#FreeTheNipple Activists Are Now Painting Boobs on Their Fingernails to Protest Instagram

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By Heat Street Staff | 11:41 am, June 10, 2017
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For months, nudity-loving feminists have been complaining about Instagram’s restrictions on the portrayal of women’s nipples. Their most eccentric form of protest had been felt nipple brooches—that is, until this week.

Now, #FreetheNipple activists have nipple nail art.

Japanese nail artist Mei Kawajiri, now a Brooklyn resident, designed the nipple nail art. It’s a diverse manicure. The skin tones of the nipples displayed on each finger vary from black to white, and some of the nipples are also pierced.

In an email, Kawajiri said the design was intended to communicate that “women should be free to express themselves. Whether it’s through fashion, art, makeup tattoos or nails! It is a form of feminist freedom! Women power!”

Instagram currently bans images it considers sexually explicit, including female breasts, though it makes notable exceptions for some photos that depict breastfeeding, mastectomies or artistic works.

“It is not always easy to find the right balance between enabling people to express themselves while maintaining a comfortable experience for our global and culturally diverse community of many different ages, but we try our best,” an Instagram spokesperson told Heat Street earlier this year.

#FreetheNipple activists view the prohibition on female breasts as gender discrimination, and they’ve sought out creative ways to thwart Instagram. In addition to wearing felt nipples, some have posted close-up pics of nipples that make it hard to identify gender. And one breast-cancer charity even created singing nipples last month for a social-media campaign.