Instagram Admits "Mistake" After Pubic Hair Backlash

The social networking app reactivated an account that posted a photo depicting female public hair

Instagram has reactivated an Australian magazine's account on the photo-sharing app, after disabling it for posting a picture containing female pubic hair, admitting the decision to remove the account was a "mistake."

Instagram released the statement after putting the Sticks and Stones account back online: "We try hard to find a good balance between allowing people to express themselves creatively and having policies in place to maintain a comfortable experience for our global and culturally diverse community."

The statement continues, "This is one reason why our guidelines put limitations on nudity, but we recognize that we don’t always get it right. In this case, we made a mistake and have since restored the account."

The Sticks and Stones account was disabled about three weeks ago, after the magazine posted a photo showing two women in bikinis. The photo contained a hint of pubic hair.

The backlash online was nearly immediate. ran a story with the headline, "This Banned Instagram Photo Exposes the Company's Sexist Double Standards." The website argued that male users get more freedom than female users when it comes to baring body hair.

The writer mentioned Justin Bieber's recent Calvin Klein photo shoot, which depicts what appears to be the singer's pubic hair, as an example.

Sticks and Stones director Ainsley Hutchence told The Huffington Post, "From what I can gather I do feel as though men can get away with a lot more in terms of what Instagram deems to be of a sexual nature." 

Instagram's user guidelines prohibit "violent, nude, partially nude, discriminatory, unlawful, infringing, hateful, pornographic or sexually suggestive photos."