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Warwick Rowers Instagram account has been permanently suspended

Each year the Rowers would produce a calendar to promote LGBT inclusivity

2018-06-19

The Warwick Rowers Instagram account has been permanently suspended for no reason.

Each year, since 2009, the buff bodied rowers pose naked for a calendar to raise money for their anti-homophobia group Sports Allies, and it is something we eagerly anticipate each year.

Lucas Etienne, the campaign’s French-born social media co-ordinator, decided to mark International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia by posting previously published images alongside a direct challenge to Instagram. 

In a press release, Etienne said: “These were images that had already been published on our Instagram account without a problem. 

“They were all images from our print calendars, so had been reviewed for conformity with our own strict rules on implied nudity, as well as social media standards.”

But this year, for some reason, their images kept being reported by the picture-sharing site and deleted as subsequence.

And now, the Rowers revealed that their account has been suspended but the site hasn’t provided a reason for it.

They wrote on Twitter: “As you may have noticed, our @instagram account has been permanently deactivated without any reason communicated to us.

“We’re hoping this is a mistake and are waiting for them to allow us back on the platform to keep spreading our message.”

Instagram has guidelines and will remove content that shows “sexual intercourse, genitals, and close-ups of fully-nude buttocks”. 

While none of the content that Warwick Rowers have posted to Instagram features any of these, the images do feature body hair, and this may include the occasional glimpse of pubic hair. 

Project founder Angus Malcolm said: “We have a policy of requiring models to have fairly natural pubic hair on the grounds that shaved crotches reflect an unrealistic and hyper-sexualised aesthetic that promotes unhealthy relationships with our natural bodies. 

“But whatever your position on this, the clue is in the name. Pubic hair is not part of the genitals. It’s hair.”

The fact that the account has been suspended has angered the LGBT community – including us – and Ryan Atkin, the first openly gay referee, took to Twitter to show his anger towards Instagram.

He wrote: “I am really disturbed and shocked at the behaviour and non equal censorship @instagram I have always been a supporter, particularly for your implication in @SportAllies and your support of me! Keep fighting, and if I can help in anyway DM me!”