The Internet has produced a new space for images of bodies, especially for overly exposed images of female bodies, which are being banded from spaces such as social networking sites for showing too much nudity. Social networks such as Instagram have been known for having strict restrictions for any inappropriate images that leak major nudity or display women’s nipples.
Recently there has been an up rise in discussion around the Free The Nipple protest within online social media. The Free The Nipple protest is aiming to allow the acceptance of women’s rights to expose their femininity freely within the web. They are constantly challenging online networks such as Instagram, to allow images of female nipples to be shown without any restrictions. It’s the several females and female celebrities who are challenging the social networks by purposely exposing their nipples while being highly aware that they’re breaking the guideline rules and will have their photo taken down or have their accounts temporally blocked.
An example I found revolving around this topic is when singer/actress Miley Cyrus posted a picture of herself on her Instagram account exposing her nipples on purpose. The comment she posted under that picture was a clear indication that she not only knew her picture was a violation of Instagram’s terms, but she knew it would eventually be taken down from her Instagram page. She stated, “Some lame ass deff gonna (flag emoji) dat but fuckkkkkkk it”, following by using the hashtag, #FreeTheNipple, to help promote the movement.
Other celebrities such as, super model Cara Delevigne has also taken part in promoting this revolution of women’s freedom. Talk show host, Chelsea Handler is known for her several topless images she posts on her Instagram, which are presently still being taken down from her account. Singer Rihanna took down her own Instagram account because she disagreed with their nipple-banning rule.
The action of these popular celebrities displaying these images within highly popular spaces of networks has helped attract the attention this revolution needs. Considering that these celebrities have a connection to a growing amount of followers, both men and women, has helped these images and their message to continuously being circulated among other sites.
As we have discussed in class, the theory of narcissism within online bodies explains that certain rules within these social networks where basically shaming certain bodies from participating. In the case of social network Instagram, narcissism is shown by banning women’s nipples in images, giving women the impression that those images are seen as an abusive act of the female body within the online world.
I am interested to see just how far women can bend the rules, break the rules, and create a new set of equality for something as simple as exposing their nipples within the space of social networking sites. Why is that men are allowed to expose them, but woman are not?
By: Mirelle Lupovici
Senft, Theresa. (2008). Camgirls: Celebrity and Community in the Age of Social Networks. Ch.1. (15-31).
Image Source: Hathaway, Jay. Gawker. “Miley Cyrus Frees Her Nipples in Topless Instagram Photo”. http://gawker.com/miley-cyrus-frees-her-nipples-in-topless-instagram-phot-1675985556. March 11th, 2015.