Street Art Banished by Instagram

January 2015


Description: I'm not entirely sure how many cultures this image could piss off, really. I apologize for the offends. It's a quick camera phone capture of some rain-washed pasted-up paper street art I found on Bedford Avenue, Williamsburg. The veiled, topless woman, rife with religious symbols, gives us a heavily tatt'ed finger. "Thug" arches up her stomach in Hebrew(?) script.

Of the many this ways this blurry image could inflame someone somewhere around the world, it was probably the nipples that got it banished from Instagram. I got a stern note from the service about how this snap violated the Instagram's community guidelines (under clause: "Keep your clothes on," I take it).

Instagram's ongoing nipple ban applies only to the ladies, and, for this, it has found much derision amongst free thinkers. Arbitrary corporate decisions about community standards are silly enough. They're less amusing when they reinforce outdated, oppressive cultural norms, re: #FreeTheNipple. Who is Instragram protecting? And what are they being protected from?

See also: Boobs of Bushwick.

Location: Williamsburg, New York

Keywords: Street Art, cultural decency, paste-up, nipples, art