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Genius nipple campaign could change the way we share tattoos online

Handpoked boob tattoo by tattooist Lydia Amor. Photo: Instagram

Handpoked boob tattoo by tattooist Lydia Amor. Photo: Instagram

Nipples, nipple tattoos, boobs and boob tattoos… they’re beautiful, we’re beautiful. Let’s try and change the world, and #FreeTheNipple!

OK, so let’s backtrack. For anyone who needs the background story first – photo-sharing website Instagram has a rule whereby photos of female nipples are banned, but male nipples are not. This is the reason behind the constant lady nip-coverage and blurring you see in posts.

This causes a massive fucking ball-ache for artists uploading photos of chest tattoos on women. Show just a small section of the female nipple in your tattoo photo and bye-bye. Your photo will be banned and your profile may be temporarily, or even permanently removed. I’ve personally been there myself. I shared a boob tattoo once and had to fight for months to get my Instagram account active again. I know many artists who have lost their digital portfolios for forever.

Handpoked boob tattoos by tattooist Lydia Amor. Photo: Instagram

Handpoked boob tattoos by tattooist Lydia Amor. Photo: Instagram

Anyway, we’re talking about so much more than social media profiles here. Why should men be allowed to show this part of their body online, but women can’t? This strict rule isn’t because of a sensible crack-down on ‘sexualised’ images because a simple small icon covering the nipple allows your (saucy, or non-saucy) picture to pass through Instagram’s invisible gate. Is that tiny, 1 pixel by 1 pixel circle, really so offensive?

Mandala side boob tattoo by Brian Geckle. Photo: Instagram

Mandala side boob tattoo by Brian Geckle. Photo: Instagram

But fear not. New Instagram profile Genderless Nipples has a genius idea that sends out a strong message to Instagram bosses. They post close-up images of nipples, but leaving the question are they male or female in the air. Who knows… and who cares. If this campaign can make a statement that changes the rules, it could completely alter the way artists can share their work on online platforms stress-free. The photo below by tattooist Aaron Piechocinski was taken down three times.

A world of beautiful tattoos without awkward boob-hand-coverage? Maybe one day!

Tattoos by Aaron Piechocinski. Photo: Instagram

Tattoos by Aaron Piechocinski. Photo: Instagram

Even doing research for this article, when I browsed the hashtag #freethenipple on Instagram, I repeatedly received this certain error message: “Recent posts from #freethenipple are currently hidden because the community has reported some content that may not meet Instagram’s community guidelines.”

Boob tattoo by Thomas Somebody. Photo: Instagram

Boob tattoo by Thomas Somebody. Photo: Instagram

Photos on the Genderless Nipple Instagram profile are accompanied by funny messages such as: “Dear Instagram, why don’t you try and figure out which nipples you can and cannot delete? Good luck! Equality isn’t voluntary – it’s necessary!”

Hats (sorry, I mean, shirts) off to you, Genderless Nipples, you’ve got my vote. Follow Genderless Nipples on Instagram.

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