Madonna criticises Instagram for removing semi-nude photos: 'Can’t a man's nipple be experienced as erotic?'

Watch: Madonna, 63, divides fans with bare-breasted photoshoot

Madonna has hit out at Instagram over its stance on female nudity, after images of the singer were taken down for violating community guidelines.

Earlier this week, the 63-year-old singer, shared images from a provocative photoshoot on the social media app, with some of them showing her nipples.

In the pictures, she was seen writhing on a bed wearing fishnets and a strapped leather corset, while revealing part of her breasts, all in the guise of her latest incarnation, Madame X.

But after the images were removed by the social media platform, the Material Girl singer has hit back.

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Alongside newly censored versions of the same photos, she wrote: “I’m reposting photographs Instagram took down without warning or notification. The reason they gave my management that does not handle my account was that a small portion of my nipple was exposed.”

The singer then went on to criticise the social media platform and society as a whole's stance on female nudity: “It is still astounding to me that we live in a culture that allows every inch of a woman’s body to be shown except a nipple. As if that is the only part of a woman’s anatomy that could be sexualised. The nipple that nourishes the baby!”

Madonna has hit back at Instagram for reportedly censoring her images, pictured in September 2021. (Getty Images)
Madonna has hit back at Instagram for reportedly censoring her images, pictured in September 2021. (Getty Images)

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She also raised a question about what she perceives to be a gender divide in terms of censorship.

"Can’t a mans nipple be experienced as erotic?" she asked. "And what about a woman’s ass which is never censored anywhere."

She then went on to say how grateful she was that she has "managed to maintain my sanity through four decades of censorship…… sexism……ageism and misogyny".

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In Instagram’s community guidelines it says: “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.

“It also includes some photos of female nipples, but photos in the context of breastfeeding, birth giving and after-birth moments, health-related situations (for example, post-mastectomy, breast cancer awareness or gender confirmation surgery) or an act of protest are allowed. Nudity in photos of paintings and sculptures is OK, too.”

Yahoo UK contacted Instagram for comment and were told that their rules apply to everyone on Instagram, and Madonna’s post was removed for breaking the rules against adult nudity.

“We take down content that breaks our rules whenever we find it, no matter who posts it," a spokesperson for Meta (the new name for Facebook) said.

"While we understand not everyone will always agree with where we draw the line, our rules are designed to help keep everyone of all ages safe on our apps, while giving space for as much expression as possible.”

Social media went wild when Madonna originally shared the unedited racy snaps to Instagram on Wednesday evening, receiving over 1.092 million likes, and almost 50,000 comments, and sparking a storm of debate on both Instagram and Twitter.

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Madonna's images blew up social media earlier this week, pictured in May 2019. (Getty Images)
Madonna's images blew up social media earlier this week, pictured in May 2019. (Getty Images)

Some commented that the singer looked incredible, particularly at 63, and shared encouraging words of support for the images.

"The fact Madonna is 63 and still looks 40 is ****ing crazy", one wrote.

"She's a grown ass woman with an amazing body, real or fake, let her show it off!" added another

But others weren't so keen on the shots, with many taking something of an ageist stance and finding the sight of a woman in her sixties with few clothes on somewhat disturbing.

"Stop showing your ass," advised one fan, "We've seen plenty of it with the Sex books and it was brave then. Now it's just classless and it has nothing to do with your age."

Whatever your viewpoint on the images, the fact that Madonna has reposted them shows she's proud of them and wants them to be seen.

And since when has Madonna not pushed boundaries?