​nick knight: instagram censorship is 'medieval'

Knight showed his support for a female photographer who has to censor all her nude self-portraits.

by Felicity Kinsella
Nov 9 2015, 5:20pm


Weighing in on the #FreeTheNipple debate, legendary photographer Nick Knight posted an image to Instagram yesterday, using the account @erotic_n_texas as an example of why he thinks the social media network should stop its censorship of women's bodies. The account is filled with photographs of its female owner, mostly shot nude. All of the account's images have to be photoshopped in order to abide by Instagram's strict censorship rules. In response to @erotic_n_texas' comment of: "Reported a 2nd time," Knight wrote back: "You have my sympathy @erotic_n_texas, why anybody would want to censor a woman's breasts is beyond me. What is wrong with people?? It is demonizing women's bodies. People should be proud of their bodies not feel ashamed."

Like many fashion photographers, Knight is no stranger to photographing the female form in an artistic, tasteful and celebratory way, so it makes sense that he'd voice his opinions on the image-sharing platform's outdated, patriarchal rules. He went on to screenshot his comments and expanded his argument on his own account: "This is for you @erotic_n_texas and for everybody who gets their accounts censored. I am not sure how much I want to be on a platform that behaves like this. Stop censorship of women's bodies, it sends the worst message to women about their bodies. We are supposed to be an enlightened and intelligent society. This is almost medieval in its attitude. Sex is not sinful and both women and men should be encouraged to feel proud of their bodies not ashamed."

Of course, it's been an ongoing argument, and while we don't know how much we want to be on a platform that unfairly censors women's bodies either, Instagram has suggested it's not going to change anytime soon. Due to Apple's rules and regulations, all App Store apps must be designated an age rating. If Instagram were to allow explicit nudity, it would have to be raised from a 12+ to 17+, likely losing a big chunk of its demographic audience. Perhaps it's time for #FreeTheNipple campaigners to move their attention from Instagram, over to tech-giant Apple about how they define "explicit"…

Nick Knight