All of this has made a lot of people, particularly female celebs, outraged – especially when Instagram’s policies, they say, are so hypocritical. Why are breastfeeding pictures that do not even reveal any nipple not tolerated while close-up shots of women’s breasts are? Food for thought, right? Many female celebs have fought back against Instagram’s censorship in the name of the “free the nipple” campaign, which fights for women to be topless wherever men are allowed to be, including on social media platforms. How have they been fighting back, you ask? By posting nude selfies and photos, of course. However, these posts were promptly taken down, to the sadness of us all. Without further ado, here are the top ten raciest photos that have been taken down by Instagram, for your viewing pleasure.
10. Scout Willis
Scout Willis, Demi Moore and Bruce Willis’ daughter, is not happy with Instagram. She was banned from the site after she posted a sweatshirt (yes, a sweatshirt) that had two topless women on it. Next, Willis went into full-blown protest mode, which is commendable. First, she started an anonymous Instagram account to post “only beautiful artistic nudes” as an experiment to see if Instagram would respond. She then walked around NYC topless. She posted some pictures of herself in NYC on Twitter, writing “Legal in NYC but not on @instagram,” while using the hashtag “#FreeTheNipple”. Instagram gave her account back (without the topless pictures), but the young Willis was having none of it. In a blog post, she wrote: “Women are regularly kicked off Instagram for posting photos with any portion of the areola exposed, while photos sans nipple — degrading as they might be — remain unchallenged.”
9. Cara Delevingne
Cara Delevingne, a model and actress, most known for her role as Margo in 2015’s Paper Towns, also took to Instagram in support of the “free the nipple” campaign, which involved posting a picture of a topless man and a woman, which pointed out the similarities between the breasts of both subjects. Underneath the picture of the man was the word “free” while “censored” was written underneath the woman. In an interview, Delevingne had this to say about Instagram’s no nipple policy: “they follow everyone else, and they’re trying to conform to everyone else’s opinions on bodies. Nipples are just another part: They’re like lips, they’re like noses, they’re like eyeballs.”
8. Kendall Jenner
One of the youngest in the Kardashian brand, model Kendall Jenner, shared a picture of herself walking the runway during New York Fashion Week. The picture had Jenner in a sheer top, which revealed both breasts. Although Jenner didn’t seem to mind, Instagram removed the picture. Interestingly, none of the other Kardashians have had their pictures snatched, even though Kim Kardashian is forever posing nude on Instagram (albeit with the black censored bar). Nevertheless, it appears that Jenner must have been unaware of Instagram’s no nudity policy because the picture was sans #freethenipples, unlike many other nipple loving contenders on this list.
7. Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus is no stranger to posing nude and so it comes as no surprise that she would openly protest against Instagram’s no nudity policy, by posing topless (what else?). The picture features her lying down on a bed with her arm over her chest while leaving both breasts exposed. The selfie is rather tame compared to others on this list, which comes as a surprise given Cryus’ love to shock. She aptly captioned the photo with “some lame a** deff gonna flag dat but f*** it.” This one was among the most quickly removed by Instagram.
6. Chrissy Teigen
Sports Illustrated model and television host Chrissy Teigen, uploaded a picture from a photoshoot which featured herself lying over a chair with knee-high boots and one of her breasts exposed. Instagram, naturally, didn’t like it and took the picture down. Teigen wasn’t happy, so she tested the waters to see how much she could get away with by reposting the picture but this time as a pencil and coloured sketch version of the photo. She captioned it: “ok what if it’s this classy oil painting.” Instagram took them both down. She expressed her displeasure on Twitter, writing: “the nipple has been temporarily silenced but she will be back, oh yes, she will be back.”
5. Courtney Love
A few years ago, Rihanna took to her Instagram account to post some photos from a photoshoot with French magazine, Lui. However, the photos had a topless Rihanna, which led to her account being shut down due to Instagram’s policy against topless women. Rihanna was not happy with Instagram briefly shutting down her account, which led her to delete her account (at least for six months). Rihanna was persistent about sharing the photos and then took to Twitter to post them there. She also snapped back at the controversy by sharing a photoshopped picture of herself in a very conservative suit, which she appropriately captioned: “Rih’s next magazine cover if it was up to Instagram.”
3. Naomi Campbell
Another fighter for the “free the nipple” campaign (while also trying to promote her new book), Naomi Campbell posted a picture from her modeling days. The picture is a black and white picture of Campbell who is topless, with one arm over her head and both breasts exposed. The picture leaves nothing to the imagination. With the hashtag #freethenipple, she posted the picture to both Instagram and Twitter, and as a surprise to no one, it was taken down on Instagram. However, it did manage to stay up on her account for 20 hours before it was eventually taken down, unlike some others on this list.
2. Chelsea Handler
Chelsea Handler wasn’t laughing after Instagram removed her photo, which featured her topless on a horse. She was making fun of Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, who also appeared topless while riding a horse. Interestingly, Instagram does not uphold this same standard for men, which led Handler to write: “If a man posts a photo of his nipples, it’s ok, but not a woman? Are we in 1825?”. She then took to Twitter to call Instagram “sexist” and to say that “Vladimir Putin has more 1st amendment rights” than her if Instagram were to take down the photo again.
1. James Franco
Selfie-loving James Franco has yet to be “banned” from Instagram or have any of his scandalous pictures officially taken down by the platform. However, in an interesting turn of events, there was some controversy over a nearly full-frontal selfie where he is topless and pulling down his underwear, which led him to take the photo down himself. This photo, despite being very risque, would likely not have been flagged by the Instagram censor Gods otherwise. Franco went on to post another similar picture, but decided for a second time that he should just delete it.