Instagram is being heavily criticized for their sexist act of deleting the artist Petra Collins’s account for a reason that wasn’t even against their policy.
For those who don’t know who Petra Collins is, she is a 22 year old Canadian photographer. Her “racy” photos, as some may say, push the boundaries to send messages to females everywhere that it is okay to love your body, no matter what state your body is in.
What Collins posted was a picture of herself, waist down in a light blue bathing suit bottom. Of course, Instagram would normally allow this; there are millions of men and women who share Instagram posts in bikinis or even underwear. However, in this photo, Collins partially displayed some of her pubic hair. This led people to call into question the double standard which Instagram holds.
How can Instagram allow men show off their pubic hair to display their masculinity, but if a women wants to show off their femininity by doing the same they cannot? How can Instagram go as so far as deleting an account which empowers women to love their own body, with or without hair? How can Instagram define what a female body should look like? Who are they, a social media site which should aid in the expression of yourself, set guidelines which define femininity or anything else for that matter?
Collins writes more in her Huffington Post article about how she felt personally attacked for her artistic post : “These profiles mimic our physical selves and a lot of the time are even more important. They are ways to connect with an audience, to start discussion, and to create change. Through this removal, I really felt how strong of a distrust and hate we have towards female bodies.” She showcased her body in the natural state it is in, in a completely nonsexual way, it is no wonder she felt personally attacked by Instagram’s censorship.
Instagram, inevitably, gave Collins her account back. Yet, it still raised the debate of why woman have to be shamed into looking a certain way, online and offline, and how Social Medias can now control, shape and censor the female body more and more.
Featured image screen grabbed from Petra Collin’s Instagram.