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a photo exhibition in support of gender equality in community guidelines

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Format presents a curated collection of photography celebrating the uncensored female form in support of uniform representation of the human body on social media.

Michael Bailey-Gates
Michael Bailey-Gates
Harley Weir
Harley Weir
Richie Shazam
Richie Shazam
Mayan Toledano
Mayan Toledano
Cameron Phan
Cameron Phan
David Uzochukwu
David Uzochukwu
Marcel Kolacek
Marcel Kolacek
Erica Sterling
Erica Sterling
Anastasia Akimova
Anastasia Akimova
Isaac Anthony
Isaac Anthony
Kayee Kiu
Kayee Kiu
Emily Nagle
Emily Nagle
Nimrod Mendoza
Nimrod Mendoza
Jerry Pigeon
Jerry Pigeon
Victor Cantey
Victor Cantey
Nikki Alfonzo
Nikki Alfonzo
Alana Haynes
Alana Haynes
Cameron Mackie
Cameron Mackie
Saskia Vaidis
Saskia Vaidis
Reto Heiz
Reto Heiz
Kelia Ideishi
Kelia Ideishi
Mandy Lyn
Mandy Lyn
A.J. Schokora
A.J. Schokora
Marcel A Vie
Marcel A Vie
Ryan Cain
Ryan Cain
Jack Thomson
Jack Thomson
Alex Weltlinger
Alex Weltlinger
Meïdhy Bichon
Meïdhy Bichon
Callan Tham
Callan Tham
Peter Ferenci
Peter Ferenci
Kayla Mann
Kayla Mann
Brian Cann
Brian Cann
Nathalia Allen
Nathalia Allen
Emily Mulder
Emily Mulder
Chris Meredith
Chris Meredith
Madeline Louise
Madeline Louise
Frédéric Champoux
Frédéric Champoux
Keeley Bentley
Keeley Bentley
Lorna Kijurko
Lorna Kijurko
Aaron Polinard
Aaron Polinard
JD Howell
JD Howell
Halle Hirota
Halle Hirota
Amanda Calquhoun
Amanda Calquhoun
Aaron Baltimore
Aaron Baltimore
Laine Bowen
Laine Bowen
Fred Othero
Fred Othero
Cass Michael
Cass Michael
Shelbie Dimond
Shelbie Dimond
Lasha Tsertsvadze
Lasha Tsertsvadze

Words from the artists

Michael Bailey-Gates

Michael Bailey-Gates

I spoke with artist Carly Mark who’s featured in this image, and she shared that this form of censorship makes the 'female body inherently pornographic, rather than just a body'. Social media is a tricky parallel world, but changes that happen online can cause ripple effects in our own lives. Censorship on these platforms says that nipples are offensive, but only on a femme body. It’s a way of shaming a person. ”
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Harley Weir

Harley Weir

When it’s hot, I often wish I could fling off my shirt and go topless without feeling awkward, or in many countries, a criminal. I don't think people should hide or be ashamed of any part of their body, whatever gender they are. ”
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Richie Shazam

Richie Shazam

We should have the right to display our bodies however we want, without fear of being punished and demonized. We take pride in our bodies and everyone should be treated equally. We should be respected to do what we want and on our own terms. It is vital to end gendered censorship on social media – we should be able to express ourselves freely with complete control. ”
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Mayan Toledano

Mayan Toledano

The fact that female, femme and non-binary bodies are still policed by censorship is damaging to our freedom of visual expression, and to the way we view and understand each other. Gendered censorship reflects societal fears and the power dynamics that keep the female body sexualized, rather than understood. When nipples are deleted off of Instagram for ‘violation of community standards’ it violates our bodies, never the safety of the viewer. ”
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Cameron Phan
Cameron Phan

Cameron Phan

Our bodies are ours, and they are beautiful for ourselves. They should be equally celebrated regardless of gender. And in this crucial time of self-identity and fluidity, social norms like censorship shouldn’t be allowed to take ownership over our bodies. ”
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David Uzochukwu
David Uzochukwu

David Uzochukwu

Only permitting imagery of feeding or mutilated chests on social media suggests the natural body is always offensive. There have to be more ways of being for people with breasts than providing, suffering, or hiding away. ”
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Marcel Kolacek
Marcel Kolacek
Marcel Kolacek

Marcel Kolacek

In terms of one’s artistic creative direction, it is pointless to censor the human body. The censored body part is just a detail of the human body that gives the final product strength and meaning; only without censorship can it stand as a whole. ”
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Erica Sterling
Erica Sterling
Erica Sterling

Erica Sterling

Social media censorship of breasts perpetuates the sexualization of women as objects, and is alienating to others. It is extremely discriminatory to people with different gender identities—not all people who have breasts are women, for instance. Breasts and nipples belong to women, men, and non-binary individuals, regardless of the sex they were assigned at birth, and should not be censored. ”
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Anastasia Akimova
Anastasia Akimova
Anastasia Akimova

Anastasia Akimova

In modern society, there is no place for gender censorship. This is a question of equality: why are men allowed and women not allowed to show their bodies? The female breast is not a matter of vulgarity or indecency; it's a part of the human body, like a hand or a leg. As an artist, I am particularly insulted by Instagram’s ban on the publication of female nipples because it means I have to mutilate my photos. ”
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Isaac Anthony
Isaac Anthony
Isaac Anthony

Isaac Anthony

Whether female or male, the human body is a complex structure of different types of cells and organs. We should be able to expose and show the different parts of it that we like. Let us be free of censorship. Let us pose, create, and expose what inspires us. ”
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Kayee Kiu

Kayee Kiu

We are fearless. ”
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Emily Nagle
Emily Nagle

Emily Nagle

Women need freedom in a socially recognized space to appropriate for themselves their own sexual liberation, separate from what has historically been a male language. With freedom from censorship laws, women can own their own agency and decide their representation in the media. ”
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Nimrod Mendoza
Nimrod Mendoza
Nimrod Mendoza

Nimrod Mendoza

Gender equality is important and affects all aspects of our everyday lives. My photographs convey my thoughts on society, and they are also a place where I express positivity, equality, and empowerment. As an artist, I am using this medium to challenge myself and others to express themselves freely, and to challenge social norms in their own lives. ”
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Jerry Pigeon
Jerry Pigeon

Jerry Pigeon

Just a woman’s voice should not be censored, nor should her body be subjected to arbitrary forms of oppression. ”
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Victor Cantey
Victor Cantey

Victor Cantey

Before there were clothes, there was skin. Whether nudity makes a person excited or offended, neither should determine another's freedom of expression. ”
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Nikki Alfonzo
Nikki Alfonzo
Nikki Alfonzo

Nikki Alfonzo

If my subject and I want to express ourselves through art, we should be able to do so without following guidelines. The images in my 'Plant Series' are meant to make the viewer feel a sense of freedom. For this shoot, I let my subject show as much skin as they wanted. Why not? The human body isn’t something offensive. ”
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Alana Haynes
Alana Haynes

Alana Haynes

If we change the perception of the female form now, it can have an overwhelming effect on future generations, and hopefully some on ours, too. Hiding the nipple over-sexualizes it and diminishes the art; putting an emoji over a nipple can make the piece more risqué than the original. ”
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Cameron Mackie
Cameron Mackie

Cameron Mackie

Female censorship on social media means that nameless figures get to define how appropriate people’s natural bodies are to the public eye. The beauty and positivity that an image of the female form can convey means nothing to Instagram if a nipple is showing, which also means photographers are helpless to aid in reducing the sexualization of the female body through their work. ”
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Saskia Vaidis
Saskia Vaidis
Saskia Vaidis

Saskia Vaidis

Gender equality on social media is important because we’re all human and we all have a body. Nudity is the most normal thing in the world. On social media, I’m having fun flagging male breasts in the same way that female ones are. I mean, why not? Censoring breasts is absurd, whether they’re large, small, or non-existent. ”
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Reto Heiz
Reto Heiz
Reto Heiz

Reto Heiz

Gender equality shouldn't be a question in this day and age, either on social media or in real life. Nakedness has always been an integral part of art, and should not be restricted in any way. I don't want to use flags, smileys, or stars to hide something, especially when there is no difference between a male and a female chest. ”
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Kelia Ideishi
Kelia Ideishi
Kelia Ideishi

Kelia Ideishi

Disseminating images of the female form, free of censorship, bias, and objectified sexualization perpetuates a powerful message: that our bodies are natural, that our bodies are our own, and that our bodies are not for carnal pleasure. Let’s make all bodies equal. ”
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Mandy Lyn
Mandy Lyn

Mandy Lyn

The wounded child inside many males is a boy who, when he first spoke his truths, was silenced by paternal sadism, by a patriarchal world that did not want him to claim his true feelings. The wounded child inside many females is a girl who was taught from early childhood that she must become something other than herself, deny her true feelings, in order to attract and please others. When men and women punish each other for telling the truth, we reinforce the notion that lies are better. To be loving we willingly hear the other’s truth, and most important, we affirm the value of truth telling.” ―Bell Hooks
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A.J. Schokora
A.J. Schokora

A.J. Schokora

For the most part, social media has only empowered my creative liberties. It's a powerful medium that contemporary creatives are fortunate to have at their disposal. The creative community should take full advantage of it; however, when it's censored, we are kept from doing so. We are robbed of valuable artistic contributions to culture and society at large. ”
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Marcel A Vie
Marcel A Vie
Marcel A Vie

Marcel A Vie

For me as an artist, censorship means disarming and distorting my art. It means disguising the original. But nudity is simply a concept of nature; that's all it is. We should ask ourselves what censorship truly means. I think censorship serves to desensitize and to protect the beholder. And then we should ask ourselves, ‘Who and what we seek to protect?’ ”
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Ryan Cain
Ryan Cain
Ryan Cain

Ryan Cain

When I approach photographing a model, I look for the shapes and contours of the human body. It feels limiting for any artist to view beauty through a frame of gendered censorship. I see the censorship itself as a symptom of a much larger issue: gender inequality. ”
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Jack Thomson

Jack Thomson

If we cannot move past the image of a nude female breast being taboo, any imagery showing the expressiveness of this body part will be held hostage within the sphere of the controversial, and limit dialogue for the artist and for the people who engage with his or her work. ”
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Alex Weltlinger
Alex Weltlinger

Alex Weltlinger

The fact that social media discriminates against the female form while allowing the male is appalling, and based on outdated social morals. When I post a photo that includes nude imagery I have to censor it to keep my account active. It's ridiculous, and it takes away from the tone, the feel, and the integrity of an image. ”
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Meïdhy Bichon
Meïdhy Bichon
Meïdhy Bichon

Meïdhy Bichon

For me, gender equality is not a question. As an artist, I defend the freedom of women and men, yet the positive changes I see in today’s society are not reflected in social media’s censorship choices. Because I share my work within my network, it is important for social media sites to support gender equality. ”
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Callan Tham

Callan Tham

While social media democratizes ideas, gendered censorship is one of the greatest roadblocks to that democratization. It blindfolds our vision and binds our hands for nothing but archaic notions of modesty. ”
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Peter Ferenci

Peter Ferenci

The human body, both male or female, has always been a source of inspiration for artists. Denying the female form free representation implies that it’s somehow shameful or immoral. I, for one, believe that it's something beautiful and empowering. ”
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Kayla Mann
Kayla Mann
Kayla Mann

Kayla Mann

The minute I have to censor my work for social media, the magic is lost. In this moment, the intent behind my art is broken, and the meaning behind it is diminished. While society has painted breasts to be provocative and inviting to sexual thoughts, in reality, nudity emulates confidence, vulnerability, and nature in its purest form. ”
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Brian Cann

Brian Cann

There is as much symbolic violence inherent in forcing an image of a woman's body to appear incomplete through censorship as there is in any image contorting her body to conform to a male or an industry's fantasy. My images are non-exploitative. My models—mostly serious amateurs with careers in other fields—collaborate on the images, portraying themselves in ways they want to be seen. ”
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Nathalia Allen

Nathalia Allen

Gender equality is respect and appreciation of all forms. My fascination with the body began when I was first introduced to fine arts history, where I saw paintings of women as angelic beings, naked and pure. Because society has spent years degrading this form, it has taken purity away from women, which has hindered my ability to share what fuels me as an artist due to censorship. ”
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Emily Mulder
Emily Mulder
Emily Mulder

Emily Mulder

The human body is a work of art that belongs to all of us, and it is something that should transcend social and political restrictions. It’s more important than ever to make equality the norm in the representation of all artistic subjects, regardless of any gender label. ”
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Chris Meredith

Chris Meredith

My photo-art celebrates the natural beauty of the female form and the natural beauty of dramatic skyscapes. The idea that a viewer might be offended by the fact that they can see a female nipple seems ridiculous. To me, it’s as logical to obscure the female nipple as it would be to obscure say, a toe or a belly button. It’s time we allowed artists to express themselves, and it’s time social media stopped imposing out-of-date sexist rules about the way women are portrayed. ”
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Madeline Louise
Madeline Louise
Madeline Louise

Madeline Louise

Censorship makes a body part the focus of the image instead of its intended emotional meaning. When I photograph the female figure, it is to capture my emotions in a way I cannot verbalize. By having to blur or cover up a very small part of the body (a part that everyone has), the focus shifts away from the subject. ”
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Frédéric Champoux
Frédéric Champoux
Frédéric Champoux

Frédéric Champoux

L'image qu'on doit censurer—peu importe la manière—avant de la publier sur les réseaux sociaux ne représente plus celle qu'on voulait photographier. Un trait, un flou, une rayure sur un mamelon, c'est une cicatrice. ”
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Keeley Bentley

Keeley Bentley

Looking over the photographic archives of the 19th century, I have seen women objectified to serve and satisfy the male gaze. As a photographer, I want to have my own say on what has been presented to us for centuries, so why are my images are not allowed on social media? I think the female form should be celebrated in every way possible. ”
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Lorna Kijurko
Lorna Kijurko
Lorna Kijurko

Lorna Kijurko

To hide the body is to hide freedom. ”
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Aaron Polinard
Aaron Polinard

Aaron Polinard

Ending gender censorship is important to level the artistic and professional playing field. Being able to view images featuring women would allow all genders to display the hard work and creativity that goes into the craft. It would enable women to proudly share who they are, including the performance and creative endeavors they pursue, just as men have. ”
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JD Howell
JD Howell

JD Howell

I recently chose to take a stand against social media by removing all of my accounts. As an artist I was tired of the hypocritical restrictions. Censoring something as broadly recognized as a body part that all humans have is limiting and downright ignorant. If we plan to advance as compassionate, open minded, and accepting beings we must be consistent. We must accept all forms of expression for inclusivity to prevail. ”
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Halle Hirota
Halle Hirota
Halle Hirota

Halle Hirota

I feel that in North America, we have a hyper-sexualized view of female sexuality. In order to normalize the female form, we need exposure to non-sexualized nudity. This is something we cannot accomplish with our current censorship guidelines. ”
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Amanda Calquhoun
Amanda Calquhoun

Amanda Calquhoun

As a photographer whose art revolves largely around the beauty of the nude female body, it's been a constant uphill battle to publish my art on social media platforms. There's nothing more inhibiting as an artist than having to censor the art I've created. ”
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Aaron Baltimore
Aaron Baltimore
Aaron Baltimore

Aaron Baltimore

Of the light to the shade. ”
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Laine Bowen

Laine Bowen

I use photography to create a world I can call my own. Censoring my work makes it impossible for others to see these worlds. As with all human beings, I desire the freedom of expression. ”
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Fred Othero
Fred Othero

Fred Othero

The end of gendered censorship on social media can help desexualize the female chest and to reflect on how society has sexualized the female figure in the past. Only with gender equality is it possible for artists to feel free to express themselves without having to worry that the image will perpetuate stereotypes, go viral for the wrong reasons, or get you banned. ”
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Cass Michael

Cass Michael

As artists, I think it's important to use our platforms to promote a healthy body image. Men and women of all ages should be able to relate to what they see on social media, and to feel that their bodies are normal. Gender equality on these platforms is a great starting point. What's so offensive about the female nipple compared to a male one? ”
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Shelbie Dimond

Shelbie Dimond

I am a full-time artist, and I depend on social media for 100% of my income. But my experience on social media has been having fully censored images removed on a weekly basis. Instagram has even gone so far as to remove an image of my dog. ”
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Lasha Tsertsvadze

Lasha Tsertsvadze

As an artist, I have very few platforms to share my art. Format is the only place where I am able to showcase my photos without censorship. My images are dedicated to sensuality, sexuality, and equality of self-expression; I do not consider them to be vulgar. If I say they are art, who has the right to say otherwise? ”
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