RIP THE LABEL v. Instagram: A Threat to Equality and Freedom of Expression

As we logged into Instagram on December 7th 2014, we were greeted by a message informing us that our post was removed for not following Instagram’s ‘Community Guidelines’. The remainder of the message read:

“Please read our Community Guidelines to learn what kinds of posts are allowed and how you can help keep Instagram safe.”

Now you might ask what had we posted that ‘threatened the safety of Instagram’? The photograph was a preview of our upcoming collaboration, depicting a scantily clad model lying on the edge of an infinity pool. According to Instagram, being female and having nipples is not only obscene but also dangerous.

Shortly after, our Instagram account was deactivated citing ‘violation of terms of use’ as the reason for its removal. Which leaves us with a burning question: Why is the physicality and sexuality of a woman deemed offensive and unacceptable by society? And why is this message perpetuated by media outlets such as Instagram? What we have to recognize is that this message is an offense consistent with the stoning of women for having sexual relations, female genital mutilation to prevent sexual pleasure, and mandatory veiling. Although varying in severity, all are gross violations of human rights and stem from society’s desire to control and limit the female sexuality.

We propose a revolution to bare society’s hypocrisy and reclaim the female body and sexuality. We demand for female bodies to be recognized as equally valuable as their male counterparts, and strongly believe males and females were destined to empower and elevate one another. We will not rest until all bodies are revered and their beauty celebrated.

“An injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.