Not all nipples are created equal — at least, not according to Instagram. The photo-sharing app is known for removing photos that feature female nipples. Male nipples, however, are fair game.
Now, to combat this double standard, people have found a work-around: pasting male nipples over female ones in photos, according to Esquire. It’s a loophole that allows them to show Instagram just how ridiculous they think this policy is. Artist Micol Hebron even created a “digital pasty” male nipple template for other Instagram users to voice their displeasure.
Hebron has posted photos using the template to her own Instagram, and many others have followed suit (please note that these photos may NSFW). Even celebrities like Perez Hilton, Courtney Love, and Sarah Silverman are on board.
“We don’t allow nudity on Instagram,” Instagram’s community guidelines state. “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.”
The dichotemy between male-and-female nipples was especially highlighted when comedian Chelsea Handler tried to recreate Vladimir Putin’s famous photo shirtless atop a horse. Instagram promptly removed Handler’s post.
“Why?” Handler questioned. “He’s topless. Is it because I have nipples? Is it because they’re bigger?”
Those advocating, like Handler, to #freethenipple are trying to desexualize the female nipple in the same manner as the male nipple. No luck so far, but at least for now the male nipple template seems to be doing the trick in keeping Instagram at bay.
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