The #FreeTheNipple Movement Is Gaining Traction On IG

Big changes are coming.

The topic of gendered nudity has arisen again of late with two high-profile celebrities alluding to the misogynistic nature of imagery guidelines on social media. 

On Wednesday, Miley took to Instagram to share a photograph of herself with exposed nipples. 

“I’m getting more basic by the day,” Cyrus wrote in the caption below. The only thing the ‘new me’ loves more than a mirror selfie is a self timed one.”

“PS this is getting removed soon!” she wrote. “I’ve been warned by the gram gods!”

Cyrus’ post comes days after Amber Heard posted a topless photograph of Game of Thrones star Jason Momoa to condemn Instagram’s double standards regarding nudity guidelines between men and women.

The image Heard shared showed Momoa’s face and bare chest edited onto a photo of her that was removed by Instagram.

The original picture featured Heard wearing a black suit jacket with one of her breasts visible.

“In honour of IG’s rigorous and equitable Community Guidelines against showing the Female nipple...and since mine enjoyed the brief privilege that’s afforded to my male counterparts…I decided to pay homage by replacing it with a picture that DID meet IG’s strict nudity guidelines and such careful gender policies,” Heard wrote in the caption.

“See my stories to vote on which edit you prefer the most...and thank you IG, here’s to 2019!” she added.

#FreeTheNipple started in 2012 as a campaign highlighting the bias between male and female nudity, with men able to appear topless in public without judgement while it's considered sexually indecent for women to do the same.

Instagram is owned by Facebook but operates under its own nudity guidelines, which allow for photos of post-mastectomy scarring, women breastfeeding, and “nudity in photos of paintings and sculptures,” but prohibit “photos, videos, and some digitally-created content that show sexual intercourse, genitals, and close-ups of fully-nude buttocks” as well as “some photos of female nipples.” 

However, it appears that these rules might be subject to change. 

A group of roughly 20 artists, curators, and activists were called into a private meeting at Instagram’s New York City HQ on Monday to discuss the platform’s nudity policies.

According to Dazed, Marilyn Minter and anti-censorship Joanne Leah were among those present. which All attendees were required to sign non-disclosure agreements on arrival.

Leah – who runs the website Artists Against Censorship – has also recently built a rapport with Facebook’s policy team by circulating a petition calling on them to reconsider its censorship of artworks containing nudity. 

She went on to have several video chats with the team prior to Monday’s discussion, which she insisted was the result of combined efforts from many artists and creatives.

“A lot of people expressed the need for it to happen so it was just time. I don’t think any one person should be taking credit,” she told online arts magazine Hyperallergic.

The social media network has not officially announced any policy changes but told Hyperallergic magazine in an email: “one of the most important pieces of our policy development process is speaking to external experts and stakeholders to ensure we have considered as many perspectives as possible. This meeting allowed us to do that, and we hope to have an ongoing dialogue”.

Main image by @hommegirls

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