Facebook Removes 40-Year-Old Woman’s Boudoir Photo For Being “Obscene”
Amanda Schoonover seems like a pretty rad lady: she’s covered in tattoos, she loves her body, and she’s an actress who appears frequently on the Philly stage. For her 40th birthday, she decided to do a boudoir photography shoot and post one image a day for 40 days. “I wanted to do something that promoted a positive image of what 40 looks like,” she told Philly Mag. “Some people say, ‘Well, don’t worry. You don’t look 40!’ I find this rather insulting. What do people think 40 looks like? This is what it looks like, and I am very proud of it. I am hoping the pictures inspire others to love themselves at any age.”
Which is awesome … until the part where Facebook removed a photo for being “obscene.”
A little primer on boudoir photography: models, usually women, pose in lingerie covering their naughty bits in romantic, sexy “boudoir” settings, often with gauzy fabrics and hazy lighting. Although cheeky, boudoir photos are usually no more risque than any photoshoot that Marilyn Monroe ever did. Many of Schoonover’s photos by Plate 3 Photography are posted on PhillyMag.com; in several she is topless but covers her bare breasts with her hands and in a couple, she’s showing her bare butt. In the photographs, the 40-year-old looks delicate and quite lovely.
And yet someone complained to Facebook that the pics “violate community standards.” Facebook agreed, pulling down one photo for its “obscenity.” Schoonover then took down additional photos from the boudoir shoot herself, self-censoring out of concern that Facebook would eventually come for them. How ironic that she was only trying to promote positive body image in the first place!
Facebook is hypervigilant about policing images of women’s bodies, even if they’re simply photos of a mother breastfeeding her infant or breast cancer survivors showing off their new tattoos. (Facebook has even censored photos of birds called “boobies.”) They prudishly don’t show much distinction between “porn” and “bodies that are partially clothed for other reasons.” If the social media monolith just showed a little more nuance in their policy, think of how much more body-positive our newsfeeds could be.
[Image of Amanda Schoonover via Kate Raines at Plate 3 Photography]