Update! After censorship double-standard debacle, Instagram does the right thing
So Instagram was in some pretty hot water this week after deactivating the account of Australian web magazine Sticks and Stones. Up until a few days ago the mag had an active Instagram account with hundreds of thousands of followers. That is, until they posted a photo from a shoot in which a model’s untrimmed pubic hair was visible around her bikini line. The account was quickly banned, people went (rightfully) wild.
Well turns out Instagram also thinks they made the wrong choice, and announced to the Huffington Post that they had reactivated the Sticks and Stones account. An Instagram spokesperson told the Huffington Post: “We try hard to find a good balance between allowing people to express themselves creatively and having policies in place to maintain a comfortable experience for our global and culturally diverse community. This is one reason why our guidelines put limitations on nudity, but we recognize that we don’t always get it right. In this case, we made a mistake and have since restored the account.” That is downright awesome.
Here’s the image that got Sticks and Stones banned:
The double standard here was that the photo would have been 100% fine if they posted a picture of a male model with his happy trail on display. But on women hair down there, is considered indecent.
“Unfortunately Instagram has ruled out natural hair that appears on all bodies of women that don’t trim their bikini lines,” Ainsley Hutchence, Sticks and Stones’ director, told Mic. “”But Instagram seems to be OK with man pubes. Clearly this is absolutely sexist. Instagram believes women should wax or get off their platform.”
Instagram has enforced this no-female-pubes rule before, censoring a photo (and temporarily deleting the account) of photographer Petra Collins thanks to visible pubic hair peeking out from a pair of briefs.
As for men’s bodies, there seems to be a lot more Insta leniency. In addition to shirtless men not being censored, there is a strong middle finger to the ladies via the fact that the recent Justin Bieber Calvin Klein underwear ad (which was a huge hit on Instagram) actually had pubic hair Photoshopped in. Sigh.
It’s no secret that there’s a double standard when it comes to beauty habits of women and men. But let’s not forget that growing hair is a natural adult thing and how you deal with it should be your own choice. It certainly should not be Instagram’s. And it looks like Instagram is finally realizing that too.