This Genderqueer Activist and Model Made a Video to Fight Instagram’s Nipple Policy

This Genderqueer Activist and Model Made a Video to Fight Instagram’s Nipple Policy

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Rain Dove, a model and activist, has just posted a new video to Instagram calling out the platform’s policy about censoring “female nipples.” Though Dove has double D-size breasts, they don’t identify as female (or male, for that matter). Dove’s video features a shirts-and-skins game against professional basketball player Crissa Jackson, designed to call out the Instagram nipple policy’s hypocrisy.

Rain Dove (Courtesy Rain Dove’s Instagram)

The video, titled “Dear Instagram: This Isn’t Sexual,” (below) features footage of a basketball game between Jackson and Dove, overlaid with subtitles addressing the Instagram nipple ban. A more complete version of Dove’s argument is laid out in the video’s caption.

Dove points out that while they may have their breasts out, “nipples shining in the sun,” the video merely depicts “a game of basketball between two humans.” (Dove points out that because Jackson is a professional player, her skills are far more interesting that Dove’s breasts.)

They then go through a three-pronged argument as to why the ban on “female nipples” is hypocritical. First, though Instagram bans “female nipples,” Dove doesn’t identify as female, so therefore, their breasts are not “female breasts” and their nipples are not “female nipples.”

But Dove realizes that while that argument may work for themselves, it doesn’t apply to many people. So goes their next argument: “Even if I did identify as ‘female’ — ‘females’ can have pecs. ‘Males’ can have breasts. And if you argue only people with pecs are considered ‘Male’-bodied — pecs can be bigger than breasts and vice-versa. Both can also lactate. Both can also be fetishized. What’s so different?”

Courtesy of Rain Dove’s Instagram

Finally, Dove points out that if the “female nipples” ban is about sexuality and banning nudity, those concepts are defined differently across cultures. “In some places, eye-contact direct-to-camera is considered sexual. Showing your shoulders is considered lewd. Hugs are considered worse than kisses. Aren’t you a globally reaching company? Who’s opinion is controlling what is considered sexual?”

Dove’s argument also includes potential solutions. They’re clear to say that they’re grateful to Instagram for helping their career, and that they’re “coming TO [Instagram], not AT [it].” Dove merely wants attention to be paid to the language used in the Instagram nipple policy. Or, as they put it:

Either make it so NO one can show their nipples or everyone can. You’re creating a division that’s reinforcing the vulnerable feelings people with breasts already feel. Fear, shame, objectification. Stop targeting “females” specifically. Instead might I recommend addressing INTENTIONS — equally. It’s kind of obvious when someone is creating work with specifically salacious intention. A shirt off is not enough for a conviction. 

Well said.

Watch Rain Dove’s video calling out the Instagram nipple hypocrisy below:

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