“Dear Instagram, I'm a boy. I just have long hair. Quit Deleting My Photos."
Summer is almost over for most of the country, but it’s still 95 degrees in the south. It’s hot out there and most of my friends and family are still spending time at the pool and beach to cool off. Little girls in their cute bikinis or ruffled one pieces and little boys in board shorts are still all over my Instagram feed. Parents share cute kids with sandy toes on their Instagram and Facebook feeds and it’s wonderful. I enjoy following my friends adventures, as I’m sure you do!
I thought this was all fun and normal until my first 24 hour block for sharing my toddler boys on Instagram. I got a notification to log back in and immediately got the warning that one of my photos was removed for violating Instagram’s Community Guidelines. I was pretty shocked and immediately appealed the violation thinking there must be some mistake, but my appeal was denied.
Later I found out this was happening more and more often, and it was happening daily to my friends with long haired little boys.
One of my favorite Instagram accounts to follow is @parkersavesthesea. Parker’s mom Tori has been chronicling Parker and his love for the ocean since he was little minnow. He’s an influencer in the best sense of the word, he regularly converts his followers into eco-friendly beach cleaners like himself. Parker also has long hair. Regularly, Parker’s photos are removed for violating Instagram’s Community Guidelines. Tori has appealed as well and has tried numerous times to reach out to Instagram. Now she is in danger of losing her account, as the violation warnings are getting scarier with stronger wording.
“We want Instagram to continue to be an authentic and safe place for inspiration and expression. Help us foster this community. Post only your own photos and videos and always follow the law. Respect everyone on Instagram, don’t spam people or post nudity.” From I nstagrams Community Guidelines Page
Instagram’s wording on the issue is pretty ambiguous. For the record, I don’t think little girls should have their photographs removed either. I think we should stop sexualizing children period, they are just nipples - all mammals have them. But even with the blurry terms, little boys without shirts do not violate this term of service.
Does Instagram think Parker and our little long haired boys are girls?
Tori is fighting back and she’s launched the Long Haired Boy Revolution campaign to stop the removal of her photos, and long haired boys all over Instagram and Facebook. So many businesses and other Instagram parents are joining in! The beach brands FinFirst and BabyBum have joined in the fight! Maybe this will get Instagram's attention. Hey Mark, Call Us! Let’s Talk!
This is my son Oliver, he refused to take the photo without the fins, sorry Mark.