The State of the Nipple: Still Not Free, According to Instagram's New Nudity Policy

Victory on the revenge porn front, though.

Woman holding her breasts
(Image credit: Getty)

Don't toss your strategically placed emojis/stars/hearts/Xs just yet—Instagram has "revised" its community guidelines, and most photos of female nipples will still incur the wrath of the censors.

In a document posted Thursday, the photo-sharing platform expanded on its old "keep your clothes on" rule, stating: "We know that there are times when people might want to share nude images that are artistic or creative in nature, but for a variety of reasons, we don't allow nudity on Instagram. This includes photos, videos, and some digitally-created content that show sexual intercourse, genitals, and close-ups of fully-nude buttocks. It also includes some photos of female nipples, but photos of post-mastectomy scarring and women actively breastfeeding are allowed. Nudity in photos of paintings and sculptures is OK, too."

So…nothing's really changed? At least the rules are a bit clearer now, although we still live in a digital world where Kim Kardashian's thong-encased butt cheek is deemed "appropriate for a diverse audience" while 25 Magazine probably has to keep a list of handle permutations in case it gets shut down again.

Elsewhere in the update, Instagram officially banned revenge porn and images "copied or collected from the Internet you don't have the right to post." 1) Good. 2) Just think about what Insta would look like if people were as strict about reporting the (technically illegal) use of memes and screenshots as they were about reporting boobs. Yeah.

You should also check out:

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Miley Cyrus Frees Her Nipples; Instagram Promptly Deletes Them

How to Look Cool Online: The Official Rules of the Instagram It-Girl Game

Chelsea Peng
Assistant Editor

Chelsea Peng is a writer and editor who was formerly the assistant editor at She's also worked for The Strategist and Refinery29, and is a graduate of Northwestern University. On her tombstone, she would like a GIF of herself that's better than the one that already exists on the Internet and a free fro-yo machine. Besides frozen dairy products, she's into pirates, carbs, Balzac, and snacking so hard she has to go lie down.