Thursday, July 23, 2015

Banned on Instagram: I'm Still #Curvy...And So Are You

The plus size community was rocked last week when Instagram banned the word "curvy" as a searchable hashtag. Though I commented on a photo asking folks to chime in with their thoughts, I wasn't going to blog about it since it didn't seem like such a big deal, at least not to me. But when it crept up again on my feed this week, I figured I'd expound further on my notion that the move didn't seem worth all the controversy.

Many in the blogosphere, plus size industry, and IG community at large cried discrimination against plus size and curvy women. I could be thick (quick pause for you to chuckle at the well placed pun.........and we're back), but I don't see it as an issue of blatant discrimination.  I read the comments on a lot of the photos circulating on IG and I read the articles (here, here, & here), but it seems to me that this is yet another attempt by the company to stay within its policy concerning how certain content is viewed.

Now as many have mentioned on IG and in the articles, it's pretty clear that the 'Gram still has TONS of work to do with regards to cleaning up other trashy hashtags. But perhaps this is just a step in the right direction toward that goal. Maybe we could continue the protest and tell them to remove some of the disgusting things showing up under words like "fat", "skinny", "thin", or other terms that I dare not type here because...*in my Sheneneh voice*...I'm a lady!

The bottom line...I am not just a hashtag.  My curves are here to stay no matter how many search terms become obsolete. Remember India Arie's song "I Am Not My Hair"? I kinda feel like that. OK, so no more #curvy? Fine. I'll just use a different tag that's not banned or make up a new one and keep it moving. I mean really...folks make up new hashtags on a minute by minute basis. When O Magazine told big chicks they shouldn't rock crop tops (boooooooooooo!), hashtags for crop tops pics were popping up in seconds. And don't get me wrong...I understand the power of hashtags as well, e.g.  #effyourbeautystandards or #blacklivesmatter. I totally get that great movements can swell behind a well crafted hashtag and I'm glad for it. I just hope that when #bigbelladonna takes off it won't find its way into the hands of those who will abuse its meaning. But given that you can't anything past folks, I won't hold my breath.

So if IG restores #curvy, great! Good for them and those who won that fight. And if they don''s cool. You've still got your curves...flaunt'em girl! I know I will. But please remember - a hashtag doesn't define you. If & when another popular one disappears, don't feel as if all is lost and you've lost part of your very soul and identity. It's just a tool used to help further the cause, whatever the cause might be. And should any others be cast into the cyber-abyss for whatever reason, you and I will remain #curvy, #voluptuous, #thick, #fabulous, and any other word that represents our #awesomeness! #truth


7/27/15 Update: The movement prevailed...somewhat. Read more on the return of #curvy to IG.

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