Mischa Barton is trying to avoid drama on Instagram ever since she got in trouble for her tribute to Alton Sterling. So after she took a topless photo while on vacation, she made sure to censor her own nipples before posting it to her profile.
In theory, it was a good way to stay out of trouble. In execution, though, it was just weird.
The picture shows Barton sitting on a balcony ledge in Greece wearing only a pair of jeans. It’s really beautiful and Barton looks exceptionally cool, except that she’s smoking, and there are two really distracting censors in the picture.
But as we all know, women’s nipples are offensive and men’s nipples aren’t, so she had to do it or her account would be in trouble. Again.
Celebrities like Chelsea Handler and Chrissy Teigen have been trying for years to get Instagram to update their policy and allow women to show their nipples on the platform. It has sparked a #FreeTheNipple movement where women post topless photos of themselves using the hashtag.
Some even go as far as to put a close-up comparison of a man and a woman’s nipples to show that there is no difference, at all. And women should be allowed to celebrate their bodies in the same ways that men do on the platform.
Barton herself wasn’t trying to make a statement, she’s probably a little scared of that at this point. But her compliance with the Instagram policies proves how ridiculous they are. It’s one more dot of skin on a picture. It’s a few more skin-colored pixels and Instagram just won’t allow it. It’s just crossing the line.
I can assure anyone at Instagram that nothing harmful or offensive will happen if she or any woman was allowed to show their whole chest. Certainly nothing as offensive as shaming women into covering their body.