Genderless Nipple Photos Aim to Challenge Instagram's Sexist Double Standard

December 7th 2016

For the past few years, women's rights advocates, such as the online movement #FreetheNipple, have been calling out Instagram's nipple double standard, which seems to unfairly target women. Now, there's a new Instagram page whose creators are trying to challenge the platform in a very thought-provoking way.

The photos below may be considered NSFW. 

Genderless Nipples, a new Instagram page with nearly 3,000 followers as of Wednesday, was created by three advertising students as a reminder that "everyone develops nipples before genitals determine the gender," according to an email release.

"So far we’ve only had very positive reactions, we got over 100 emails with nipples from people supporting the cause, we are gaining a lot of followers each day and people seem very interested," Genderless Nipples co-creator Evelyne Wyss told ATTN: via email. "The comments are very interesting. [P]eople are debating and talking, we [have sparked] a conversation that’s exactly what we want."

The project posts close-up photos of nipples to show that male nipples and female nipples look alike and should be treated the same. It's also taking aim at the controversial Instagram nipple policy, which forbids the posting of "some photos of female nipples" but doesn't have such a rule for male nipples which many critics have called a sexist double standard.

"[The three creators] asked themselves how they could hinder Instagram so female nipples wouldn't be deleted anymore," Genderless Nipples wrote in the email release. "Simply by showing male and female nipples so close-up that they look too similar to differentiate. If it’s hard for them to determine if the nipple is male or female, then how can they sexualize one and not the other?”

Wyss added that she has received comments from people who try to guess the gender of the nipples photographed in the page's posts and around 60 percent of the guesses are usually incorrect.

"Proves exactly what we are trying to get out there," she explained to ATTN:. "We’re equal."

She went on to note that Genderless Nipples hasn't had any contact with Instagram but that the social platform recently removed a photo that showed a male nipple.

"[Two] days ago we had one of our male nipples removed by them, saying that we violated their community guidelines," she said. "They can't tell the difference between male and female nipples. So why even bother banning female nipples if they can be so similar? They have just proved our point, basically. We hope we can make them listen to us and react to our generation’s opinion."

ATTN: has reached out to Instagram for a statement on Genderless Nipples and will update this piece when we hear back.

Similarly, self-described viral consultant James Shamsi posted a photo of a male chest on Instagram in August 2015 and asked his friends to report the image as inappropriate. The image was removed but reinstated after he told Instagram that it was a photo of a man and not a woman's chest. Shamsi told ATTN: that he conducted this experiment to call out the social platform's treatment of women's nipples.

"I believe in fighting for equality wherever and whenever possible," Shamsi told ATTN:. "For me, reinstating the photo was them acknowledging the silliness of their own policies, [it] goes to show just how little difference there is for both male and female nipples... All the feedback I've received, so far, has been overwhelmingly positive."

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