Rules are made to be broken.
Instagram's great for what it is: strange, underground finsta accounts, steamy DMs, perfect Kardashian butt feeds, bodega cats, bot accounts, weed porn, and lots of wonderful street art. With Instagram, the only limit is your imagination.
But the social network does have its rules. The app's long been adamant about refusing to let females display their bare nipples. Instagram blames this on Apple's App Store policy, which only allows nudity—including female nipples—for apps rated 17+. For Instagram to maintain its 12+ rating on the App Store and not shut out younger users, it must ban nipples. But, with 700 million users worldwide, almost all of whom have at least two nipples, the policy isn't exactly practical.
If you're male, then go ahead and post nipples galore, but if you're female, then, well you're out of luck. It's not uncommon for Instagram to remove photos or even to delete whole user accounts permanently without notice for posting photos of female nipples.
For or all you women out there, I'm going to walk you through a few different ways that you can free your nipple on Instagram and not get banned. The app is very vague when it comes to what sort of female nipple representation is allowed on the platform. Sometimes, you won't know if what you've posted isn't acceptable until it's too late. You also never know when someone could report you. So take caution. If you want to post a piece of revealing content, then make sure to follow one or more of the methods below.
With Instagram's no-female-nipple policy came many things you might never have imagined. For one, there's a whole account dedicated to genderless nipples. The Genderless Nipples account is freakin' rocking it. All you have to do is take a pic of your nipple up close and then no one, including Instagram's censors, can tell what gender you identify as.
So, if you're down to post a super close-up square of your nipple, then get right to it.
The next options are only for breastfeeding mamas or for women who have had a mastectomy. According to Instagram's Community Guidelines, you are allowed to post photos of post-mastectomy scarring. You can also post photos if you are actively breastfeeding.
Images such as this one, from the beautiful account @empoweredbirthproject, are allowed:
Share Your Nipples as Art
Works of art displaying female nipples are okay to post. You can also post drawings of your nipples:
If you can't paint or draw, consider turning yourself into a work of art by using an app like Prisma, which is available for iOS and Android. It allows you to turn any photo into a sketch, painting, comic, or other pattern using one of its many filters. I recommend using a Prisma filter like "Breakfast" or "The Scream" to ensure your photo looks more like a museum piece than a remastered image. The app comes with a number of different filters, some make your photo look more like artwork than others. Choose wisely, because sometimes, even an image filtered as an artsy sketch may be taken down.
Post Your Nips in Relief
You can also post shots of your nipples if they are exposed under a see-through shirt, thin shirt, revealed under a thick shirt in a cold room, or via an overhead light.
Use TrickPics' Augmented Reality Stickers
If you have to, censor those babies. Sometimes, when you'd rather not risk losing your entire Instagram account, it's best to just cover them up. You never know when the app is going to put down the hammer on your nipple, ya feel me?
Cover Up in Instagram Stories
If you'd prefer to stay within the Instagram app, and would like an emoji or sticker to just quickly cover up your nipple so you can post it, then using Stories might work.
Just a heads up, Stories isn't always the best way to do this. It favors vertical content and tends to decrease the quality of any landscape image or video you upload because of how it expands. This means that if you upload a photo to Stories, it might blow it out of frame. I'd recommend taking your image within Instagram Stories to avoid this.
Also, be careful where you place your Story graphics. Try and place them within the middle of your content. Once you've covered up your NSFW image with a sticker of your choosing, and then saved it to your camera roll, your content will be saved as a vertical photo/video.
This means that if you want to upload the content to your Feed, the top and bottom may be cut out in the Instagram editor due to the differences in aspect ratio between Stories and the normal feed. So be wary where you place your Story graphics: Make sure they aren't cut out when you go to post them.
Go deep enough into Instagram and you'll find some really weird and interesting stuff. For one, ever think about using food to replace your nipples? Model Louise Cehofski sure did:
Fidget spinners work just as well too.
You can also place physical covers on your nipples before taking a photo like stickers, black tape in the shape of an "X" mark, googly eyes, your own hand, or even rose petals.
Replace Your Female Nipple with a Male Nipple
It's just like putting an emoji over it, right? You can do this in Photoshop. If you have the skills and the time.
Use Snapseed to Blur Out or 'Heal' Your Nipple
Another way to "free" the nipple is to blur it out. One way to do this is to use Snapseed. The professional photo-editing app is available for iOS and Android and has a great blurring tool for images. Snapseed is a wonderful app for many different reasons, one of which is its "healing" tool, which covers an unwanted element in an image with the surrounding scene.
Read more: A Brief History of 'NSFW'
Create a Finsta Account
If you're really into posting photos of your nipples, then creating an Instagram account dedicated to it may be a good option. A Finsta account lives on Instagram, the word is a combination of "fake" and "insta." It's the place where you hide away from all the aesthetically-pleasing PG accounts. It's also a great place to share NSFW content.
You don't have to make your Finsta account private, although it's probably a good idea if you are posting nude photos. I would also recommend not using many hashtags so you can stay out of the view of Instagram's very watchful eyes.
With your Finsta account, you have control. Choose who you'd like to follow you. Make sure they're not people ready to tap on "Report" at the sight of a peaking nipple.
Use the Hashtag Hack
Okay, so my last suggestion is one that's not really guaranteed, but just something to think about if you are really ... curious, alright? It's a hashtag trick and if you try it out, you will probably at least be reported, but it's rumored that Miley Cyrus once used it to keep a nipple photo alive on her account, so it's definitely something to check out.
Instagram is not as PG as it seems: If you look deep enough, you'll find that Instagram is full of lots of porn. Granted, all of it will probably be removed within a day, but for 24 hours it lives, until another porn-spam account replaces its banned counterpart tomorrow.
So, when it comes to hashtagging your NSFW photos, don't just hashtag it #nudes or #boobies, because that's what Instagram is already looking for. Try hashtags with two dots or accents over some of the letters, like #bööbs, #nüdes, #bööty, #sëxcode, or #sèx.
Chances are, whoever is out there looking for photos or hashtags to report and accounts to shut down, isn't searching for tags that are a bit more foreign.
In Miley's case, it was simply a matter of changing #freethenipple to #freethenipple S. I wouldn't recommend using that tag, since it's too well-known now. If you're looking to post something that violates the IG Community Guidelines and risk getting banned, then I recommend being more sneaky with your hashtags.
But be careful. Use these hashtags too much, and someone might notice. If you're looking to post nudes, it's always important to stay under the radar.