Recent details concerning the policy surrounding Instagram photos of women’s breasts was released late last week. Their position still stands on not allowing nudity on be shared on the social media platform, but have opened up on their “keep your clothes on” policy as its restriction had been criticized in the past for allowing topless men and not women.
“We don’t allow nudity on Instagram. This includes photos, videos, and some digitally-created content that show sexual intercourse, genitals, and close-ups of fully-nude buttocks. It also includes some photos of female nipples, but photos of post-mastectomy scarring and women actively breastfeeding are allowed.”
Although Instagram will still restrict women from showing nipples, allowing the posting and sharing of women breastfeeding (no slips) is a step towards fairness. Having the freedom to breastfeed have been in the news these past few years, because women are being stripped of their ability to naturally feed their children(s) by opposition(s) from the public. There are currently 48 states that legally protects mothers’ rights to breastfeed wherever and whenever they want, and yet there is still this stigma that surrounds breastfeeding in public. Reintroducing breastfeeding into a culture that is dominated by formula milk (actually, the corporate world) is difficult, so it is common to find resistance or isolation. Like anything that is different in today’s society (e.g. GLBTQ rights), society takes a long time to have behavior and social change (e.g. identifying the problem, researching the problem, and applying specific solutions to those that are directly and indirectly affecting it), so the efforts for change needs to have a lot of commitment.
In the article, Breastfeeding: A Feminist Issue by Penny Van Esterik, Esterik stated 6 points in defending breastfeeding. Out of the article, the points that I believed to be the most reasonable in defense for breastfeeding is that: 1) breastfeeding is a way for women to control their own body, and challenges a male-dominated society which draws businesses from lessening the value of the women body; 2) it challenges the media model of women as consumers; 3) it challenges the view that women’s breasts are primarily sex objects; 4) it requires changes in society to improve women conditions and placements.
As stated above, the women’s body have been stigmatized as a sexual entity, and is difficult for any women to feel comfortable and safe when they are out in society. Correcting the sexual label of women breast and allowing the freedom of the women body will be difficult, but it will empower them to challenge other inequalities that they are facing and accept their own women figure as it is. It is good that popular social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram (part of the Facebook industry), and Twitter have opened up their policy on allowing their freedom to present themselves this way. Even celebrities, as seen on the link above, are pushing for more appreciation of breastfeeding, because it is not only about fairness, but as mentioned earlier, this is also about empowering women and society to acknowledge all forms of the women body.