With social media sites like Instagram taking over people’s daily lives, censorship has become a big issue. Breastfeeding moms, models and girls sharing their #OutfitOfTheDay have been forced to blur out even the most covered nipples, after their photos have been repeatedly removed and profiles deleted. Of course, there’s no shortage of shirtless men on social media, so the double standard is clear, and infuriating. A new Instagram art project, @genderless_nipples tackles this head on, by posting nipple closeups where gender is indiscernible. The result has highlighted Instagram’s flagrant hypocrisy and American culture’s discomfort with the female form.
In just a few days, @genderless_nipples has become increasingly popular, with almost 6,000 followers chiming in to decipher whether the daily nipple belongs to a man or woman. Through these discussions, the creators, Morgan-Lee Wagner, Evelyne Wyss and Marco Russo, hope to start a real dialogue about sexualization that extends beyond Instagram, while challenging their policy.
“We are basically all the same, so why do female nipples get banned on Instagram and male nipples don’t? We don’t understand how violence in any kind of form is legal, while female nipples aren’t,” they said. “We hope we can spark a conversation between people—[…]after all, it’s a social media platform where we should all speak freely and engage with each other.”
Beyond heated debates, the profile has also tricked Instagram moderators, having had a male nipple deleted instead of female.
“No matter people’s gender, everybody should be treated equally,” they said. “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?”
With @genderless_nipples, Wanger, Wyss and Russo hope to encourage women to be more comfortable with their bodies, while fighting censorship and de-sexualizing the human form, especially nipples. They’re also probably on their way to becoming Insta-famous—that is, unless they get banned first.