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Does Instagram have a problem with #curvy women?

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Last year, Instagram deleted a picture of a plus-sized teenager in a bikini, stating that she had violated community guidelines. 

Now, the social media platform has caused a bigger storm by banning the hashtag #curvy.

This move has led to protests by women on Instagram and other social media sites.

The reason "curvy" got the boot? 

According to ThinkProgress, an Instagram spokesman said the tag was being used to share pornography, which is strictly forbidden on the site.

But some Instagram users said they found many pornographic images when they searched other hashtags as well. 

Does Instagram have a problem with #curvy women

The women up in arms at the recent ban seem to believe so. As does Samm Newman – the teen whose picture was deleted last year

While #curvy - along with #butt and #thighs - has been banned, netizens pointed out that other hashtags, some with less than savoury connotations, were still accessible, and also pointed to pornographic images. 

One Twitter user further highlighted a possible double standard by Instagram when she posted about the hashtags #skinny and #thinspiration still being accessible. 

Thinspiration refers to images or videos of slim women, often celebrities, whose bodies may range from being slim to emaciated.

The term is often linked to promoting eating disorders like anorexia. 

Female artist Sam Roddick, who has been blocked a number of times by Instagram for uploading photos of work which resembled genitalia said that she feels that Instagram's company philosophy is "emotionally and intellectually unhealthy and psychologically damaging towards women".

She said: "My issue is not with what Instagram are allowing, my issues is what they are not allowing.

"It is so important that platforms like Instagram get behind positive self and sexual expression – body hair, gender representation, body shapes and all the realities of being human."


Samm Newman, the teen whose picture (below) got deleted last year, knows all too well about about being banned for what she deemed as positive self expression.

After uploading a picture of herself in a bikini with the hashtag #bodylove, the teen received a message saying that her picture had violated guidelines that prohibited "nudity or mature content".

Newman then searched for other images with the hashtag #bodylove and found that there were many other pictures of women who were in the same amount of clothing as her.

The 19-year-old then started reporting those pictures to Instagram and found herself forced out of her account on the picture-sharing social media site two hours later. 

Said Ms Newman:

"I was crying, I was so devastated.

“I contacted Instagram relentlessly for help, and I basically felt like message I got was to shut up and go away, so that’s when I decided to go to the media.

“We have to face bullying our whole lives, and we finally get to a place where we have a voice.

"And they are shutting us down again.”

In the wake of the negative press surrounding Newman's photo incident, Instagram issued a statement:

“We are truly sorry for our mistake here. When reviewing reported content from the Instagram community, we don’t always get it right. As soon as we were made aware, we restored the content.”

But will the #bringcurvyback campaign work as well to make Instagram retract their decision?

Elle reported that in a show of solidarity, an entire community of plus-sized bloggers and fans are posting selfies of themselves, using the hashtag #curvee instead to bring awareness to their protest.




Source: ThinkProgress, Dispatch Times, Elle, Stuff