125 nude models participate in #WeTheNipple protest against social media censorship

The #WeTheNipple campaign is a call-to-action plan that hopes to see photographic artistic nudity become empowered rather than censored, calling upon social media platforms to allow photos of both female and male nipples on their sites.

In response to the social media gender censorship of artistic nudity, 125 people participated in a naked demonstration outside of New York’s Facebook and Instagram headquarters, laying down on the road and covering their genitals with images of male nipples.

125 protesters appeared outside Facebook and Instagram’s New York offices on a brisk morning, adorned only by images of male nipples.

The protest was organised by artist Spencer Tunick, who for decades has been behind the lens of influential nude photographs and is now using his skills to support the #WeTheNipple campaign in collaboration with the National Coalition Against Censorship.

Both males and females joined in the demonstration to highlight the inequality of women’s bodies in existing nudity policies. The photos of nipples held by the protesters that were donated by a range of high profile people including Red Hot Chilli Peppers drummer Chad Smith and Bravo’s Andy Cohen.

In a statement, Tunick said, “the work I’m allowed to post is fundamentally different from the work I make.” 

“To me, every pixelated nipple only succeeds in sexualising the censored work. As a 21st century artist, I rely on Instagram. It’s the world’s magazine and to be censored on it breaks my spirit.”

Instagram’s guidelines currently ban naked pictures, which has prevented many artists from sharing their work online, whereas Facebook’s standards state that “where such intent is clear, we make allowances for the content.”

This isn’t the first time Tunick has led mass nude photo shoots. One shoot in Melbourne last year involved 500 people photographed naked on a car park rooftop.