I love Instagram, after Tumblr and Twitter it’s probably the social network I use the most and I regularly post pics of stuff that’s caught my eye.
Of course, like all social networks it’s not without flaws. It’s got some ridiculous censorship rules, including a real problem with Lady nipples, and there have been several instances where they’ve caught flak for deleting or banning pictures. But recently they’ve outdone themselves by banning an entire search term.
The term they’ve banned is “#curvy”.
The term is used on a lot of posts, largely body positive posts, with women using it to show their pride and confidence in their body shape. It’s a tag that MWG has used on several of her pictures.
Instagram’s reasoning is to do with trying to stop nude photos, but that doesn’t ring true. Firstly, if you want to post a nude you could use any hashtag you wanted, and secondly, a lot (most?) of the pics with this tag are clothed shots. Plus size fashion lines use it, plus size models use it and your average Josephine uses it as well.
It just seems like a daft decision, and one that has been criticised a lot. Why has this term gone but others, more offensive ones have remained?
And when I say “more offensive” what I actually mean is offensive because only the biggest prude could consider “curvy” as offensive.
It’s not like it’s a sexual term.
What sucks is that curvy is probably the best catch all term to use for plus size women. I’m not saying every larger lady likes the term but it seems more widespread and less problematic than others like “BBW” or “plus size”. It has the edge over “chubby”, which could seem more infantile and less attractive, while being shorter and simpler than “voluptuous”.
It leaves a bad taste in the mouth that Instagram has banned a term that inspires self love and confidence in a group of women who often find themselves on the outside or at the butt of jokes. It could be argued that Instagram are equating being curvy as being unacceptable or wrong.
They’ve taken away a popular term which helps ladies self-identify and gain confidence. More than that it allowed women to find others with similar body types in order to feel less “different” and inspired. Seeing someone of the same size and shape oozing confidence and looking good can really help women view themselves in a more positive way, as evidenced by the positive impact Tess Munster has had on people like Hannah Boal.
I hope that common sense triumphs and Instagram can change their policy and bring curvy back. For the time being the curvy ladies of Instagram have switched to #curvee. Part of me applauds them for working around it, but the spelling pedant gene I’ve inherited from my mother makes me cringe at the spelling.
Anyway, I hope that the curvy/curvee women continue to use Instagram to express their confidence and acceptance, fostering a community of women who support each other in feeling better about themselves and realising that beauty doesn’t have a size.
From a personal perspective the absence of curvy as a search term isn’t a big deal. I don’t really search for it because if I want to look at a gorgeous curvy woman I just have to turn and look at MWG.
Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.