About That #FreeTheNipple Movement…Do We Really Need To See Your Bare Breasts On Instagram?

May 30, 2014  |  


My mother has always been one to say that the new generation, in so many words, is overexposed. Let Beyoncé bust a move on stage in little briefs or a young girl basically wear little to nothing on the streets, or even in a fashion spread, and my mom will say, “Why? You can still be s*xy without showing everything God gave you.” In her mind, young people these days don’t understand the importance of maintaining mystery, of keeping some things to themselves, and oh yeah,  the importance of putting some damn clothes on. At first I felt like choices in clothing, or lack thereof, were forms of free expression, and that my mom was just speaking as those of older generations do. But I’m starting to agree with her–people are doing too much for attention at this point.

Just a month ago, Rihanna posted pictures on Instagram from a controversial Lui magazine shoot, a French mag known for their provocative images, and Instagram wasn’t having it. The images showed Rihanna’s bare breasts, bare backside, tan lines and all as she posed oiled up for photos. Rihanna was proud of the images, which quickly made the rounds on Twitter and had people talking, but according to Instagram’s policies, the photos were in violation of their quest to keep “nude” or “partially nude” images from floating from account to account. At first the pics were removed, and then the next thing you know, her whole account was shut down. Such a freeze was let up not too long after, but Rihanna, peeved at the move by the social media site, decided she’s done with Instagram. You can see her colorful imagery of living lavishly in fly threads, pink wigs with a blunt in hand on Twitter if you’re missing all the awesomeness with a side of debauchery that she posted as @badgirlriri on Instagram.

Someone else not feeling Instagram so much for its restrictions is Bruce Willis and Demi Moore’s 22-year-old daughter, Scout Willis. She feels that exposed breasts should be allowed on the site for artistic reasons and for promoting breast cancer awareness. The latter I can get with. But what I can’t get with is the way she went about protesting the site’s policies: By walking up and down Manhattan topless and posting the images on Twitter saying, “Legal in NYC but not on @instagram,” and “What @instagram won’t let you see.”

In one photo she picks out flowers with her bare breast, skirt on, as a child and her mother walk not too far behind.  I saw the photos and my first thought was: “Out of all this things to protest…”

To be clear, Instagram’s policies on nudity say, “You may not post violent, nude, partially nude, discriminatory, unlawful, infringing, hateful, pornographic or sexually suggestive photos or other content via the Service.”

They also say that while they will allow images of women breastfeeding, “photos that show a fully exposed breast where the child isn’t actively engaged in nursing aren’t following our Community Guidelines.”

As with all social media, it should be known from jump that you can’t literally strip down for followers and “friends.” But alas, people still try it, and when they’re flagged, Instagram gets on them like white on rice.

With all that said, while I can understand being a little frustrated with possibly feeling artistically stifled on a site like Instagram…I personally don’t want to see the breasts, behind or any of the unmentionables of Rihanna, Scout Willis, Sharde from down the street or anybody else on Instagram. I just don’t. The minute you’re allowed to show off your exposed breasts, next thing you know, folks will be showing off their bare behind in bathroom pics. Few years down the line, the same folks will be commenting on stories talking about, “It’s just a little labia!”

Okay, I’m being a little dramatic with that last one, but you get where I’m going with this. There are such restrictions and clauses put in place on social media for a reason, and I don’t think it’s to sensationalize or make our breasts taboo. But that’s just my opinion.

If you want to share whatever images of your body you so please without feeling regulated, there’s always blogs like Tumblr where you can freely bare your soul and your a** for fans and followers. And obviously, Twitter is letting people freely bare their breasts. But in the case of Willis, trying to strong-arm Instagram into letting us show off our breasts by walking topless around NYC doesn’t seem to get a strong point across (at least that’s how we felt in this office), it just looks like a grab for attention. But hey, it was a successful one, right?

And at the same time, with all the major issues going on in the world, protesting against Instagram because the world can’t be exposed to breasts seems a little ___ (insert your word of choice, as I don’t want to offend and I know, when unfiltered, I often do…).

But then again, it’s a free country. Willis can walk the streets topless to prove a point if she so feels the need to (which she did). But with that same freedom, Instagram has the right to shut down such photos and run their social media app, which seems to connect and please millions around the world, restrictions and all, as they please.


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  • Erica

    if i get a mastectomy can I finally walk around as free as my brother yet?

  • brian

    this is long overdo. we need to see them titttieees

  • cressa

    women’s breast aren’t just for breastfeeding, there also seen as a sexual thing to many, that’s the difference between a man’s chest and a women’s chest

  • When I did use Instagram, and my timeline was flooded with photos of body parts that I didn’t want to see, I utilized that cute little “unfollow” button. Problem solved. I really don’t care what someone posts. If you’re proud of your body or want attention, that’s fine with me. I would never attempt to shame someone over that. But if I don’t want to see it, I simply don’t allow that person on my social media feed. Pretty simple.

  • Guest11

    I think these people will do anything to stay relevant no matter how stupid it is!!! It seems like there are more important things in the world to protest if you feel you must stand up for something!!! Kidnapped Nigerian girls, World Hunger, Terrorism, Poverty, Homelessness, Lack of Help for the Mentally Ill etc are all issues worthy of outrage!!!!

  • Sooshid

    Out of all the things going on in the world…smh

  • IJS

    Some celebrities and their progeny are delusional. If it’s okay to post photos of bare breasts for breast cancer awareness, it should also be okay to post photos of hairy buttholes to bring awareness to prostate cancer.

    • StraightShooter

      What’s wrong with bare breasts. Men show there breasts all the time.

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  • DiannaFran

    Listen, Instagram has rules and regulations. Why is everyone trying to break every rule in the book? Some are put there for a good reason. If you do not like the rules and regulations that Insta has then don’t sign up.Simple. There are so many other sites and ways that allow you to show bare breast. You can not come after a company that does not belong to you. If you where the head then fair enough but your not, have some respect for knowing that discretion is ok to have in life. SMH at my generation thinking they can come after you… Sit your overexpose behind down, talking about artist expression. Maaaannn I can’t with this. There are so many way to bring awareness to breast cancer. Just stop the madness!

    • BeautyQueen

      This generation thinks they discovered sex

      • DiannaFran

        Well I have new for them… God created sex not this generation! They don’t even have a pot to p!ss let alone a place to have or discover sex! When I read this article my head explode. The ignorance is truly astounding. You want to have artist expression? fine ok, master the art expression of discretion. It will take you along way. Call what you justify as expression for what is, complete disregard and no respect for boundaries set before you. (this is not to you @disqus_AvDIctxgXR:disqus its to our generation who needs a good telling sometimes)

        I’m glad they took down Rhianna’s insta [page, it should be taken as a humbling lesson that you are not above the rules and boundaries put before you because your Rhianna, if you cross them then that is on you. Let her be mad and stew and no better if there is a next time.

        • DiannaFran

          Sorry spelling error *you’re

          • BeautyQueen

            Nothing but attention w h o r e s. This world makes me depressed making this into a fighting cause. The worst cause ive ever seen. Its just going to get worst from here.

            • DiannaFran

              I understand your sentiment, but don’t lose hope. Keep the faith there are some amazing youths doing great things. Rhianna and Scout do not speak for all of our generation. I think within my statements I should have made it clearer and state majority of our generation instead of generalizing, as many are doing great thing with such dignity and who have great understanding of what’s important. So yes, the world maybe come worse from here but go beyond what you see, do not allow what you see to depress you. Good forth a prosper hun with happiness in your heart 🙂

        • lexi

          Yeah, I don’t think Rihanna thinks its that serious. She just posted what she wanted, nobody thinks they are above anything. Its just instagram.

          • DiannaFran

            Yes she did, after they re-activated her account she deleted it after. She felt some kind of way to do that. And people do believe they are above rules and regulations. Look at the article written above^^^ people feel they are above and beyond. This particular situation is full proof you agree or not. For people to behave in this manner about instagram and their rules…it’s more than just instagram to them.

  • Ewww

    Rumer Willis is clearly an idiot. Nobody wants to see that! I agree that people always have to take things too far.

    • correction

      That’s SCOUT Willis, not Rumer.

      • BeautyQueen

        She has middle child syndrome. Needs attention. lol

      • Ewww

        Oops thanks, originally they had it written as Rumer and then corrected it. I was wondering why she looked different.

    • StraightShooter

      Why is it wrong for a woman to go without a shirt? Men do it all the time.

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