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Facebook Bans Another Breastfeeding Photo, Can’t Stand Female Forms That Aren’t Sexualized

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By now we know that Facebook is not a fan of breastfeeding. Not sure if it’s the nipples themselves, or just the fact that they are not being used to turn men on — but Facebook responds swiftly to complaints about breastfeeding photos, as photographer Jade Beall learned this week.

The photographer’s work typically features nude forms, which she has an incredible eye for. She makes an effort to blur out the parts that Facebook finds unacceptable – namely nipples and any glimpse at genitalia. She recently posted a photo of a group of naked, breastfeeding mothers. As you can imagine, she was quickly reported for the image posted to her page.

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Looking through Beall’s professional photos on her Facebook page, you quickly see that the photographer has an eye for the human form. Her photos manage to be calm and striking — beautiful in their simplicity. They are a refreshing stream of forms you don’t normally see in the media or on the pages of fashion magazines: they’re bodies marked with tattoos, real pregnant bellies, and older figures.

Beall says when she first posted the breastfeeding shot, it quickly garnered 3,000 shares and 9,000 likes. Then she received a message from Facebook asking her to delete it, because she forgot to blur one of the nipples in the shot. She was banned for 24 hours and when she regained access to her profile she posted the photo once again — this time with all censoring in place. Facebook’s standards specifically state that breastfeeding photos are allowed.

The Huffington Post reports that Beall “received a flood of negative comments calling it “disgusting” and several messages from people, mostly men, requesting that she remove the image.” Wow. There is nothing disgusting about that image. To be clear, we are okay with naked women, we just aren’t okay with them when they are not being sexualized for the male gaze. And that is ridiculous.

Beall is doing important work by fearlessly showing her art on Facebook. She’s sending the message that it is just not okay for our social media platform’s to have so much power in deciding what is “appropriate” or “inappropriate.” When artists like Beall share their work and challenge Facebook’s standards, it puts an important spotlight on how we can and should challenge the standards set by powerful platforms like Facebook.

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(photo: Jade Beall Photography/ Facebook)

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