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    Scout Willis Explains Topless Instagram Protest: Why Are Women's Nipples Taboo?

    Scout Willis, Topless, Twitter Twitter

    Scout Willis is doing some explaining after walking around the streets of NYC topless last week to protest Instagram's nudity rules.

    "I didn't choose my public life, but it did give me a platform to help make body politics newsworthy," Bruce Willis and Demi Moore's daughter wrote Monday in a blog post on XOJane.com. "Earlier last week I decided to do something kind of crazy. Instagram had recently deleted my account over what they called ‘instances of abuse.' Which in reality amounted to a photo of myself in a sheer top and a post of a jacket I made featuring a picture of two close friends topless. For these instances of abuse, I was politely informed that I would no longer be welcome in the Instagram community."

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    Scout Willis, Topless, Twitter Twitter

    "My situation was in no way unique; women are regularly kicked off Instagram for posting photos with any portion of the areola exposed, while photos sans nipple—degrading as they might be—remain unchallenged," the 22-year-old continued. "So I walked around New York topless and documented it on Twitter, pointing out that what is legal by New York state law is not allowed on Instagram. What began as a challenge to Instagram and its prejudiced community guidelines became an opportunity for dialogue. Matters like the taboo of the nipple in the 21st century, public breastfeeding, slut shaming, fat shaming, breast cancer awareness, body positivity, gender inequality, and censorship have found their way into mainstream discussion. But unfortunately the emphasis in the press has been on sensationalizing my breasts, chiefly in terms of my family."

    Scout Willis Jen Lowery / Splash News

    Willis goes on to site groups like the Free the Nipple campaign, which works to promote topless equality. "There are also some people who would criticize my choice to relate nipples with equality at all," she writes. "To me, nipples seem to be at the very heart of the issue. In the 1930s, men's nipples were just as provocative, shameful, and taboo as women's are now, and men were protesting in much the same way...So why is it that 80 years later women can't seem to achieve the same for their chests?"

    In the end, Willis says she just wanted to begin a cultural conversation on the topic, concluding with, "While in the meantime, my breasts and I return to a more casual form of a protest beneath my favorite sheer tank top."

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