Instagram has announced that it will introduce a new policy, changing its regulations around nudity for different body types.
The move comes after the social media platform received backlash for censoring images of plus-sized model Nyome Nicholas-Williams, which prompted her to launch a month-long campaign against the popular app.
WE FUCKING DID IT!! @ginamartin @alex_cameron and I...we changed an Instagram policy! Look what happens when three women set out to change the world! We have put our heart and souls into this campaign and to see it come to fruition is insane! The observer newspaper (which is out today) has covered the campaign from the beginning and have written another article which highlights the hard work Gina, Alex and I have done (although it states they launched the campaign) this is in fact not the case as Gina, Alex and myself strategised for three months to ensure a change would happen. Hang tight for the full details of the policy change, as I will be detailing more information soon. We worked very hard on this and managed to get Instagram and @mosseri attention and there's still a lot of work to be done, as black plus sized women continue to be censored in many ways; and white women STILL tried to hijack and make it their campaign. There is of course a huge racial imbalance in the algorithm that still exists as white bodies are promoted and don't have to worry about censorship of their posts but black bodies still have to justify presence on the platform, this has also been brought to Instagrams attention! But when we put our minds to it... we can achieve literally ANYTHING!! I’d like to thank the 16 amazing humans that put their names to our open letter and that helped us push our campaign forward! The Instagram policy changes on the 28th, it outlines the difference between 'breast holding' or 'cupping' which is a celebration of body and 'breast grabbing' which is deemed to be pornographic, these images are censored to protect underage users but this policy change should allow them to better differentiate self expression/ art from pornographic content. Hopefully this policy change will bring an end to the censorship of fat black bodies. The last three have been absolutely wild to say the least but we move and move things we did! 🙌🏽💫 Nyome Nicholas - Williams
A photo posted by @curvynyome on Oct 25, 2020 at 5:00am PDT
According to a report by InStyle, a spokesperson for the tech giant revealed that as of tomorrow (October 28), both Instagram and Facebook will update their policies "to help ensure all body types are treated fairly".
The new rules will allow "content where someone is simply hugging, cupping, or holding their breasts," but will continue to ban photos in which "people squeeze their breasts in a grabbing motion with bent fingers".
The altered policy comes into place after Nicholas-Williams spoke to The Guardian's Observer about her experience on Instagram, explaining that pictures from her lingerie shoot with photographer Alexandra Cameron kept being deleted from her account.
"Millions of pictures of very naked, skinny white women can be found on Instagram every day," she told the publication. "But a fat black woman celebrating her body is banned? It was shocking to me. I feel like I’m being silenced."
After publicly calling out the platform, Nicholas-Williams' followers showed their support by launching the hashtag #IwanttoseeNyome, and the campaign quickly gained traction.
Hello to all of my new followers, I have never done one of these posts before so here goes! My name is Nyome but those closest to me call me Ny, I am 28 years old the mother of all scorpions, a plus sized model and activist. I’ve been modelling for 4 years and most recently I sort of fell into activism when my image got taken down on this very platform two months ago and a campaign was started #IWantToSeeNyome by @ginamartin @alex_cameron and myself to get my images reinstated and to really tackle why black plus sized bodies are so routinely censored. We have made huge steps and the guideline are being reviewed on how Instagram tackles semi nude images, however there is more to come... My space is a safe one, one that I have cultivated over a number of years and I will always be open to speaking to people and having conversations but remember boundaries and to respect them also to be mindful that we all have our lives and things happening external of this platform, and to think about how your “opinions” can affect people. I say what I feel and I mean what I say and I am never afraid to speak up if I’m passionate about something... even if it’s not something im passionate about I’ll still talk 🤷🏾♀️. My DMS are turned off and my comments are limited as I don’t feel I need to be accessible to everyone. Also while I’m here brands small or large please ASK me if you wish to collaborate or use any of my images as inspiration for a line you’re creating, please don’t feel inclined to just use my body for your consumptions and then not pay me. Enjoy my page and thanks for following 🦂♥️ Nyome Nicholas - Williams
A photo posted by @curvynyome on Oct 15, 2020 at 5:35am PDT
Announcing the new changes made by Instagram in a recent post, the model shared that she, alongside Cameron and campaign lead Gina Martin, have been working tirelessly to get the new policy in place.
"We worked very hard on this and managed to get Instagram and @mosseri attention and there's still a lot of work to be done, as black plus-sized women continue to be censored in many ways; and white women STILL tried to hijack and make it their campaign," she wrote.
"There is of course a huge racial imbalance in the algorithm that still exists as white bodies are promoted and don't have to worry about censorship of their posts but black bodies still have to justify presence on the platform, this has also been brought to Instagram's attention! But when we put our minds to it... we can achieve literally ANYTHING!!"
You, go girl!
Sagal is a journalist, specialising in lifestyle, pop culture, fashion and beauty. She has written for a number of publications including Vogue, Glamour, Stylist, Evening Standard, Bustle, You Magazine, Dazed and Wonderland to name a few.
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