The 22-year-old daughter of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore is ticked off that the social media photo sharing site Instagram removed one of the photos that she posted because it violated their terms of service (TOS). Scout Willis decided that roaming around Manhattan in a lovely floral skirt, a cute pair of sandals, matching handbag but no shirt was the best way to protest the action. Her topless stroll was apparently meant to draw attention to the injustice that has been inflicted on her right to post nudity in a public forum heavily trafficked by minors.
With a photographer documenting every bounce in her step, Willis strolled through the community, baring her breasts and causing quite a stir. Naturally, she shared her “march for boobs” on various social media outlets including photos and the clever hashtag #freethenipple. With an eye for detail, she also changed her middle name on Instagram to “Aerola” in honor of what is apparently a fight to allow what Willis has deemed as appropriate nudity on the social media site Instagram.
Instagram has community guidelines regarding nudity that clearly state that images that are nude, partially nude, sexually suggestive or pornographic in nature are not considered acceptable posting content and will be removed. The photo that Willis originally posted on her account was actually of outerwear that featured two topless women on it. Willis has taken point on the issue and seems intent on encouraging debate on the question of what is considered obscene and what is not when it comes to nudity.
Using social media Willis has been posing questions, for example, she wants to know why Instagram would allow photos of drug use but would delete nudity. With seemingly great concern she tweeted, “Like people are legitimately selling heroin on @Instagram but breasts are just too too much for this world.” She has detailed how photos of breast cancer survivors have been deleted by Instagram while photos of women in hot pants with suspenders covering their nipples were allowed on the site. It seems that nipples are the issue and Willis is intent on defending them while graciously sharing views of her own in the streets of New York.
At this point Willis’s Instagram account has been suspended because she continued to post graphic photos that violated the terms of service under which the social media network operates. Instagram is a free service and they are entitled to set their own TOS. While Willis seems to feel that her rights have been violated and the nipple disparaged, many would agree that a site that is heavily populated by minors is acting responsibly in limiting nudity, sexually suggestive images or pornography. That being said, the most interesting part of Willis’s debate is the disparity that may exist in how the TOS of Instagram is enforced.
Willis is considering starting a new Instagram account in which she intends to post “artistic” nudes just to see how long it takes for Instagram to kick her off the site again. One commenter posted about Willis’s #freethenipple campaign “I agree with her, but to think that people are putting more effort into ‘free the nipple’ than, say, ‘free the factory farm animals’ or ‘free people in slavery in other countries’ makes me pretty darn sick.” Scout Willis’s opinion about any of those topics is unclear but her fight against what she calls a “general degradation of women” with at the same time a 100 percent Aerola “taboo” is one she appears to be quite passionate about. Given her recent topless protest, she is prepared to use her own assets to further nipple rights.
Opinion by Alana Marie Burke