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

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.

instagram nipple female nipples rain dove
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?”

instagram nipple female nipples rain dove
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:

View this post on Instagram

DEAR INSTAGRAM: THIS ISNT SEXUAL. Sure, I may have my DD Breasts out. Nipples shining in the sun. But this is simply a game of basketball between two humans. One of those humans is actually a Pro Basketball player (@crissa_ace ) – who’s skills on the court are far more worthy of a stare than my swinging sacks of potential food providing flesh. But before You delete my IG POST let me DD-fend myself: #1: Your guidelines say “Female nipples”. I do not identify as “female”. Or “male”. So I am not violating your guidelines. #2 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? #3 What is considered “nudity” or “naked” changes culturally globally. In some places eye contact direct to camera is considered sexual. Showing your shoulders is considered lewd. Hugs are considered worse than kisses. Etc. Aren’t you a globally reaching company? Who’s opinion is controlling what is considered sexual? Can we have a chat one on one? I wouldn’t have had much of a chance at my career without my IG platform. I’m grateful for this app and what it has done to elevate my opportunities in life. I’m coming TO You. Not AT You. Please consider reviewing the language You use in your guidelines. 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. You reach around the world IG. Therefore you can change it- simply by hanging your language. LOVE ALWAYS, Rain Dove #IdenTITTY #genderqueer #lovewins #instagram #theboysarebackintown #genderfluid #lgbtq #womensrights #ThingsYouCANChange #Basketball #DDEFENSE 🎥 @connor_landhauser PS of this gets deleted I WILL repost every time. @katyperry

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What do you think about the Instagram nipple policy banning “female nipples”? Let us know in the comments.