Censoring nipples on social media platforms like Instagram has been a battle many have tried to fight. Instagram’s community guidelines strictly prohibit nudity, “including some photos of female nipples, but photos of post-mastectomy scarring and women actively breastfeeding are allowed”.

According to Instagram CEO, Kevin Systrom, the reason for their policy to ban female nipples is due to Apple’s stringent policies regarding inappropriate content. According to Systrom, if Instagram runs up against these rules in any way — like allowing the posting of nipples — the app runs the risk of being banned from the store.

Despite Apple and Instagram’s policies, a number of celebrities have come out in opposition including Chrissy Teigen, Chelsea Handler, Miley Cyrus, Rihanna and Scout Willis. These celebs and some Instagram profiles are challenging this ban and its double standard since Instagram doesn’t mind featuring men’s nipples.

Here are a few of my favourite Instagrammers who are challenging Instagram guidelines in the most creative ways:

Free The Nipple

This account has been fighting the “free the nipple” fight for a while through the use of posting illustrations, photographs and anti-censorship statements. Their account shows all shapes, sizes, and colours with pride and praises the human body for what it is… a body.


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Genderless Nipples

This is one of my favourite Instagram accounts that is challenging Instagram’s nipple censorships. The profile’s description says it all: “Men are allowed to show their nipples, women’s get banned. Support ALL genders! Let’s change this policy!”.

This account has found the most creative way to wage their war against censorship by posting close-up pictures of nipples, so that it is impossible to tell which gender it belongs to. The purpose of the campaign is simple: if Instagram can’t tell if a nipple belongs to a man or a women, they shouldn’t censor it.


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Chelsea Handler

Comedian and TV host, Chelsea Handler has been part of the #FreeTheNipple campaign for a while, and has had a number of her photographs removed on Instagram. Nevertheless, Handler continues to fight against Instagram’s double standards by posting images. She’s also taken to Twitter to clap back at Instagram’s policy.


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Chrissy Teigen

Chrissy Teigen is no stranger to having her photos removed from Instagram due to them being dubbed as NSFW. She is also known to Tweet responses to Instagram regarding the removal of her photos:

Teigen is always game to push the boundaries of just how much nudity she can post on Instagram and I’m all for it!


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Emily Ratajkowski

Emily Ratajkowski came very close to freeing the nipple on Instagram while posing in a transparent trench coat. She also posts various photos exposing her breasts, with the exclusion of her nipple, of course.


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Lena Dunham

Lena Dunham posted a topless photo showcasing the nipple covers she wore underneath a dress of an event. The image was posted with the caption “#FREETHENIPPLE cover.” Lena Dunham has been pretty vocal about her feelings regarding the censorship of nipples and Instagram’s policy in the past.


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Not only does this policy have a double standard, but it enforces society’s sexualisation of the female body. Nipples are nipples, and if Genderless Nipples taught me anything, it is exactly that!

Do you think the nipple should be freed? Let us know in the comments below.


Part of the Self Love Club, avid believer in Girl Power and always late, mostly because of my liquid eyeliner.

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