This Guy Just Challenged Instagram's Nipple Policy in a Very Clever Way

August 21st 2015

As women continuously Photoshop male nipples over female ones on social media, one man is taking a new approach to mocking Instagram's policy and the double-standard against female nipples in part of the rising #FreetheNipple movement.

Los Angeles-based startup advisor James Shamsi recently posted a zoomed in Instagram photo of a male chest that closely resembled female breasts and called on his Facebook friends to report the image as inappropriate to Instagram. The photo was indeed removed by the platform, but when he told the company that it was actually a snapshot of a male chest, the picture went back up. Shamsi decided to create this experiment to further expose the double standard behind Instagram's nipple regulations:



"UPDATE: Instagram reinstated the photo because these were male #facepalm," he wrote on Instagram.

Shamsi, who created the app #KardBlock to block Kardashian content from one's feed, told ATTN: that he conducted the nipple experiment to show love for #FreetheNipple and help draw attention to gender inequality at large.

"I believe in fighting for equality wherever and whenever possible... from creating #KardBlock to make the internet fairer in getting real news out there instead of Kardashian news all the time to help fighting nipple inequality," he said.

When asked how he felt about Instagram reinstating the photo after learning it depicted male nipples and not female ones, Shamsi said, "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."

Speaking to the Daily Dot, Shamsi said he was inspired by all the recent #FreetheNipple posts saw on social media.

“I saw a lot of posts recently about #FreeTheNipple by friends, so I started looking into it just this week,” Shamsi said. “Soon enough I realized [Instagram and societal] policies are still a little archaic when it comes to the perception of the Human chest. So, I wanted to see for myself and prove to Instagram just how silly their policies are.”


Well-known #FreetheNipple proponents

As we have noted before, many famous women have slighted Instagram's anti-female nipple policy through social media posts of their own. Last year, Bruce Willis' daughter Scout took to Twitter to share a topless photo of herself in Manhattan to show that it's legal to bear one's breasts in New York City yet forbidden on Instagram:

Actress Cara Delevingne cheered on #FreetheNipple last year as well:

In late 2014, Chelsea Handler uploaded a topless picture of her on a horse to emulate the famous photo of Russian President Vladimir Putin doing the same thing. This image was banned on Instagram multiple times, after multiple attempts by Handler:

Model Chrissy Teigen, who is well-known for her active presence on social media, has also been a major advocate for the message behind #FreetheNipple. This year, Instagram removed one of her topless W magazine photoshoot images, and she responded by posting this photo that hides the sight of her nipple but still reveals much of her breast:

Teigen took a subtle swipe at Instagram by posting a photo of husband John Legend's rear end. The platform did not remove that photo or consider it inappropriate:

Teigen told Mashable in a recent interview that she doesn't post this kind of content to start controversies or problems, but because it shouldn't be an issue in the first place to upload topless photos to social media.

"The fact that I have to censor myself from my photo at all when there are full-on porn being shot across Twitter and Instagram every day is crazy," Teigen said. "But women are beautiful and if it's a beautiful photo that isn't vulgar, then who cares?"

Share your opinion

Do you think social media companies should ban female nipples?

Yes 12%No 88%