Instagram has thought better of its decision to revoke Australian modeling agency, Sticks and Stones after the agency posted a picture of two models in bikinis. Bikinis with jutting pubic hairs which the social media outlet initially deemed NSFW and out of bounds. But why?
At the time instagram de activated the agency’s account because it believed that the image of the two women donning bikinis with jutting (natural) pubic hair out of the seems was in contravention of its policies.
Instagram user guidelines ban ‘violent, nude, partially nude, discriminatory, unlawful, infringing, hateful, pornographic or sexually suggestive photos.’
Define pornographic, discriminatory, offensive, suggestive?
Yet the question remains had instagram over stepped its own boundaries when it deemed the picture of the two models with pubic hairs out of bounds and if so what are we to make of a social media bellwether which deems the display of natural hair (and by defacto how women ought to present themselves, natural inconveniences aside) unsavory and illicit?
It wasn’t too long before tabloid media land kicked up a fuss, with Mic.com,Cosmopolitan and other outlets plus an army of irate Instagram users — condemning the photo-sharing site for its stance on women au naturel.
Also conflating matters was the fact that the photo also contained the slightest glimpse at one of the model’s nipples, which could have given Instagram a reason to stick to its staunch no-nipple policy and take down the account.
After a barrage of complaints, Instagram told the Daily News that it ‘made a mistake‘ and reactivated Sticks and Stones’ account.
Offered instagram: ‘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.’
And if it was a matter of the sexes offending, Sticks and Stones director Ainsley Hutchence would tell the Huffington Post that he believed men ‘can get away with a lot more on Instagram.‘
Which poses the question are men getting away with a lot more and why are the depiction of women’s bodies held to a higher standard?
Jessica Lewis, a model who found the Sticks and Stones photo online, told Mic.com that Justin Bieber’s recent Calvin Klein shoot — which showed his pubic hair — was an example that men can show more on the social networking site.
The latest debacle comes after Chelsea Handler, Miley Cyrus and Rihanna, among other celebrities, have all had topless photos deleted from Instagram with #FreetheNipples becoming a trending hashtag on social media.
Above and below images via sticks and stones instagram agency