This Curvy Muslim Woman Is Speaking Out About Censorship On Instagram

Update: According to Instagram, "The photo posted by @musegold meets all our guidelines and would not be taken down during a typical review." Instagram has a team of reviewers who decide whether or not a post should be removed once it's been reported as inappropriate.
Censorship of women's bodies on Instagram is nothing new. The #FreeTheNipple debate is just one example. Women's nipples and period stains and plus size bodies have all been censored by Instagram.
Now, a curvy Muslim woman is speaking out about censorship after a photo of her fully clothed body was removed.
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"I took this last November, in a moment of celebration for finally finding pants that fit both my waist and hips," she wrote on a second post of the photo. "This celebration was cut short when enough ppl reported it for @instagram to take it down. Usually I wouldn't address this β€” but here's the thing: I'm covered from head to toe, and yet my picture was seen as 'inappropriate' enough to get deleted."

I took this last November, in a moment of celebration for finally finding pants that fit both my waist and hips. This celebration was cut short when enough ppl reported it for @instagram to take it down. Usually I wouldn't address this- but here's the thing: I'm covered from head to toe, and yet my picture was seen as "inappropriate" enough to get deleted. My whole life I've struggled w/ body image issues & only in recent years have I come to appreciate my curvy body. Being a curvy Muslim woman hasn't been a easy journey. I've been made aware my whole life that my body takes up too much space and evokes negativity from mean aunties and men alike. If my hips weren't as wide, would my picture have ever been taken down? Probably not. This is the double standard in the Muslim community, as well as beyond the Muslim community. Curvy is tacitly seen as immodest-- sexualized by default-- so my photos as a curvy hijabi are consumed and seen as obscene. For centuries now, men have been policing women on how they should act, dress, speak, etc. and this incident is just another example. I don't believe in comparing myself to other women, because they're not my competition, but the harsh reality is that it's easier to be a slimmer hijabi wearing this same outfit. I'm tired of being told I shouldn't wear certain things because I'm not a size 4-6, a size range I haven't fit in since elementary school. Growing up I never saw anyone that looked like me in the media and I definitely didn't see a black, curvy, hijabi-- and still haven't to this day. Representation is important to me. Seeing women like Serena Williams, Ashley Graham, etc., feel beautiful in their skin is a inspiration to all in a world that tells women the opposite. I come from a community where ppl who look like me are not visible and are constantly shamed. This is my body & I'm not hiding it anymore to make others comfortable. Love yours πŸ’“

A post shared by ya curvy hijabi (@musegold) on

The woman, who goes by @musegold on Instagram, explains that censorship is common for curvy bodies, but especially for curvy Muslim women.
"Being a curvy Muslim woman hasn't been a easy journey," she wrote. "I've been made aware my whole life that my body takes up too much space and evokes negativity from mean aunties and men alike. If my hips weren't as wide, would my picture have ever been taken down? Probably not."
She is fully clothed in the photo. You can't even see her face. Yet, enough people reported the photo that Instagram eventually removed it.
"This is the double standard in the Muslim community, as well as beyond the Muslim community," she wrote. "Curvy is tacitly seen as immodest β€” sexualized by default β€” so my photos as a curvy hijabi are consumed and seen as obscene. The harsh reality is that it's easier to be a slimmer hijabi wearing this same outfit. I'm tired of being told I shouldn't wear certain things because I'm not a size 4-6, a size range I haven't fit in since elementary school."
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So she posted the photo again, with this caption. And she's taking control over her body.
"Growing up I never saw anyone that looked like me in the media and I definitely didn't see a black, curvy, hijabi β€” and still haven't to this day. Representation is important to me. Seeing women like Serena Williams, Ashley Graham, etc., feel beautiful in their skin is a inspiration to all in a world that tells women the opposite. I come from a community where ppl who look like me are not visible and are constantly shamed. This is my body & I'm not hiding it anymore to make others comfortable. Love yours."
Refinery29 has reached out to Instagram for comment, and will update this story if we hear back.
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