Hell hath no fury like a woman in 2015 facing Shakespearean double standards. Both Facebook and Instagram have been challenged by activists for their strict no-female nipple policies. Ands so, the Free the Nipple campaign has picked up considerable speed and coverage thanks to social media. While photos of female nipples in the context of breastfeeding and recovering from a mastectomy are now permitted on Facebook and Instagram, female nipples are otherwise flagged. As for male nipples, they have no restrictions set by social media platforms.
Women’s bodies receive inconsistent censorship in comparison to men’s. In this case, men’s nipples are seen as unoffensive and appropriate to show, whereas women’s nipples are sexual and obscene. And so, Free the Nipple began with activist, writer and filmmaker Lina Esco. Esco and supporters argue that#FreetheNipple is in fact an equality issue. Female nipples are not sexual organs and should not be treated as them. #FreetheNipple activists are quick to mention that men lifted laws against toplessness in the early 90’s. Now, men can exercise their right without social upheaval. In contrast, hiding women’s bodies are hurting their progress toward equality.
Social media has been an important tool in spreading the #FreetheNipple campaign. The Free the Nipple Instagram account shares original and fan-created posts. However, the comments on the Free the Nipple Instagram perhaps demonstrate the real power behind the movement. People “double tap” the photos, tag friends, interact with one another. Instagram acts as a bonding space for woman against this injustice.
Here’s a collection of the best free the nipple Instagram photos, which demonstrate the absurdity of this double standard. The @freethenipple Instagram account shares plenty of points that underline that this campaign is an equality issue. For example, followers have found that to avoid a topless photo being flagged, they can simply borrow men’s nipples to meet Instagram or Facebook standards. But then Orange is the New Black celebrity Matt McGorry flips this odd rule, using female nipples on a picture without Instagram’s disapproval. To enlarge, simply click on the photo.