Want to look for #curvy photos on Instagram to get a body-positive boost? Sorry, curvy ladies—the hashtag has been banned.

By Jeannie Kim
Updated July 17, 2015

Want to look for #curvy photos on Instagram to get a body-positive boost? Sorry, curvy ladies—the hashtag has been banned.

While you can search for #curvygirl, #curvybabe, and other variations, #curvy itself is not searchable, Buzzfeed reported earlier this week, throwing the Internet into a tizzy.

A spokesperson for Instagram told Mashable, "I can confirm that we did block the hashtag #curvy. It was being used to share content that violates our guidelines around nudity."

That means #curvy joins #naked, #sex, #penis, and even the eggplant emoji in the ranks of search terms banned in the interest of keeping Instagram clean.

You can still search for #fat and #obese (oh, good).

And how's this for unfair: You can also search for #skinny or #thin—though you'll get a warning first, since those tags are often used for thinspo (short for thinspiration) images that may fuel eating disorders.


And as Buzzfeed points out, you can still search for other hashtags that have a high likelihood of bringing up nudity or sexually explicit content, like #clitoris or #dildo. So what's with singling out #curvy?

"Instagram is just perpetuating that curvy = obscene trope," blogger Sarah Chiwaya told Business Insider. "The idea that all bodies are beautiful and worthy of respect is starting to take hold in a way it never has before, and a big reason for that is the increased representation of different body types on social media. For Instagram to stomp all over one of the most popular hashtags for women above model size is incredibly disappointing."

"Why can't [they] find a better way to get porn off of Instagram than banning the use of an incredibly popular tag that has been integral in the body positive movement, helping women accept themselves at any size?" adds Sarah Jenks, a body positivity blogger and speaker, in an email shared with Health.

Instagram has a history of controversy over what it will and won't allow in photos. Last year one woman said her Instagram account was shut down after someone complained about a breastfeeding photo she had posted. (After plenty of backlash from users, including celebrities like Alyssa Milano, Instagram's Community Guidelines now say that photos of women actively breastfeeding are OK.)

And women everywhere are rallying around the #freethenipple movement, aimed at protesting Instagram's policy against female nipples appearing in photos (except for post-mastectomy and breastfeeding photos). The latest trend: Photoshopping male nipples onto female breasts to make the photos "safe."

On the #curvy front, Instagram users are striking back: Plus-size women, and curvaceous women of all sizes, have rallied around new hashtags like #curvee instead. You go, curvy girls!