Read the full article by Kate Storey at Esquire.com

 

The protest is scheduled for June and called #WeTheNipple. The organizers, artist Spencer Tunick and the National Coalition Against Censorship, shared details exclusively with Esquire.

Artist Spencer Tunick has battled Facebook and Instagram over its stringent “community guidelines” banning nudity for half a decade. Tunick, who organizes and photographs large groups of nude people around the world, first had his Facebook page disabled in 2014 after posting a carefully pixelated image of 75 women in Portugal. Apparently the color gradiations in the nipples were too visible. Since then, it’s been a push and pull of meticulously censoring his artwork in hopes the images won’t be removed—or worse, his account deactivated.

But now, he’s sending a powerful message directly to those social media platforms. On June 2, between 100 and 200 people will gather in New York City, posing naked to challenge Instagram and Facebook’s nudity policies. Tunick and the National Coalition Against Censorship are organizing the project, called #WeTheNipple, with the goal of convincing the social platforms to allow artistic photographic nudity.

“I get it. I don’t want my daughters on an Instagram full of pornography,” Tunick tells Esquire. (He has a 12-year-old and a 14-year-old.) “But there has to be a way artists can have a voice to show their works. There has to be some formula, whether it’s the YouTube way where you’re reviewed and there’s an 18-or-older button that’s pressed. Or, for starters, equalize the male and female nipple and not deem the female nipple as violent.”

Instagram’s current community guildline reads:

We know that there are times when people might want to share nude images that are artistic or creative in nature, but for a variety of reasons, we don’t allow nudity on Instagram. This includes photos, videos, and some digitally-created content that show sexual intercourse, genitals, and close-ups of fully-nude buttocks. It also includes some photos of female nipples, but photos of post-mastectomy scarring and women actively breastfeeding are allowed. Nudity in photos of paintings and sculptures is OK, too.

So, in effect, certain artistic portrayals of nudity—sculpture and painting—can exist on the platforms, but not photography. And, of course, male nipples are A-OK while most female nipples are not.

Kate is a writer for Esquire covering culture, politics, style, and lifestyle. She spent two years as Hearst Digital Media’s News Director, managing an international shared news desk. Before joining Hearst, she was a features editor at the New York Post.