Health & Fitness

Instagram's Censorship Under Fire Again After Fitness Blogger's Cellulite Picture Deleted

Instagram doesn't always have a good track record when it comes to empowering women. First, there was its controversial policy to censor female nipples, which spawned the 'free the nipple' movement. While topless pictures of men were fine, the same images of women were deemed offensive, causing some groups to accuse the social media platform of being sexist and unfair. (That in term spouted the excellent @Genderless_Nipples account, which gets around the ban by posting nipples without showing the full person, so Instagram doesn't know if they are male or female).

Next, you might remember the picture of @rupikaur_ wearing trousers stained with period blood, which was removed. As she explained when she reposted it, it didn't go against any community guidelines: she's fully clothed and it isn't attacking any groups. 'I will not apologize for not feeding the ego and pride of misogynist society that will have my body in an underwear but not be okay with a small leak. When your pages are filled with countless photos/accounts where women (so many who are underage) are objectified. Pornified. And treated less than human.'

Most recently, there was the furore over the decision to delete a picture of three curvy girls in swimsuits. Writing on Instagram, the owner of the image @curvesbecomeher said: 'Do 3 fat girls in swimsuits equate to gore, porn, racism, sexism? Or is it that people only want to see slim girls in swimsuits?'

Now, the social network is under fire for removing a picture of fitness blogger Mallory King. Why? According to King, it's because it showed cellulite. In response, King reposted a similar picture, showing her boyfriend giving her thighs the thumbs up, and another giving the middle finger.

As King points out, 'Why do thousands of posts go unremoved that show butts and boobs in WAY more vulgar ways than mine? Is it because my cellulite is offensive? Is it because I'm not trying to be sexy? Is it because I don't have the body type that is continuously shared on here?'

The image was reported after it was regrammed on a body positive account - @sundaymorningview - which really leads you to question why people are trolling something that stands for such a great thing.

It must be said that Instagram does have a good track record when it comes to rectifying such mistakes - and often issues apologies for such behaviour.

One such occasion occured last year, when they restored a 'belfie' of @meghantonjes, in the vein of Kim Kardashian et all.

'We try hard to find a good balance between allowing people to express themselves creatively and keeping Instagram a fun and safe place,' Instagram's spokesperson said. 'Our guidelines put limitations on nudity and mature content, but we recognize that we don’t always get it right. In this case, we made a mistake and have since restored the content.'

Instagram is also good at fostering communities of people - with the body positive community in particular finding a home on the app. At last check, there were over 2 million posts hashtagged #bodypositive. It also works to stop dangerous posts; it recently set up a system to stop self-harmers and has worked tirelessly to curb pro-anorexia accounts. While it obviously needs to work even more on its censorship policies, we as users need to start thinking before we report something.

READ MORE: The Body Postive Trend Taking Over Instagram

READ MORE: Why Chrissy Teigen's Stretch Mark Picture Matters

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