Art student challenges ‘sexist’ ban on nipples on Instagram with new project

One London art student has found a clever way around Instagram’s guidelines about displaying women’s nipples.

Central Saint Martins’ Camila Gonzalez Corea says it’s “sexist” and makes them into art instead.

She runs photos submitted to her through a programme and recreates them using emoji for The Nipple Act.

Many people think it’s unfair that posts showing female nipples are censored and removed, but men’s aren’t.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BU_k6e2gQIV

The strict rules on social media regarding nudity is one of the reasons Camila says she started the page.

The 22-year-old’s told Newsbeat: “I see nipples as a female organ which in my opinion can be seen as both sexual and not sexual.

“But by banning the showing of it, what these platforms are doing is immediately rendering the organ as exclusively sexual.

“This, in my opinion, is the kind of behaviour which encourages the hyper-sexualisation and objectification of women which exists both inside and outside of these platforms.”

Camila, who’s from Costa Rica, says she learned about people fighting social media guidelines while researching for her university dissertation.

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“Whilst doing my research, I stumbled upon a lot of writing which talked about feminist cyber-activism as well as the impact these cyber-spaces which we live in have in modern feminism,” she says.

“I became very interested in this way of approaching feminist activism and this project was basically my first go at it.

“The concept was mainly inspired by the account @genderless_nipples. I just found their way of cheating the Instagram algorithm so clever.

“It inspired me to come up with something which served a similar purpose.”

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The photos, Camila says, are submitted from members of the public – and feedback has mostly been positive.

“At first, when I started the project, I was asking friends and family to send me images and some of them said no, but I actually found out how the majority of women are actually really relaxed about it and agree to it, more than I originally thought.

“I get messages filled with positivity and encouragement to keep the project going on a daily basis.

“I only got some negative feedback when an article about the project appeared in a viral site which articles are mainly targeted towards men.

“In the comment section, some men criticised me for using the concept as an excuse to create a porn platform in Instagram, which is exactly the opposite of what I am doing.

“That said, I am actually very happy that the project reached audiences which think of nipples as exclusively sexual, I hope it gave them something to think about.”

https://www.instagram.com/p/BUzdPrEAF8z

When asked what is next for the project, Camila says she wants to continue to fight against female perceptions on social media.

“The idea is to keep making projects which actively challenge the norms and conventions which exist within social media platforms,” she says.

“I am actively challenging the terms and conditions, but I am also interested in challenging some of the very recurrent behavioural patterns which we also find within them.

“Patterns which perhaps help to feed sexist stereotypes of women.”

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