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Why Instagram Banning #Curvy Is a Big Mistake

@deedeelemew

Quick, what's the first thing you think of when you see #curvy? Gorgeous, shapely models like Tess Holliday? Plus-size fashion bloggers proudly wearing bikinis? Everyday women embracing the beauty in their natural shapes?

We love all of those answers, but if you're Instagram, apparently all you think of is porn—at least that's the reason that the site gave last week for banning the über-popular hashtag.

"In this case, #curvy was consistently being used to share content that violates our guidelines around nudity," an Instagram spokesperson told Re/code about the decision to remove one of their most popular hashtags.

But that logic falls down pretty quickly when you realize people can still search a variety of very porn-y hashtags, including #dildo, #vagina, and #peniseverywhere (among others so NSFW we can't even type them here). Taking down #curvy for its vulgar appropriation is either blatent hypocrisy or, as users have been quick to call out, a sign that the social media giant is ashamed of larger bodies, no matter how much clothing they are or aren't wearing.

"Phew, since Instagram banned the hashtag #curvy, there are no more fat people in the world. Congrats, Instagram," said one woman in a genius sarcastic tweet.

The most frustrating part? Other, more "ideal" body descriptors like #thin, #skinny, and #waif are still totally allowed (although they do come with a warning about eating disorders before you're allowed to see the results). (Can #Fitspiration Actually Become Unhealthy?)

"How are we supposed to make strides in body positivity if one of the most acceptable terms for fat is deemed unacceptable? Some people aren't comfortable with describing themselves as #fat or #plussized or #bigger, and the term 'curvy' helps them feel comfortable in the #size that they are," wrote one Instagram user, eloquently summing up the outcry against the ban.

It even feels like an attack on women in general when you look at Instagram's strange history with banning parts of women's bodies and related hashtags.

"They have banned images of breast feeding, stretch marks, domestic images of menstruation, and classical art works that respectfully portray nude women and now they ban the hashtag #curvy," while it still allows 'fat slag, hookers, thin,'" said artist Sam Roddick, who had her account deleted by Instagram after she posted a vagina-shaped cornice, adding that Instagram is "not a safe platform for women and especially young girls." (We're wondering: Has Body Image Become Oppressive? A Look at the Backlash Against Beauty.)

But women are not about to allow themselves to be told (again) how we're allowed to feel about our bodies, and new hashtags like #curvee and #StillCurvy are rapidly filling the void. But perhaps our favorite is #EffYourBeautyStandards. Not only does it put the power to define what's beautiful for women back where it belongs—with women—but it gives a cheeky salute to all the trolls trying to hijack our feel-good moments with their pornified view of women. Because #curvy, at its heart, is really about about celebrating women's bodies in all their shapes and sizes. #FreeCurvy

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