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Boob Nail Art Is A Small But Meaningful Fight Against Sexism

Boobs have been forcing their way onto Instagram for quite a while.

Despite the #FreeTheNipple campaign, created in 2012 to promote gender equality and to fight against the unfair policing of women's bodies, Instagram has a history of removing photos of women who bare their nipples on the app.

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Behold, boob nail art.

Celebrity nail artist, Mei Kawajiri of Nails By Mei, created this eye-catching design that features nipples in various shades, including some with piercings. Her customer, Erose Aziza, sported them on her Instagram page with the hashtag “#FreeTheNipple.”

Now this is how you celebrate the sanctity of the female anatomy.

The nails join a number of efforts that Instagram users have made to fight what many see as the sexist policing of women's bodies on the app — like the “Genderless Nipples” and “Nipple Art” pages.

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Bare nipples, particularly female ones,  aren't usually allowed on the app.

Remember when Rihanna infamously deleted her account after they removed photos of her Lui magazine cover, on which she bared her flawless and fashionable nipples while posted up in a pool?

Miley Cyrus and Chelsea Handler have also defied Instagram's policy against showing breasts on the site, which only seems to affect women.

The site did start allowing mothers to post breastfeeding photos (after a few years of removals) in 2015 and “some photos of female nipples” to be shown, according to its community guidelines.

This is evidenced by Amber Rose's sneaky nipple preview in a sheer bodysuit at Coachella 2017.

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Instagram Even Removes Photos Of Masectomy Scars

Still some discrepancies and photo removals have popped up, like in September 2016 when Instagram removed topless photos of a woman showing her mastectomy scars.

Breast cancer survivor, Ericka Hart, had her photo removed by Instagram, with a note about it violating “community guidelines.”

Instagram's policy on post-mastectomy photos reads,

Yes. We understand that undergoing a mastectomy is a life-changing experience, and that sharing photos can help raise awareness about breast cancer and support the women and men facing a diagnosis, undergoing treatment or living with the scars of cancer. The vast majority of these kinds of photos are following our policies.

Hart's other post-mastectomy photos were not removed.

Before that, the Pink Ink Fund page, which is dedicated to post-mastectomy tattoo photos, was removed from Instagram in 2015, as reported by Buzzfeed. After social media outcry, Instagram restored the page and gave the following statement to the site,

We wrongly removed this account and immediately worked to fix the error as soon as we learned of it. We are very sorry for the mistake.

This Is Bigger Than Nipples And Insta Pics.

The conversation about what is and isn't considered the appropriate display of women's breasts has been longstanding.

The nipple nuisance on Instagram may be first-world problems, but remains a symptom of a bigger issue when it comes to the sexualization of the female body on and offline.

Women's nipples are so often considered sexual body parts that even the natural process of breastfeeding or the very emotional experience of living with mastectomy scars can be challenged.

Meanwhile, men go topless in any place except for, maybe, the occasional store with signs that read, “No shirt, no shoes, no entry.”

This is all thanks to the incorrect assumption that female nudity is sexual, while male nudity is acceptable in moderation.

With paint, tattoos, or fun nail art that might chip in a couple of days, women are standing up to defeat these sexist microaggressions with mini-movements on social media.

And it's these small acts of defiance that push us toward greater changes in the way the world honors and normalizes our body autonomy.

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Marquaysa Battle

Editor

Marquaysa is a dog mom, music junkie and lover of all things #BlackGirlMagic. She can be found shamelessly live-tweeting Ratchet TV Mondays or gazing at puppies on Insta. She has a Master's degree in journalism from NYU.
Marquaysa is a dog mom, music junkie and lover of all things #BlackGirlMagic. She can be found shamelessly live-tweeting Ratchet TV Mondays or gazing at puppies on Insta. She has a Master's degree in journalism from NYU.

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