Instagram Blocked The Hashtag #Curvy But Still Allows #Fat And #Skinny
Instagram has long been criticized for its censoring tactics, particularly when it comes to the presentation of women's bodies.
And now, to make matters worse, it blocked a hashtag used to celebrate those said bodies: #curvy.
As Mashable reports, a search for the offending hashtag on Instagram comes up unsuccessful. Instead, a slew of related hashtags such as #curvygirl, #curvyfashion and #curvywomen are offered in lieu of the original.
While photographs of so-called curvy women are still admissible, it's the principle behind the ban that's worrisome.
While a spokesperson for the social media platform insisted the ban was instigated to prevent nudity, hashtags such as #vaginas and #clit are still allowed, suggesting Instagram doesn't have a problem with nudity, per se, but rather with real women's bodies that aren't culturally "perfect."
And then there's the issue of body shape.
You can tag a photograph with the term #fat or #skinny (even #fatass or #skinnybitch), both of which are used, more often than not, as insults.
But #curvy, a word usually used in praise and a body-positive descriptor of the average woman's body, is off limits.
Sam Roddick, a feminist activist, argues Instagram's newest policy reflects and reinforces the deeply-rooted social practice of judging a woman's value by her body and how she uses it.
In an interview with Huffington Post, she said,
[Instagram has] banned images of breast feeding, stretch marks, domestic images of menstruation and classical art works that respectfully portray nude women and now [it bans] the hashtag #curvy. While [it allows] bitch, fat, slag, hookers, thin -- this is not a safe platform for women and especially young girls (as we all know Instagram is populated with nude images of young women effectively selling themselves sexually).
But what can we do about it? Go on an Instagram strike?
That's not likely to happen, and Instagram is not likely to change its policies; the company didn't after the public outcry over its censorship of women's nipples.
All we can do, really, is fight back quietly. Flood the platform with the pictures it's so scared of seeing, but adhere to its ridiculous tagging rules.
It's absurd we have to resort to the equivalent of guerrilla warfare to share photographs of ourselves with friends.
But then, there's a lot of absurdity in our culture, and despite our best efforts, it persists.
If nothing else, we can at least say: F*ck you, Instagram.