Instagram Is Changing Its “Breast Squeezing” Policy (Kind of)

You may now cup or hug your own breasts, but Instagram still has to draw the line at squeezing, apparently.

Woman wearing leopardskin print bra, close-up
Cupping or squeezing? Instagram will make that call.
Getty Images

As we know, Instagram really hates boobs. However, the platform has announced it will be paring back its war on breasts ever so slightly after model Nyome Nicholas-Williams spent months campaigning against Instagram’s rigid restrictions.

While Instagram is still determined to never let a female-presenting nipple see the light of day, the platform will now allow “content where someone is simply hugging, cupping or holding their breasts,” an Instagram spokesperson told Business Insider. But before we get too carried away and go about squeezing our chests with wanton abandon, Instagram has made it clear that “breast squeezing” is still strictly off limits.

“We do have to draw the line somewhere so when people squeeze their breasts in a grabbing motion with bent fingers or if there is a clear change in the shape of the breasts, that content will still break our rules,” the spokesperson said, adding that the new policy would apply across both Facebook and Instagram.

This extremely minor shift comes after Nicholas-Williams, a Black, plus-sized model from the UK, launched a campaign after photos of her from a photoshoot were removed from Instagram back in August. The model argued that while her images, which showed the model with her arms crossed over her bare chest, were taken down, comparably revealing photos of thin, white women did not receive the same penalty.

“Millions of pictures of very naked, skinny white women can be found on Instagram every day,” Nicholas-Williams told the Observer in August. “But a fat black woman celebrating her body is banned? It was shocking to me. I feel like I’m being silenced.”

Instagram said that after an investigation, it found its “breast squeezing” policy had been inappropriately applied to Nicholas-Williams, prompting the vague revision of the policy.

Ultimately, not a whole lot has changed. Instagram is still weirdly obsessed with women’s breasts and what they do with them; now the platform is just drawing even more bizarre delineations between what does and does not constitute permissible breast exposure. So while you may now feel free to go forth and hug your breasts on Instagram, make sure you don’t squeeze too hard.

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