Scout Willis and her topless protest against Instagram

I don’t have time for social media. By that, of course, I mean I don’t have an appetite for it, not a lack of minutes.

I don’t do Facebook (and in fact actively loathe it), and I don’t do Twitter or Instagram or any of those other ones. One, because I don’t trust them in terms of data privacy concerns (there’s no such thing as a free lunch, remember?) and two, Facebook in particular is an example of no moral compass being applied. No? Some time back FB was permitting videos of beheadings, but refusing to permit nudity of any description, including breastfeeding photos. Now, I don’t know what your definition of ‘harmful content’ is, but in mine I think it’s more harmful that children, young adults, the over-sensitive and vulnerable can readily view graphic violence while a very natural part of the post-childbirth months is banned.

Don’t imagine I’m preaching a case for nudity here. I’m not clamouring for the opportunity to be faced with breasts every time I might open up Facebook. I understand why they might not wish to open up a legal can of worms by all manner of ‘revenge’ photos being uploaded to it. I quite understand that may be the thinking and policy. But do I want to entrust my data with someone who can’t differentiate between the morality of video beheadings and a proud mother feeding her new-born child?

And so I steer clear of them all, primarily on the ‘data privacy’ issue, as I say. Bare boobs are essentially neither here nor there. Besides, does anyone really want to know I’m having spinach for dinner? I don’t think that qualifies as ‘news’ even from interesting people.

scout1 scout2


Scout Willis, daughter of Demi Moore and Bruce Willis, decided this week to protest against Instagram’s bar on nipples by taking to Twitter (I think I’ve got that the right way around…all of these social media outlets blur into one big mess of narcissism after a while) and wandering around the Lower East Side topless. ‘Legal in New York, but not on Instagram’, she said. Which is a silly state of affairs when you think about it.

Of course, the protest is, in itself, a bit silly, all a bit ‘First World problems’, aka ‘White Whine‘. If she’d been protesting about the oppression of women in other locations around the world, using the obvious magnet of bare boobs to draw in an audience to highlight rape, female genital mutilation, starvation or something else….fair enough. But to be protesting against, well, the well established policies of a social media outlet -however silly those policies may be- is silly in itself.




5 thoughts on “Scout Willis and her topless protest against Instagram

  1. Couldn’t agree more about the loathsomeness & untrustworthiness of social media, am a privacy advocate & fellow abstainer for pretty much the exact same reasons, & we’re a very rare breed indeed… so was feeling very happy to have discovered simpatico.

    Am also happy about Nudity/Naturism & Equal Sexual Rights being advanced, & for Scout Willis to add the visibility her celebrity can bring to the cause, & yet to do so in such a simple, everyday, everywoman, non-‘celebrity-celebrity’ manner is marvelous… so was, again, very happy you’re covering the event.

    Then you had to go & ruin all that happiness.

    First of all, women in NYC being ‘allowed’ to be topless is an Equal Rights Issue!, stemming from a court decision that men being ‘allowed’ without shirts while women weren’t was Sexual Discrimination. Visibly exercising such Equal Rights, such as OCTPFAS does so well, such as Scout has done so well, leads the way for the rest of not only the country, but also the world.

    Advancing any of the causes of nudity anywhere in the world is advancing the causes of: Individual Human Rights (it’s my body & nobody else’s business/decision how it must be covered & of the ‘morality’-or-not of the degree of coverage); Sexual Equality; Body Acceptance & Self Esteem, etc. Women–& men & anyone/everyone–being topless–&or nude–in NYC–or ANYwhere–are small necessary steps of very many toward eventual freedom & recognition/enactment if Inalienable Rights… eg: eventual freedom of many women worldwide from being forced into the burqa… definitely not ‘merely’ “First World”, definitely not “silly”.

    Even if these issues actually were ‘lesser’, which they’re provably most certainly not, but for the sake of argument let’s temporarily make that false assumption: Just because there are (arguably) ‘worse’ problems in the world suddenly means all ‘lesser’ issues are invalid?, or even ‘less valid’?, people should abandon their ‘little’ causes because someone, somewhere is suffering more? How is this logical? How is the journey, any journey, ever achieved except through lots of people making lots of (relatively) ‘small’ steps?

    Finally, by use of the statement, “White Whine” you bring race into an issue, into many issues actually, which have utterly nothing to do with race. When a woman’s body being accepted as-is, especially when bare, anywhere, is demonstrably proven to lessen violence against women anywhere/everywhere else, we shouldn’t give a damn whether either the woman’s body being accepted or the eventual other women being freed are white, black, brown, yellow, red, green, or purple-with-blue-polka-dots.

    Using such terms as “First World” & “White Whine” & “silly” are not only inapplicable in this instance, but also demean the very “Naturist” expression & cause that’s at least half the title/focus of this, YOUR own very own excellent!… EXCELLENT!… blog!… why would you do that?

    Why not simply celebrate Scout’s scouting & be happy without the ugly PC apologia? There’s no disclaimer either required or even honestly applicable here!

    I am happy about Scout, I think you are too, & lots of people are… & none of us… NONE OF US!… are “silly” for being happy about this!

  2. Naturism…body freedom…is a broad church. So we have different views. There was no intention to make any sort of commentary on race, I just prefer the phrase ‘White Whine’ to the other one often used, ‘First World Problems’. Oh yes, I’m happy enough for Scout to exercise her top-freedom equal rights on the basis that she’s….exercising her top-freedom equal rights. If she’d claimed that as her motivation I’d have fully supported her action without further comment.

    However, claiming it to be as a protest against the policies of a social media outlet does, in my view, simply smack of being a ‘first world problem’ in full view. She’s essentially protesting against the set of rules they maintain, and if she didn’t like them she didn’t have to join. If she found out about their existence after joining, she could have left Instagram and simply stated why she was doing that.

    I’m still delighted, yes, to see her exercising top-free equal rights. Because -and you’ve absolutely hit the nail on the head yourself- the more that people do that, particularly someone like herself with thousands of followers on these various sites, the more it ‘normalises’ the female breast. I fully support and applaud Scout’s individual actions to progress humanity to the point where the world simply accepts women’s breasts as normal, be it in public swimming pools, the streets of NYC, breast-feeding at a table in Starbucks or anywhere else. I can stand and applaud THAT aspect of what she did last week.

    I don’t agree with Instagram or Facebook’s ‘no female nipples’ policy either. It’s ludicrous. But I also understand why they maintain them; to ensure that they don’t end up in a legal quagmire regarding hundreds of naked selfies intended for private use subsequently being posted for ‘revenge’ purposes by spurned ex-partners.

    Of course, that only remains a legal quagmire because we -society- still have this out-dated view of female breasts and nipples being ‘private parts’. And we’ve got an enormous distance to cover before we get to the point where there is (a) equality on the matter and (b) the sight of a female nipple doesn’t have teenage boys (and grown men) drooling with excitement.

    I don’t know, maybe there’s some sort of agenda here wherein maintaining the ‘mystique’ of female breasts all helps to sell newspapers, and draw in a television audience. I’m not sure how the United States approaches it, but I know that Britain’s media have an endless, almost daily round of ‘nip slips’, ‘wardrobe malfunctions’ and ‘wind blowing up skirts’ of celebrities to shift their tawdry product. This isn’t news. (But simply commenting on it has given me an idea for an SLN posting, from an SL perspective…so thanks for putting that idea in my head 🙂 We’re also in the ludicrous position, within SL, where bloggers will shy away showing nipples, even when blogging about a new skin, so nipple phobia seemingly transplants itself to the pixelated gaming world too. In the main, those of us using SL, and reading SL blogs, are denied access to cartoon nipples as well. And that’s extremely silly too).

    Scout’s actions weren’t remotely ‘silly’, in themselves. It’s another small step on a long road to have full equality regarding top-freedom. If her actions plant the seed, amongst her (female) followers, that ‘yeah, so what? Yeah, that’s cool. Yeah, I want to be part of that’, that’s terrific. And I add the caveat ‘female’ followers because I can almost guarantee some boorish ‘nice tits, love’ comment has been applied, somewhere along the line by some knuckle-dragging neanderthal male.

    So…the actions aren’t silly.

    The ‘silly’ element of it is using one social media channel to protest against the (clearly defined?) terms & conditions set down by another.

    Thanks for your input. 🙂


    • I hear you, but what does it matter what Scout’s stated intentions are?

      For all we know the instagram thing may’ve been merely the spark igniting explosives kept repressed by a life lived in the public eye since birth, but with her actually being as fully supportive of many Rights/Nudity causes as any of us. But even if protesting instagram etal/Free-The-Nipple or whatever, policy is her sole personal agenda, again, so what?

      That she is, ‘celebrity’-or-no, just casually cruising NYC topless, doing errands, buying flowers, is under the auspices of the topless NYC Sexual Equality ruling… it cannot be helped that she is, declared or not, defacto in full support of the cause, when she’s only able to exercise her protest under the auspices… (wash, rinse, repeat)

      It’s especially ’cause-supporting’ that she chose this relatively low-key, ‘everywoman’ approach… no red carpet, no paparazzi vulture hordes… just making her little protest calmly & quietly & with dignity… in similarity of & simpatico with most of us non-celeb protesters.

      Don’t get me wrong, I admire you & this blog, & am very appreciative of you & the other contributors for your hard work. But I must say, I’m still not assuaged by your response; still think it was an ugly apologia, an unnecessary & self-harm-inflicting disclaimer tacked onto the end of yet another otherwise MARVELOUS post.

      Again, & as ever-&-always, thanx so very much…
      your loyal subscriber, w

      • One last bit & I’ll shut up:

        RE: “She’s essentially protesting against the set of rules they maintain, and if she didn’t like them she didn’t have to join. If she found out about their existence after joining, she could have left Instagram and simply stated why she was doing that.”

        See, that’s just not right. Sorry, but that’s exactly what these social media corporatocracies depend upon… people quitting. When people quit, even a celeb who makes a splash doing so, then they’re gone. When they’re gone… they’re gone… that’s it… the company is off the hook with thousands more joining every day who’ll mindlessly accept the cowardly rules.

        Can you imagine the negative publicity if they kicked Scout Willis out!?, especially after her low-key, humble protest!? It’s FAR better that she stays an instagram (or facebook, or whatever) member, that she keeps on being a thorn in their side. Even if she never does anything like this ever again, others can now point & say, ‘You let her do it & didn’t kick out/censor her, so how can you do that to others for the same thing?’ As long as she doesn’t quit, the company loses & the cause wins either way, whether her account is terminated/censored or not.

        … ok, I’m done, hope I’ve not been too much a pain,
        thanx again


    Apologies for not responding sooner. WordPress didn’t give me any notifications of further commentary (and I’m in the middle of a busy, busy RL week, so my eye is off the SL ball).

    I am pleased to say, though, that Scout herself has fleshed out her argument extremely cogently via the link above. Maybe the failure is with Instagram or Twitter themselves in that they reduce the capability to argue comprehensively, to do it in 150 characters or whatever the limit is. Given free rein, Scout has managed to make a very valid argument on the topic of gender equality, and in that she has my full support. Maybe that ‘spark’, as you put it, will ignite a much wider and deeper debate. Here’s hoping!

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