July 16, 2015
#Curvy: The Body Positive Hashtag Instagram Doesn't Let You Search
#Dildo brings up over 60,000 results. But #Curvy? Not one. Why does Instagram display an error page when you try to search for this body positive word? Buzzfeed writer Nora Whelan made this observation. #Curvygirl, #Curvyandfit and other suggestions do exist but "curvy" is banished. You can search #Thin and you can search #Skinny, but Instagram is quick to assume you are only looking because you have an eating disorder. They offer a warning page and a link to anorexia/bulimia information. #Obese comes with no warnings, no concern from Instagram about your physical or emotional wellness. #Fat has over 13 million posts ranging from overweight dogs to inspirational quotes to pizzas. Instagram has famously not freed the nipple as it is unsearchable, unless you're interested in #Nipplering or #Nippleclamps. And what can be considered demeaning terms towards women like #Bitch is searchable. #Ugly and #Gross have a combined 16 million results and include selfies of women referring to themselves and their weight . So why ban #Curvy that is celebratory? Why ban a word that makes women feel good about their bodies? "We try hard to find a good balance between allowing people to express themselves creatively and having policies in place to maintain a comfortable experience for our global and culturally diverse community," an Instagram spokesperson told The Huffington Post earlier this year. "This is one reason why our guidelines put limitations on nudity, but we recognize that we don’t always get it right." Has Instagram gotten it wrong with the #Curvy ban and other hashtag mishaps? Share your thoughts with us!