Fat people on Instagram have been noticing a disturbing double standard when it comes to supposed “violations” of Instagram’s guidelines, especially in pictures that show some skin.
User @Laceangelmodel posted a picture that was removed despite her being fully covered with the comment “This photo was removed and taken down for being a violation. Where?I’m fully covered!!! Someone threatening to kill me in my comments was not a violation, but this photo is.”
It’s especially disturbing when compared to what thin people can post with no problem.
It’s not just pictures that are being removed — though that would be bad enough. Accounts are also being “shadow banned” — a practice where IG limits who can see pictures to the user and their followers, vastly reducing their ability to be found and seen, especially through hashtags.
As @fullerfigurefullerbust put it “I’ve defo been shadow banned on instagram – I can tell because my posts never make ‘top posts’ on hashtags with few posts, and my likes have vastly depleted. If I were a slim woman posting similar content then this wouldn’t happen. Fat bodies are being muted, and I’m not ok with that. I post content that I know for a FACT empowers and emboldens others, and yet because my body isn’t ‘perfect’, I’m given a disadvantage. The size 10 women showing how at some angles they have chins and a stomach roll get 468010k likes – because that’s acceptable. That’s temporary. My big fat body isn’t. And it’s punished.”
Instagram has already been under fire for treating female and male presenting nipplesdifferently. This new inequality in moderation is, like the ‘free the nipple’ protest, about the autonomy of women and femmes. It’s also about the ability of fat people to have and be role models. Representation matters; a fat person searching for the account of a fat person they admire, or searching a hashtag like ‘fatpositive,’ should be able to see positive representations of fat bodies without size-based censorship from Instagram.
Sarah Rosen @sehustlerosen and Lou Xavier @misslouxavier had enough. They decided to fight back with an online protest using the hashtag #fatisnotaviolation.
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Published by Ragen Chastain
Hi, I’m Ragen Chastain. Speaker, Writer, Dancer, Choreographer, Marathoner, Soon to be Iron-distance triathlete, Activist, Fat Person.
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4 thoughts on “Fat Is Not A Violation”
Not a bit surprised. Most of society expects fat people to self-edit themselves out of social enforced shame. When you stand up to it and demand to be seen in the same light as EVERYBODY ELSE they counter, argue, shame, deny, and attempt to alter or eliminate the imagery. Control in the information age. The people/corporations that own the companies that broadcast the images control what the company allows to be seen. On and on and…off.
Those were all awesome pictures! Social media has a horrible history of maintaining the status quo.
I said this to @laceangel:
It’s a sickening double standard when people can say terrible things about another person and that’s not a violation, but having a body different from society’s narrow view of beauty is somehow a “violation.” I think it is a very nice picture.
BTW, I am sick of seeing Kim Kardashian’s overexposed self, whether she is nude or clothed. I don’t know why she is popular. She’s egotistical and boring.
Free the Nipples notwithstanding, I can clearly see Kim Kardashian’s (female) nipples, so surely that is a violation of their actual stated rules!
And people wonder why I don’t use InstaGram.