Instagram are A-OK With Vladimir Putin’s Scary Bear-Fighting Body, Still Not Happy With a Couple of Boobs


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Another day, another big controversy about someone’s nips. This week, US comedian Chelsea Handler posted a (truly excellent) photo on Instagram of her straddling a horse topless a la Vladimir Putin. Putting the photo alongside the original of the bear fighting, karate kicking Russian leader, Handler posted the shot stating “Anything a man can do, a woman has the right to do better. #kremlin”

But sadly that doesn’t seem to be the case. Due to Instagram’s rigid anti-boob community guidelines the image was pulled down. “You may not post violent, nude, partially nude … pornographic or sexually suggestive photos,” the guidelines read. “Accounts found sharing nudity or mature content will be disabled and your access to Instagram may be discontinued.”

It’s a complaint that’s cropped up time and time again. Earlier this year, Rihanna protested Instagram’s staunch anti-nip policy with a few controversial posts that have since been removed, and Bruce Willis’ daughter Scout walked through New York topless as a political demonstration. Strangely enough, it’s legal to walk through Manhattan with your boobies out for all to see, but it’s totally not cool if you want to share a selfie of it. Both became poster girls for the perfectly titled Free the Nipple campaign.

As much as I really don’t want to talk about Vladimir Putin’s hot bod, it’s safe to say that he also has nipples. So why is it that Handler’s breasts were the problem? In fact dudebros on road trips around the world are no doubt snapping awkward pictures of them flexing while shirtless and posting them to Instagram as we speak. All this while Lena Dunham, champion of excellent nudity and utter self-confidence, had to blur her nips this week.

Of course, Instagram’s community guidelines aren’t the cause of all this. The female body has been a sight of fetishisation for centuries. It’s going to be a long time ’til women’s nipples are free. But in the meantime, can we at least ask that men be held to SOMEWHAT similar standards. We live in a world where a mother can be censored from sharing a photo of her newborn premature baby being fed with friends and family but this — this is A-OK.