You'd think that after this month's #curvy debacle, Instagram would be a little more selective about which hashtags it chooses to ban, but alas! It's happened again: Instagram removed #goddess from its search engine. If life were The Odyssey, Athena would be ramping up for some good, old-fashioned smiting; unfortunately, it's been a while since the Greek pantheon of goddesses walked the earth, though, so I doubt there will be any actual smiting in Instagram's future. Luckily, human women are doing a good job of taking care of business — in response to the ban, users created the hashtag #BringBackTheGoddess and are demanding its reinstatement.
According to the Daily Dot, Instagram said in a statement that "#goddess was consistently being used to share content that violates our guidelines around nudity," which prompted its removal. While this may certainly be the case, it's still worth noting that the term has nothing to do with porn for many users; goddesses are figures in modern religions such as Hinduism, Wicca, paganism, and many, many more. Some women claim that the banning of #goddess stems from... you guessed it, sexist double standards! Citing Instagram's long history of controversial censorship and the fact that #god has been left untouched, women are taking to Twitter and, of course, Instagram to express their displeasure with the ban.
Instagram is no stranger to public uproar, especially when it comes to censorship. Artist Rapi Kaur's photograph of a fully-clothed woman was taken down repeatedly for the subject's period stain on her sweatpants; plus-size blogger Samm Newman's underwear pictures prompted the removal of her entire account; the list goes on and on. With that in mind, let's take a look at some of the more controversial banned hashtags.
Although it has since been restored to its rightful place, #curvy made headlines (and more headlines, and then some more headlines) in July when users found themselves unable to search the term on Instagram. Thanks to outspoken users who used #curvee to protest the ban, #curvy is back, baby.
"Thinspiration," or "thinspo" for short, is the practice of using images of ultra-skinny subjects to provide motivation to lose weight. Unsurprisingly, this is frequently associated with eating disorders, which led Instagram to ban the #thinspo hashtag in 2012. However, some questioned whether the ban was effective.
Like #sexy and #curvy, #lingerie is blocked from search. Unlike #curvy, however, lingerie just can't seem to find its way back into Instagram's good graces. (#Boxers, by the way, is totally fine. Oy vey.)
Finally, a ban that makes sense! ...Until you find out the rest of the story, of course. Although #boobs is understandably banned, #boobz somehow flies free. If you're wondering how #boobz is A-OK while #goddess was banned, well, I am too. What gives?
Everyone's favorite NSFW Instagram celebration, #EggplantFriday, came to a screeching halt when Instagram finally allowed users to hashtag emojis. Apparently, someone figured out exactly what most people use it for (penis photos, obviously) and Instagram promptly banned #eggplant. Despite efforts like #FreeTheEggplant, the phallic, purple cartoon vegetable (unless it's a fruit??) is still tragically missing.
Image: Avalon Darnesh/Instagram