Male nipples are having a moment, and it’s surprisingly all in the name of freeing the female body from censorship.
Last June, artist Micol Hebron posted an image of a male nipple on Facebook and suggested that women replace their nipples with the template to make them acceptable for social media.
The idea recently began to recirculate across social media, and women are using Photoshop to cover their bare breasts with male nipples. Though some photo-sharing platforms routinely remove women's images in which their nipples are exposed, men's topless photos are fair game.
Which provides an obvious solution:
This one was reported again. So here it is with two MALE NIPPLES stickers that I put on to cover my illegal FEMALE NIPPLES! So now you can't say shit, this is so fucking wrong and this is not equality. #malenipples #freethenipple #freethenipplecampaign #freethenipple2015 #female #femalenipples #my #body #natural #fucksexism #sexism #feminist #feminism #bw #covered #with #nipplestickers #tydligen #buzzfeed ! @freethenipple
'Hebron was frustrated with the way female nipples were hypersexualized while male nipples seem to be completely permissible. So, Women who are tired of having their topless photos removed from social media have begun using male nipples to cover up their breasts.' #malenipples #fightingboobcensoreship #micolhebron #nipplesarenipples ? #weallarefuckingequal #boobs #fuckyourrules #societydoesntmatter #mylifemychoice #hypersexualising
According to Instagram's community guidelines, "female nipples" are allowed in posts, but only in certain contexts.
I dag har vi kjøpt oss nytt basseng, et såkalt Fill 'n fun pool. Min søster nekta å flytte seg da jeg ville ta bilde av det for å legge ut på sosiale medier. Heldigvis fant jeg en #malenippletemplate så jeg fortsatt kunne legge ut bildet. #basseng #dagensinnkjøp #funinpool #splashandplay #malenipples #freethenipple #notfemalenipples
The Free The Nipple movement, a campaign focused on the general censorship of women’s nipples, also urged women to upload images and replace their offending lady areolae with virtual male nipple stickers. Free The Nipple advocates for equal rights for men and women as well as the right to comfortably breastfeed in public. It spreads its mission through social media and a film (aptly titled "Free The Nipple") that "follows a group of young women who take to the streets of New York City topless, to protest the archaic censorship laws in the United States."
Singer Courtney Love shared her support for the campaign with an Instagram post recalling Hebron's idea and challenging the photo-sharing platform's guidelines.
Other celebrities to get behind Free The Nipple include Miley Cyrus and Lena Dunham. Most recently, Chrissy Teigen had NSFW photos from a W Magazine photo shoot taken down and responded with another topless pic and a strategically placed hairspray bottle.
the nipple has been temporarily silenced but she will be back, oh yes, she will be back— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) June 29, 2015
Whether it's a hairspray bottle or a male nipple, covering female nipples is easy. But if the Free The Nipple movement and its supporters have anything to do with it, it will soon be unnecessary.