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Milking it: Instagram account posts images of nipples to challenge gender norms


USA

Milking it: Instagram account posts images of nipples to challenge gender norms

A Instagram account is challenging what it sees as sexist double standards in social media censorship policy by posting photographs of male and female nipples.

Genderless Nipples posts pictures of both male and female teats at close proximity and invites its 50,000 followers to guess which gender they belong to.

The images – which were posted over the course of just six weeks – are taken from such close range that it is almost impossible to tell.

Happy New Year! 🍭

A photo posted by Genderless Nipples (@genderless_nipples) on

Created by three advertising students who met in New York, the @genderless_nipples account calls for Instagram – which has a strict policy on nudity and is extremely thorough in removing images of naked female breasts – to “Support ALL genders”.

“Men are allowed to show their nipples, women’s get banned… Let’s change this policy,” the account’s bio reads.

It has amassed over 70 images of nipples by requesting “nipple donations” from Instagram users over the age of 18.

The account’s administrators, Evelyne Wyss, 24, Morgan-Lee Wagner, 22, and Marco Russo, 28, ask for sharp, well-lit photos, taken from a close distance, of hairless, erect nipples “to make it extra difficult for Instagram”.

Speaking to Euronews, Wyss said: “Social media has the biggest influence on our generation ever, they are responsible for sending out the right message. And we want to make sure equality doesn’t come too short in this.”

“Most important of all: We spark a conversation. We get people to think to challenge their perceptions,” she continued.

Responding to the taboo surrounding female nudity, Wyss said that society is “sexualising” the female body.

“Nipples have one use: Breastfeeding. How is that sexual? It’s in our heads. In our media. In our social media,” she said. “We want to challenge people’s perception of what is sexual and what actually might not be at all.”

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A photo posted by Genderless Nipples (@genderless_nipples) on

A sensitive issue

In December, a post showing an ambiguous nipple was removed after having been found to have violated Instagram’s community standards. It turned out to be that of a male.

In response, the account posted: “Instagram, you can’t even tell the difference between male and female nipples; who could? So why even bother banning female nipples if they can be so similar?”

Instagram’s strict guidelines forbid
any images depicting nudity, even those “that are artistic or creative in nature”.

“This includes photos, videos, and some digitally-created content that show sexual intercourse, genitals, and closeups of fully-nude buttocks. It also 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.”

For Wyss it’s about being able to decide for yourself: “We were raised in society of thinking this way. If a woman wants to be sexy she can but she isn’t just automatically. It’s about having the choice.”

“We are not against the rules, but we think rules should be applied to all genders equally. Society is changing and it’s time for the rules to follow this behavior,” she continued.

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