Instagram Bans The Hashtag Curvy

Ok girls it is time for another rant. I know I am ranting quite a lot here recently but there is just every other day some thoughtless body shaming or other stupidity going on. So recently I just really have to vent… a lot.

 

Its Instagram, Again

So what has happened this time? This time it’s Instagram, again. After banning the female nipple, pubic hair peeking our of a bathing suit, women on their period and not to forget being one of the breastfeeding nazis (read more here). Not to forget to time and again take down bra selfies of women above a size 10 while those of skinny women are fine. It is now shame to get shame people based on their bodies once again, as they have now put the word #curvy on their blacklist, which will not allow you to search for this hashtag anymore.

So when you as a larger lady post your next cute outfit on Instagram you might need to reconsider what hashtag you want to use if you would like to enable people to find you… Words you can choose now I guess are:

  • fat
  • chubby
  • chunky
  • corpulent
  • rotund
  • overweight

By the way #fatf*** also still works, in case you would like to use thatLovely isn’t it?

 

Why #Curvy Matters For Plus Positivity

But let’s be honest most terms have very negative connotations. The word curvy is a word that finally was a positive word, a word that enabled someone that will have struggled with a very negative body image for a long time finally to start looking at themselves in a more positive light

The debate of what to call your body type when you have a few more kilos on you has been going on for quite a while. And admittedly some #curvy women might be a little more round or boxy and some people really get weirdly angry about people that do not sport a traditional hourglass shape and call themselves curvy.

Does this really matter so much to the rest of the world that the word curvy is getting a second definition if it helps a fair amount of people gain a better and more loving self image. While I personally have made my peace with the word fat and have no problem calling myself a fatty at times, it is still hurtful for many. I am sure the word curvy will have contributed to  giving a lot of women out there a positive self image, they can identify with.

 

Official Reason For Ban – Nudity

So why have they banned it. A spokesperson from Instagram apparently stated that a lot of the images tagged with the hashtag #curvy contained a lot of nudity.

Just the fact that a lot of the images that contained this hashtag apparently also contained a lot of nudity to blanket ban it, while a lot insulting and bullying terms can still readily be used by the trolls out there to put people down, that is just not a jhourglassshapeustification and a completely wrong approach.

 

This Is What Instagram Still Allows

So let’s have a look at what Instagram in it’s endevour to reduce nudity still allows: like #dildo, #sextoys, #asses, #pornos, #bigfatass, #titsandass and #pornstargay, these are fine but #curvy clearly has to go.

 

#dildo, #bigchest, #pornos, #pronostar, #asses, #boobshadmelike, #bigfatass, #titsandass
#dildo, #bigchest, #pornos, #pronostar, #asses, #boobshadmelike, #bigfatass, #titsandass

Next to these sexual terms Instagram also allows you to search for an array of negative and insulting terms regarding overweight that are not only containing a lot of  nudity (depending on the specific term in question) but also are used to bully people some examples are #obese, #fatf***, #fatbitch and #fatpig. Yay for Instagrams priorities.

#obese
#obese

So now let’s have a look at what happens on the other side of the weight range, ins specific: what happens when you search for keywords like skinny or thin. Shouldn’t those attract pretty much the same type of pictures and shouldn’t Instagram react in the exact same way here? Well yes to question 1 (some nudity here as well) but a big fat no to question 2.

#Skinn

 

Instagram obviously is aware that that these pictures are containing an amount of nudity as they warn you when you when you click on the hashtag that the results contain graphic content, so they are aware of the nudity here. However these terms along with other searchable terms like #ana and #mia are known trigger terms  for eating disorders, which Instagram also seems to be aware off and solves with a link to an eating disorder site, but you can still go through and admire the thigh gaps and see all the images of self harm, diet tips and food diaries.

Screenshot_2015-07-15-19-27-35

So bottom line is  they do allow sexual terms, derogatory terms all aspects of the other side of the weight range, despite being aware with all the issues connected with those terms, while a term that has had body positive  effects for so many people gets straight away banned? Wait can somebody please explain that for me? I am not sure I understand their logic.

 

Why Not The Same Type Of Warning?

For some clarification. I am not asking to ban keywords like skinny, but rather ask for same treatment for the word curvy. Couldn’t they have slapped another one of those content warnings on it? If you like even with a link to a nutrition page for help with weight issues if someone at Instagram is worried about the health of the posters.

 

Not sure about their agendy

The bottom line is, I am not quite sure what their agenda is here. I can’t believe that the ultimate goal was to decrease nude pictures and their accessibility. Firstly because of all the offensive terms out there that I can’t believe they have not approached before this one but mainly because there is a very simple and targeted solution if they really wanted to target nude pictures.

 

If It Is About Nudity Why Not Use Nudity Detection Software?

Monitor the keyword with a program scanning for images containing nudity would be the perfect solution… Captain Obvious. Yes these programs do exist, they were made to speed up checking computers of suspects for illegal pornography and the way they work is scanning images for flesh tones (a little more complicated but that is the bottom line). These programs are so good, they can do this even for black and white pictures.

Apply this, with a few employees who check the pictures that it spits out as blocked. If you want to go with even less effort directly block the images or warn the users that their image is going to be blocked within a few hours if they don’t submit it for a review and boom only those are are submitted for being falsely detected need to be reviewd even more time saved. There you go, a fairly non complicated and targeted solution found.

 

An Alternative Movement Is Already There

Luckily the body positive movement is alive and well and there is already a protest movement forming within Instagram that have come up with an alternative term. So you don’t need to use the words from the list above, use the tag #curvee. There are already more than 500 images with this tag and they are getting more by the minute.

Screenshot_2015-07-15-18-47-53

 

What Do You Think

So what do you think about the #curvy search ban? What do you think about Instagrams approach and will you miss the term or do you think it won’t make a big difference? I would love to hear from you.

Lots of love

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