Kit Steinkellner
Updated Jul 16, 2015 @ 3:58 pm
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Instagram has a history of blocking and banning things we DEFINITELY do not think should be blocked or banned. We’ve talked before about how the social media giant has deleted accounts of plus-size girls in underwear and swimsuits, claiming the photos violate nudity and mature content guidelines. This would be fine were it not for the fact that Instagram does not delete pictures of thin girls wearing comparable things. We’ve also talked about how they delete women’s nipples. Sigh.

Now, Instagram has a problem with the hashtag #curvy. As users discovered recently, you can’t search #curvy on Instagram. You can search #curvygirl, #curvyfashion, #curvywoman, and #curvystyle, but when it comes to plain old #curvy, you’re outta luck on Insta.

So what’s Instagram’s deal with the hashtag? A spokesperson for Instagram explained to Mashable why the company put the kibosh on #curvy.

“I can confirm that we did block the hashtag #curvy. It was being used to share content that violates our guidelines around nudity,” the spokesperson wrote to Mashable. “Please note that the block has nothing to do with the term ‘curvy’ itself.”

OK, problems here. There are TONS of hashtags you can still search that are WAY more applicable to the whole nudity guidelines thing than #curvy (#boobselfie, anyone?). Also, reading between the lines, “content that violates guidelines around nudity” sounds pornographic in nature, but if that’s the case, then why can you still search hashtags like #pornostar, #pornlife, and #dildo?

Here’s the thing. “Curvy” is a word used to describe a body, just like “thin” or “fat,” and those words are still very much searchable on Instagram. We’re very uncomfortable with the fact that curvy, an adjective that so many fuller-figured women find so empowering, is no longer an available search word on the platform. Maybe it was used in conjunction with photos that did not pass muster, but guess what, Instagram? It was also used as a hashtag for lots of photos that 100% complied with community guidelines. To take away a word that is so important to so many women who have done nothing but follow the rules you set forth is to make these women feel unvalued on Instagram, and there’s no filter you can use that will make that look OK.

The cool news is, people aren’t putting up with this and are putting their beloved hashtag within the bodies of posts themselves as a form of protest:

While we love users pushing back, what we would REALLY love is if Instagram acknowledged the unfairness of this ban and let the people have their #curvy. As Clover Hope at Jezebel so eloquently put it, “other hashtag terms like #penis and #fatso continue to thrive.” C’mon Instagram, do the right thing.

[Images via Instagram]