Women’s bodies have always been a topic of conversation. Even in these modern times, social media platforms, like Instagram, still have a policy on showing too much skin. Especially female boobs and nipples are a no go. Artistic duo ‘Naaistreek’ (Joël van Lith and Janneke Baltussen) seem to have found a way around these censoring policies.
“We started making nipple tassels for a performance we did a few years ago. We noticed that people’s responses were so shocked, that we realized we needed to do something with this. The point of the nipple tassels was not to cover up our nipples, for me it’s the same as a bikini”, Janneke explains. “While doing another project I stumbled onto the idea of flipping it. Making the nipples visible and covering up the rest. That started with a t-shirt and evolved into our nipple frames.”
The battle with women showing skin and their nipples has been going for ages. #FreeTheNipple was an important movement against Instagram’s policy, which started in 2014 and is still ongoing. Research done by Gretchen Faust shows that: “an image of a nipple is more offensive than the violent imagery that is posted throughout the internet.”
Naaistreek, however, have seem to have found a way around Instagram’s censorship. Pictures of nipples with their nipple frames around it are not reported and/or deleted by Instagram. “We were quite surprised that Instagram didn’t pick up on the nipple frames. I think it’s good because the frames are a nice way to decorate your body. Also, it’s crazy that women still can’t walk around bare chested, this is a nice way to start normalising boobs”, Janneke concludes.