An open letter to Facebook, Instagram and Tik Tok:
My name is Ruhee and I’m the founder of Rubies Bras based out of Toronto, Canada. I started my business in 2015 after being disappointed time and time again by the selection of bras available on the market. After years of uncomfortable commercial bras, I took it into my own hands to learn how to make my own bra and use this skill to give other women the chance to have bras that they need.
Our mission is to help women feel sexy and confident with bras that fit, flatter and support without compromise, no matter the size or situation. It’s also important to us that our products use premium materials that are ethically made, locally sourced and free from latex and animal products.
Like many other modern business, we put ourselves out there on social media for brand awareness and to find a community. But as a lingerie company, it’s not uncommon to see our content get taken down or restricted because they “violate” community guidelines.
“For what?” you might ask?
Well according to Tiktok, it was “adult nudity and sexual activity” and for Instagram it was because of “overtly sexualize positioning”.
After having a “styling my bra” video get taken down on TikTok, we realized that the algorithm doesn’t just censor nipples. It censors bras too… or at least it censors the word bra. We tried to appeal and failed, and then decided to delete it, re-upload it, but this time we took out any copy in the captions relating to breasts, boobs, bras and lingerie, with no change to the actual video itself. This video is still up on our page and we haven’t heard a peep from TikTok since.
For Instagram, it seems that close up shots of bras, women in bras, and women in bras with their nipples showing even just a little bit are getting censored.
Here are some examples:
Ruhee… although i think your social position, products, style, exposure is great I am offering the oppositions side of this: not my own. When the human body is the subject and the internet is the platform that it is being offered there is one argument that people are so uncomfortable with: if bits of the body are being shown on social media …. then other parts of the body will be. In some instances it is not only a problem with having ones children exposed but it also leads to MORE exposure. It wanders, at some point, into pornography. It may seem harmless but it doesn’t turn out to be.
I is always a good idea to allow people to opt out of seeing it themselves and also to postpone their children from observing other peoples bodies until they are actually ready.
I hope this helps heal the divide… although I think not. Just optimism.
Thank you for taking this stand. Censorship of women’s bodies, except for the titillation directed at men, has bothered me since I was old enough to be conscious of it. This shouldn’t still be a fact of life in this day and age. We need to fight back against this form of discrimination.