Thursday, February 21, 2013

Media Moment: Facebook removes an image of a woman

Link to the article:

I came across this post amongst various blogs and I thought it would be an interesting topic for this blog because it deals with double standard.

The photo of the women is of her chest covered with tattoo after undergoing double mastectomy. Facebook pulled the photo because it is against their policy to allow nude photos. This is plain ridiculous. There are numerous Facebook photos out there of shirtless men and I don't see why the photo of woman shared was offensive. There is a double-standard going on in which having shirtless photos women are considered if not offensive, something frowned upon while the men's are often admired.

Do you think that Facebook is justified to pull the photo from the page? Should they also remove pictures of shirtless men on their pages?


  1. I don't know if I would turn this into a "shirtless boy" vs. "shirtless girls" issue with Facebook. I do agree that this photo is not offensive or sexually explicit in any way. The woman is basically covered up, there are pictures of girls on Facebook wearing way less... and showing much more. The fact is, I can't see her nipples, you can't see her nipples, Facebook can't see her nipples. This tattoo might as well be a bikini top. Granted, if it was just a straight up chest pic of a woman with large breasts and no top, I would consider that somewhat obscene and understand a reason for taking it down from the page. The argument that you are making however suggests that Facebook should allow any and all pictures of topless women just because they allow pictures of topless men... and I just don't think if society is ready to be ok with that yet.

  2. With this particular image, I agree with you that Facebook was in the wrong in taking it down. As Linda mentioned, the tattoo might as well be a bikini top, and I'm sure we could each find a picture that's way more offensive just by scrolling down our newsfeeds. However, I agree with Linda about society not being ready for topless women posting photos of themselves. We have decided that it is okay for men to be shirtless, and not women. That's because of our physical difference - we have breasts, men don't. Breasts have become 100% associated with the idea of sex. I'm not saying that it's right, but I do think that it's going to take some time for society to move away from this specific notion.

  3. I think Facebook definitely jumped the gun on this one. Breasts are considered a sexual part of the body so I understand their policy of not wanting pictures of topless women on their website, but this woman clearly has no breasts. The fact that she had to remove both of her breasts for medical reasons and decided to turn her negative and unfortunate situation into something that is most likely positive in her eyes is something to be admired. For facebook to immediately take it down and mark it as unfit to be on their website shows that they did not take the time to really understand what this photo means and/or what it's about. This is clearly a statement about women's empowerment and I don't think it should have ever been dismissed or taken down.