Last week Scout Willis hit the streets of New York City topless, which is a perfectly legal thing to do. But even though you can be topless IRL here, you cannot post a topless photo of yourself to Instagram, as part of their policy. Willis's little crusade against the company began after her own Instagram account was shut down for posting two photos that showed nipple. This is when she took to the streets, posting photos of herself topless on Twitter, while asking questions like "Why does Instagram allow photos of heroin being used but deletes a photo of a print of some smoke shows without tops on?"
In a piece on XOJane today, she explains her position, takes issue with the media's focus on her project, and encourages us all to go topless with her.
"Unfortunately the emphasis in the press has been on sensationalizing my breasts, chiefly in terms of my family. I understand that people don’t want to take me seriously. Or would rather just write me off as an attention-seeking, over-privileged, ignorant, white girl. I am white and I was born to a high profile and financially privileged family. I didn’t choose my public life, but it did give me this platform. A platform that helps make body politics newsworthy. So, while I still think that those who don’t support the movement should simply unfollow me, I call out to every person moved by this to take physical—as well as digital—action, and help transform what started out as a casual topless stroll into something resembling true change."
You can read the full thing here. We've reached out to Instagram for comment on Willis's points, and will update when we hear back.
UPDATE: An Instagram spokesperson told us this afternoon, "We try hard to find a good balance between allowing people to express themselves creatively and keeping Instagram a fun and safe place. Our guidelines put limitations on nudity and mature content. Once content is reported to us, we review it and remove if it violates our policies."