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Allowing some nudity on Instagram could help us all be more body positive

Julia Horniacek is an independent freelance writer reporting beauty and fashion for SheKnows and Bustle.com, addicted to exercise, coffee and making an attempt to get outside her comfort zone.

Chrissy Teigen's topless photo sparks discussion on whether nudity should be allowed on Instagram

Last Christmas, my sister bought me an Urban Decay neutral “Naked” palette, and naturally I took to Instagram to share the news — OK, and to gloat. I am known to hashtag quite a bit — OK, a lot — so when it came to the list of tags, I threw in a #naked. My boyfriend, laughing, called and said, “You can’t do that.” Can’t do what? Shamelessly brag about finally having Urban Decay’s signature palette in my possession? “Naked isn’t allowed on Instagram.” It had never even crossed my mind, but that was when I put two and two together: nudity.

At first I laughed. Me, of all people, to #naked. I am the last person you will find posting anything remotely provocative on social media. Sure, I am the fitness guru who proudly uploads the occasional progress picture, but I am always in a sports bra or tank top and shorts. I have been known to pose in my best bikini on the beach, but hasn’t everyone?

While I may be shy and, more often than not, conservative, Chrissy Teigen, on the other hand, has no problem laying it all out there. Literally. The model uploaded a shot from her latest spread for W magazine Monday, leaning over the side of a sofa chair in nothing but a pair of white underwear and lace knee-high boot heels. Leave it to Teigen to make a pair of granny panties look hot.

I think we all can agree here that Chrissy Teigen is gorgeous. The saying “if you’ve got it, flaunt it” definitely applies. She certainly has it, and this is not the first time she has flaunted it. In 2013, the model celebrated racking up 200,000 followers on Instagram by posting a nude photo to her account, which was taken down soon after.

More: Chrissy Teigen hilariously mocks Instagram's nudity policy

While I understand no nudity is one of the social media platform’s policies — one plenty celebs have attempted to defy — allow me to play devil’s advocate for a moment. We are heavily encouraged to love ourselves and appreciate the bodies we have been given, as we very well should. However, is embracing our natural beauty and expressing that confidence in ourselves through nudity not practicing self-love?

For reference, Instagram’s no nudity policy is as follows:

"We know that there are times when people might want to share nude images that are artistic or creative in nature, but for a variety of reasons, we don’t allow nudity on Instagram. This includes photos, videos, and some digitally-created content that show sexual intercourse, genitals, and close-ups of fully-nude buttocks. It also includes some photos of female nipples, but photos of post-mastectomy scarring and women actively breastfeeding are allowed. Nudity in photos of paintings and sculptures is OK, too."

I agree that there is a vast difference between art and pornography. There are such things as appropriate photos and artistic images that capture the human body tastefully. Pornography is not for social media. Certain forms of nudity, however, are debatably appropriate. So while I can agree to Instagram’s policy to an extent, I strongly believe it should take a step back and re-evaluate its restrictions.

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