Warning: This post contains lots of close-up shots of nipples. If you don’t like it, don’t look.
Nipples: Everyone has them. Only some of us get to show them on Instagram.
Instagram’s policy on nudity ― which permits men’s but not women’s nips ― has plagued the internet since the advent of the photo sharing app as a censorship double standard, one that artists have not hesitated to point out in the past.
For many, the frustration stems not just from the policy itself, but what it suggests: that women’s bodies are inherently sexual, obscene, in need of policing. Not to mention that art history is a rich jungle of naked bodies ― from Renaissance nudes to feminist conceptual photographs ― and not being able to share them online is a major bummer.
A new Instagram account called “Genderless Nipples” is out to save Instagram from its own BS, posting close-ups of the soft and perky nipples of people of all genders. The brainchild of students Morgan-Lee Wagner, Evelyne Wyss, and Marco Russo, the project shows that regardless of what gender you identify with, a nipple is a nipple ― sensitive, lumpy, fuzzy and strange!
In an email to The Huffington Post, the minds behind “Genderless Nipples” explained how the project was triggered by the recent presidential campaigns. “During that period, so many horrible things were said by candidates, and their supporters, about woman rights and gender equality, that we decided we should do something about it,” they wrote. “And what better way to start spreading a message of gender equality than pointing out the rules of social networks?”
While nipple inequality is perhaps not the most pressing manifestation of sexism in our country today, it’s one of the few that can actually be addressed productively on social media itself. After beginning the project with nip pics donated by their colleagues and friends, the OPs invited anonymous individuals to email their own photos for posting.
Wagner, Wyss and Russo agree that gender politics are evolving and Instagram needs to wake up and keep up. “No matter people’s gender, everybody should be treated equally,” they said. “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.”
Or more lightly put, as expressed in one of their comments: “They’re just nipples! And we love them!”
Do you have a nipple, or even two? Send those fleshy knobs to firstname.lastname@example.org to help close the nipple gap on Instagram once and for all!
UPDATE: The original Genderless Nipples Instagram account was deleted, according to Wagner, Wyss and Russo. The nipples, however, live on at the newly created account @Genderless_Nipples.