Instagram prefers small bottoms

DEBORAH GOUGH
Last updated 14:58 26/05/2014
Bottom
Instagram/ellie_gonsalves, Instagram/reneesomerfield

BELFIE BIAS: The realistically-sized bottom of blogger Meghan Tonjes was censored from Instagram, while skinnier, less clothed bottoms like the two above remain on the app.

Bottom
Instagram/meghantonjes
REMOVED: Meghan Tonjes' butt-selfie accompanied by the caption: "booty appreciation #honormycurves #effyourbeautystandards.

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Instagram has been accused of fattism after it censored a plump, underwear-clad bottom while continuing to allow countless skinnier, skimpier clothed bodies to remain.

The owner of the banned round rear, Meghan Tonjes, has taken her bottom's rejection to another social medium, YouTube, to argue that Instagram had double standards and appeared to find fat bottoms pornographic, yet allowed skinnier women, wearing much less, to continue to post pictures.

Ms Tonjes, a Californian musician and video blogger, said she posted pictures of her body on Instagram as part of her story of her weight loss.

"I have pride for my curves - my still very fat body, I like a lot,'' Ms Tonjes said.

She posted her ''belfie'' in black underwear, but on May 18 Instagram told her the picture breached community guidelines, including its nudity and ''mature content'' clause.

In her YouTube address (see below), Ms Tonjes said she was not nude, leaving only ''mature content'' as the reason for the ban.

But she said many other photographs of skinny women wearing lingerie and g-string bikinis continued to be posted on Instagram with impunity. She said by taking her picture down it was continuing a bias against fatter women.

''I want you to think of how many big girls you see on the internet, on television, in magazines, wearing bathing suits, lingerie, shorts, dresses, tight-fitting clothing, who aren't openly mocked, who aren't torn apart as being disgusting,'' she said.

''We call mature content things that we are uncomfortable with - that's why people have an issue with women breastfeeding in public, because we are taught that breasts are inherently sexual. That a body that is exposed is inherently sexual,'' she said.

Instagram told the Huffington Post: ''Instagram's community guidelines do not allow nudity and other mature content".

''We do this because some audiences within our global community are particularly sensitive to this type of content.

''When we receive reports of posts that violate our policies, we reach out to the person with a warning and the content is removed.

''It is important to understand that the posts we act upon are almost exclusively brought to our attention by other people who complain about their presence on the platform.''

Ms Tonjes said she did not blame Instagram for other people's fattist bias but said without an obvious means of appeal, it was perpetuating the problem.

She said an appeal process was needed to stop a vindictive person from targeting others' accounts and having them shut down.

Ms Tonjes always sent pictures she was posting of her behind to her mother before posting them on Instagram.

She has previously been censored by Tumblr for posting ''pornographic'' material after posting a picture of herself in a sports bra and underwear: ''Completely covered, but fat. Therefore - pornographic''.

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Ms Tonjes said she planned to start a video channel on plus-size beauty: ''(We) Need more plus-size bitches in the beauty world, yeah,'' she said.

By 9am, 141,692 had viewed the video on YouTube.

- Daily Life

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