Soon after Coco Austin posted an intimate, revealing photo of herself breastfeeding 2-month-old daughter Chanel on Instagram, the site deleted the image — reportedly because of its anti-nipple policy.
“Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do when feeding time comes up … Breastfeeding in odd places …,” the Ice & Coco host, 36, captioned the shot, which appears to show the duo in a car, originally posted on Friday and captured by E! News before it was removed from Instagram.
The model and wife of rapper Ice-T had wanted to spark action, she explained in her note, but not from censors. “I want to start a trend where us moms post pics of all the wild stuff we do for our little ones,” she wrote. “#momslife.“
Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom has insisted that the site is “committed to artistic freedom.” But Systrom explained to Mic that Instagram’s policy is to ban content it deems inappropriate because Apple’s App Store houses Instagram, and if Instagram crosses Apple’s rules, it risks being excluded from the store. (Instagram is rated 12+. The app store allows “explicit nudity” only in apps rated 17+.)
“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,” Instagram spells out in the Community Guidelines posted online. “This includes photos, videos, and some digitally created content that show sexual intercourse, genitals, and close-ups of fully-nude buttocks. It also includes some photos of female nipples, but photos of post-mastectomy scarring and women actively breastfeeding are allowed.”
Coco with Chanel, and her dad, Ice-T. (Photo: Instagram/babychanelnicole)
Coco hasn’t spoken out about her breastfeeding image yet, but historically she isn’t afraid of controversy (she has already posed topless with baby Chanel) or criticism (she fired back directly at a Facebook commenter who accused her of exploiting Chanel last month: “How is this exploiting her? … does she not look happy?”).
And since she hasn’t shied away from talking about breastfeeding — “My nipples feel like they are gonna fall off they’re so raw from breastfeeding,” Coco wrote on Facebook days after welcoming Chanel — why should she shy away from showing it?
“Throw your hands in the air and wave ’em like you just don’t care!!” the mother blasted out to the infant’s 244,000 followers on BabyChanelNicole’s Instagram account on Saturday alongside a photo of Chanel, above. “I’m a breastfed baby!!”
Top photo: Instagram/Coco