Instagram Forced To Apologise To Plus Size Blogger For Removing Her Bikini Selfie

Blogger Aarti Olivia Dubey had a bikini shot removed from Instagram [Photo: Instagram/curvesbecomeher]

Aarti Olivia Dubey isn’t lacking in body confidence. Her blog Curves Become Her is all about boosting body positivity and encouraging female empowerment. And she was recently the first-ever plus-size model to be featured in a fashion magazine in Singapore.

But when she shared a behind-the-scenes snap from the shoot to Instagram and it was swiftly taken down, the lifestyle blogger admits that her body confidence took a hit.

The image was of her and two other bloggers all wearing two-piece bikinis and according to Aarti was removed because it “violated community guidelines.”

Instagram removed this image of Aarti and two other bloggers wearing bikinis [Photo: Instagram/curvesbecomeher]

“I went to bed content with the article and the overall positive response it garnered, and told myself it was time to look onward to the new week,” she wrote in a blog post about the incident.

“I really underestimated the malicious power of fat shaming trolls though. When I awoke at 6 in the morning the next day and checked into Instagram, a screen popped up informing me that a post of mine was removed due to violation of community guidelines … This was not some pornographic image, it was not filled with gore or violence, it did not do Anything save for be an image of 3 smiling fat chicks in swimwear that we can hardly term as ‘lewd’?”

But Aarti being the BP warrior she is, wasn’t going to take the removal of her picture lying down. Reposting the removed image, she tagged Instagram and called on her 18K plus fans to share the image to encourage the social media site to respond.

“THIS is the image that was reported by fat shamers and trolls, and YOU deleted it,” she wrote alongside the picture. “HOW is this image being hateful, hurtful, abusive, trolling or obscene? Do 3 fat girls in swimsuits equate to gore, porn, racism, sexism? Or is it that people only want to see slim girls in swimsuits?”

Aarti often posts bikini pictures to boost body positivity among other women [Photo: Instagram/curvesbecomeher]

The post got over 3,700 likes and after several more emphatic blog and Instagram posts about fat shaming, Instagram was prompted to apologise for its mistake and restore the photograph.

A Community Operations employee emailed her an apology, citing the photo’s removal as “a mistake” that happened “accidentally.”

But as she explained in a further post, the apology came a little too late for the blogger.  

“I accept your apology Instagram but it does not change a thing. You have placed the image back but at what cost? … You are answerable to ALL of my plus size friends for removing their images or accounts on Instagram or Facebook,” Aarti wrote.

“Check your latent fatphobia. Check your guidelines and policies. Take better care of the people who use your services as a means of staying connected to oceans of people who just want to exist as people.”

The lifestyle blogger is a body positive warrior [Photo: Instagram/curvesbecomesher]

It’s not the first time Instagram has had to apologise for removing a picture featuring a plus-size user. Back in 2014, Samm Newman claimed her entire account had been suspended after she posted a picture of herself embracing her body in a bra and boy shorts. A message from the site explained that she had violated Instagram’s community guidelines, which prohibit nudity and “mature content.” But after Samm went public about the incident, the site restored the image and issued an apology.

And just last month, Facebook, which owns Instagram, was slammed for banning an ad featuring plus-size model Tess Holliday in a bikini claiming “the image depicts a body or body parts in an undesirable manner.” Again they were forced to issue an apology.

Aarti has decided to use the incident as stepping stone to keep spreading the BP message.

“The lesson here my dear friends, is that in a world where bodies like mine are still regarded with blind hate and faux-concern..there is only one way to get through the muck,” she wrote on her blog. “And that is to rise above it, create ripples of change and move forward.”

Clapping hands emoji.

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