It’s no secret that platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Tik Tok censor their content – what you might not know is how unfair they’ve been about it. Saying completely medical terms like vagina, penis and vulva on Facebook can land you on comment bans, having a female nipple showing in a photo can lead to your account being banned or removed on Instagram and Tik Tok continues to treat content from plus sized posters unfairly. 

Those are just a few examples out of a growing list. 

A few weeks ago I posted this photo calling out Instagram for it’s unfair post removals – and ironically, it got removed for going against nudity guidelines. So I went ahead and reposted it a second time.

The only nudity in this entire photo are the Playboy models. I checked once again right before writing this: all those photos are still on the Playboy feed. So there’s two options here.

One, my post is being removed for the Playboy model nudity and their feed is remaining untouched.

Two, I myself am considered nude and graphic when I’m neither. 

Then it once again got removed. This time, I wasn’t even notified about its removal. So here we are. 

Some thoughts I had while taking these:

  • Why
  • This isn’t comfortable
  • Literally nobody does any of this
  • No
  • Siri remind me to sanitize this horse
  • Seriously nobody naturally does any of this

Humour aside I spent a lot of time scrolling through IG pages in the last 48 hours since realizing my last clapback post was taken down again. It’s been questioned if it’s been removed because of the nudity within the Playboy screenshot and that answer doesn’t make sense: those photos are all still on the Playboy page itself.

Is it me? Is it really my body that’s offensive and needing to be removed?

The more I search through IG the more pages I find filled with models in bras and underwear or completely nude. The more I click through related pages the more I find skinny, photoshopped women that aren’t even censored not being removed. The more I scroll, the more obvious the lack of variety in race, size and age becomes.

There’s is nothing, in my opinion, wrong with nudity. I think the human body is an incredible, natural piece of art. There are endless possibilities with its uniqueness; its colours, folds, sizes and shapes. We’re created and grow into a body that is ours alone and that’s a fact that should be celebrated and flaunted. But we live in a world where we automatically sexualize a naked body – especially a woman’s body.

I can also understand and accept that nudity is not every human’s cup of tea. I don’t expect everyone to suddenly start posing nude on their own pages. But I don’t think that our discomfort gives us an open invitation to shame, report and feel the need to cover up a woman’s body – especially when it’s because it doesn’t fit into a certain beauty standard. My body is just that – mine. What I choose to do with it is my choice alone.

We love to praise the skinny and shame the fat. We love to praise the smooth and shame the wrinkles. We love to praise the photoshopped and question the untouched. It shows in what stays and what goes on this platform and platforms like Tik Tok as well. It shows in the comments that get left on vulnerable posts from strong, worthy accounts. It shows in the messages that pop up. 

In the past I’ve said that Instagram needs to do better in supporting the movements and celebrations that are happening on its platform and while I still think it’s true, I think it’s bigger than that. It’s not just up to Instagram – it’s up to everyone. It’s up to everyone to support those who are speaking up for what they believe in. It’s up to everyone to stand up against hate. Instagram, clothing companies, magazines – nobody will make changes if they don’t feel the pressure to make the change.

So how do you help?

On Social Media:

  • Comment, like and share the content from the creators you support. When content gets reported and/or removed on Instagram, it’ll place the creator on a shadowban and hide their content from being seen on feeds, explore pages and under hashtags. Creators depend on interaction and shares! 
  • If someone’s content speaks to you, let them know with a comment or a DM! It can be hard and exhausting to put the work into these subjects and content. Hearing that it’s being appreciated helps!
  • Fight against the naysayers. Reply to haters with true facts and report any hate speech. 

Outside of Social Media:

  • Support brands that support diversity in their sizes and media. 
  • Write to the brands you want to support who don’t and let them know that’s why you won’t be supporting them. 
  • Speak up when you hear hateful talk against other races, sizes and general body talk. 
  • Most importantly: however you feel comfortable showing support. 

Having three daughters has made body confidence, as well as body fairness, a huge priority for me. I mean realistically having three daughters has made a long list of things (see feminism, fair wages, medical choice freedom, lower waste choices…) a priority for me. But if they aren’t confident in themselves how will they be confident in other aspects of their life?

So I continue to fight for a future where saying vagina on Facebook won’t get them banned, where a nipple in a breastfeeding photo on their Instagram won’t get removed and where they can be any person they want to be.  

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