REPORT: Facebook Quietly Lifts Ban On Exposed Nipples In Breast-Feeding Photos


BreastFeedingBeach650The #FreeTheNipple campaign was apparently a success, as The Huffington Post U.K. reported that Facebook has quietly stepped back from its ban on photos of women breast-feeding in which their nipples are revealed.

The social network has come under fire in the past for bans on both breast-feeding photos and images of breast-cancer survivors who have undergone mastectomies.

According to HuffPost U.K., feminist Soraya Chemaly broke the news in her blog, writing earlier this week:

Two weeks ago, if a photograph of an actively breast-feeding mother with nipples exposed was shared in Facebook, that photograph would have violated the company’s guidelines regarding nudity and obscenity and been removed. According to my conversations with Facebook spokespeople, as the result of a quiet policy change made two weeks ago, that is no longer the case. The female nipple ban no longer exists for breast-feeding mothers, which should make many people who have been pushing the company to address a nudity double standard at least partially happy.

Breast-feeding activist Paala Secor told HuffPost U.K.:

When I heard of the nipple ban (being) lifted from breast-feeding photos, I shared one of the photos in the stream that I took of my son and that I hadn’t shared before.

I didn’t share it before because I didn’t want to be banned for having a female nipple exposed. I do not consider myself an extremist in any way. I am not a nudist in my real life, walking around in the buff all day long, just at home, but I don’t shame people who do feel more comfortable that way.

We are all just animals, right? I don’t know why we’ve concerned ourselves with covering and shaming women but allowing advertisements to use women’s bodies to make money.

And Attachment Feminism Founder Chrissy Chittenden told HuffPost U.K.:

I think it’s pretty late in the day for Facebook to have made this change in policy, but of course, I am happy with it.

Breast-feeding is a natural, animal, beautiful act, and to see it celebrated in photographs, even just normalized in photographs, is powerful.

Breast-feeding support in terms of its normalization within our culture is minimal. Breast-feeders often find themselves made to feel unwelcome or even abused in public areas, despite the law being on their side.

It made no sense that something that can be done in a cafe or a mall or a forest without recriminations would then be censored on social media, so the decision by Facebook to switch their policy is brilliant.

Readers: Should these photos be allowed on Facebook?

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.