Justin Bieber's recent Instagram selfie, taken while holding his Calvin Klein-clad penis, thrilled a lot of Beliebers.
It also prompted at least one media outlet to question Instagram's picture removal policy, and set off yet another round of body shaming that wouldn't be tolerated if it was aimed at a female.
However, it should be obvious why Justin Bieber's picture is still up on the photo-sharing site, and why rapper The Game's peen moment was recently taken down. The "Sorry" superstar's latest package display shows him in boxer briefs grabbing his non-erect penis. The Canadian's caption reads, "#mycalvins."
Take a look at Justin Bieber's pic below.In contrast to Justin Bieber's "soft" pic, which covered up most of his probably above-average penis, The Game's removed shot showed him wearing super-tight athletic shorts, under which the outline of his not-far-off or fully erect penis is clearly visible. Readers who don't think that the MC's picture showed him in an aroused state may want to muse on what it would mean in terms of length if he wasn't. Not so much a penis, as fantastical python.
The rapper's caption included obscene hashtags. These included, #TakeYourIndexAndMiddleFingerAndMakeAGun, #PullThemPantiesToTheSideAndGetReadyForThe, and #ThenPutTheGunInsideYouAndPullTheTrigger. Yet another charmless message urged #EaseItOutAndPutSomeOfThatStickyIckyOnThatPearlTongue among others of a similar ilk.
See a screen shot of The Game's snap below.Not surprisingly, multiple Instagram users flagged The Game's post. Instagram censors eventually removed it about three weeks after the rapper shared it. However, in just one of many body shaming references, The Frisky argues that The Game's removed photo is "really no different from the Biebs' sad handful of wang'n'Calvins."
The site adds, "Does Instagram fear big d***s? Is there some sort of subsection of their decency code or whatever that lets medium-sized d***s and the little bitty ones slide, while silencing the well-endowed? Is The Game's meat doing too much, while Bieber's is merely doing the bare minimum? If you're going to go hard on censorship, d**k should be policed just as strictly as the flash of an areola from a nursing mother. How long will Instagram allow Bieber's Vienna sausage to flourish? We'll just have to wait and see."
Before getting to those questions, try substituting "vagina" and "breasts" for "d**k" in the above text. Just imagine the uproar? Yet, The Frisky casually ripped Justin Bieber's schlong as if males don't come in all shapes and sizes, not to mention states of arousal. Because that's really the issue here.
Instagram's community guidelines state, "We know that there are times when people might want to share nude images that are artistic or creative in nature, but for a variety of reasons, we don't allow nudity on Instagram."
"This includes photos, videos, and some digitally-created content that show sexual intercourse, genitals, and close-ups of fully-nude buttocks." The statement continues, "It also includes some photos of female nipples, but photos of post-mastectomy scarring and women actively breastfeeding are allowed. Nudity in photos of paintings and sculptures is OK, too."
During a business event in London, England, last October, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom talked about these rules, explaining that one of the main reasons that the company censors pictures of female nipples is because Apple's App Store has strict guidelines on what kind of content is accessed inside apps. Violating the rules could result in restrictions, or even the removal of the Instagram app on the Apple Store.
Systrom said that if female nipples were allowed on Instagram, then the platform would be forced to list the app with a 17+ rating in the iTunes App Store, which would limit the app's marketing reach.
Noting that Instagram does allow images of post-masectomy scarring and pics of women breastfeeding, Systrom insisted the company is "committed to artistic freedom," but "in order to scale effectively there are [some] tough calls" such as banning most types of nudity.
In that light, it's not hard to see why The Game's much more explicit (albeit clothed) display of his aroused penis was censored, and Justin Bieber's non-aroused (and also clothed) penis was not.
As for The Frisky's penis shaming of the Biebs, -- which is a part of a long-standing practice of some media outlets that body shame the singer --- paparazzi-obtained nude photos of the 22-year-old taken without his knowledge or consent during a holiday in Bora Bora last year revealed Bieber's penis isn't something he needs to be sorry for.
Let's all apply the same principles of respect that feminists rightly demand for female images in the public domain and stop comparing and shaming males bodies too. Not using belittling language in media reports or participating in objectifying "votes," such as the example below, are great places to start.
Alright time vote - @itsFrankieP @nickjonas vs @justinbieber pic.twitter.com/HyyMOXJ0kb[Photo by Rob Grabowski/Invision/AP Images]
— HITS 97.3 (@HITS973) June 1, 2016