remarked. “It’s completely hypocritical, because Facebook issued a statement earlier this year that nudity in art is acceptable. When we have social media companies monitoring art for quality and content, I think we’ve entered into a whole new and very dangerous part of culture.”
Images via Disney, Edvard Eriksen, C.W. Eckersberg, and Lisa Yuskavage.