Instagram: Banning #curvy is Just Plain Stupid

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By Jade Taylorson – Online Comment Editor


With the release of Meghan Trainor’s hit single “All About That Bass” and the rise of Tess Holiday’s modelling career earlier this year, body image advocates from all over have gone crazy over curves. However, the photo sharing site isn’t jumping on the bandwagon and if you’ve got it, Instagram doesn’t want you flaunting it.

According to a spokesperson from Instagram, ‘#curvy’ is said to have been used to share images and videos that violated the company’s community guidelines around nudity. Now, when you search for images using #curvy, you are presented with a blank screen, whilst other hashtags such as #dildo, #vaginas and #iloveboobs can be freely explored.

Instagram, I think you need to take another look at your list of “sexually explicit” banned hashtags.

Surely by stopping searches for ‘#curvy’ Instagram are implying that curves should be seen as a taboo – almost as if having a curvy figure is a shameful attribute. A high percentage of the fashion industry and media have body shaming covered and the last thing we need is the much loved social media platform joining in too.

It’s not difficult to spot the bias implication here. Hilariously, the decision was made that #skinny can still be used, is this because ‘skinny’ women are any less sexy than ‘curvy’ women? I think not. In all honesty, banning ‘#curvy’ won’t put an end to nudity on Instagram. What it will do is take away an empowering word that women use to make themselves feel beautiful.

It’s all good and well clamping down on stereotypically female related sexual descriptors, but what about the terms used to search for inappropriate images of men? The word ‘hunk’ has been used as a hashtag on Instagram 974,101 times – opening a door to thousands of raunchy images of naked men. So, why hasn’t ‘#hunk’ been banned?

Since the dawn of time women have been portrayed as sex objects. Numerous forms of media and advertising continuously depict woman as sex symbols and so people are brainwashed into thinking that it is more acceptable for men to be naked than women. By getting rid of ‘#curvy’, Instagram are supporting this ridiculous notion and are influencing others to think that way too.

Any female reading this article will agree with me when I say that there are a lot of words out there used to dehumanise women in regards to their figures, and it sucks. The word ‘curvy’ on the other hand doesn’t contain the negativity of words such as ‘fat’ and ‘thin’ – it doesn’t define one single body shape. In fact, it covers any body shape that isn’t perfectly straight, so basically everyone.

More importantly, for women who are forced to believe they are ‘plus size’ by the fashion industry, the word curvy is an energising, body positive term. It was the one word females could use to feel good about themselves and Instagram made it dirty.

If Instagram really do want to clean their site of inappropriate content, there are plenty of hashtags promoting anorexia and deadly diet pills that are poisoning our generation. It’s impossible for them to remove all content considered sexy. But they have triumphed in wiping out a powerful word which millions of users were using to share body loving images, not search for porn.

Well done, Instagram.

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