Women Paste On Male Nipples to Protest Instagram Censorship

Instagram Censorship

Hey, Chrissy Teigen, we have a solution for the next time Instagram tries to silence your nipple, and every other woman whose nipple-baring photos have been flagged inappropriate by social media platforms. Just Photoshop a pair of hairy male areolas over your own and upload away.

At least, this is the solution LA-based performance artist and Chapman University professor Micol Hebron offered last summer. As the internet is wont to do, somebody recently made a meme out of the proposed concept and now social media is littered with society-approved male nipples pasted over obviously morally repugnant female nipples. Trawl #malenipples on Instagram for some examples (as well as some genuine male nipple enthusiast photos).

Hebron’s project is an aptly irreverent response to social media platform’s inequitable and often piecemeal enforcement of female nudity. For example, Instagram’s community guidelines state: “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.” Their relatively nonspecific ban on nudity notes that it 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.” This “more transparent” version of Instagram’s nudity policies came only after significant backlash from users whose benign images were flagged and taken down. Check out some of them here.

Facebook similarly maintains, “We also restrict some images of female breasts if they include the nipple, but we always allow photos of women actively engaged in breastfeeding or showing breasts with post-mastectomy scarring.” They state that digitally created nudity or sexual content is permissible only if it has educational, humorous, or satirical merit.

If our conservative relative’s Facebook feed is any indication, sexist and racist comments and images go unchecked on the platforms all the time. But the real issue is those female nipples. How dare they reveal themselves!



Courtney Hamilton

An avid writer, reader, feminist and french fry fanatic.