Why Did Instagram Remove this Body Positive Influencer’s Photo?

The photo that was removed from Noelle’s Instagram.

For those of you that follow @ModCloth on social media, you’ll know that Noelle Downing is basically a ModCloth legend at this point. Not only are her OOTDs always on point, she’s also a body positivity activist who’s not afraid to speak her mind. When we sat down to chat, she made sure to note the responsibility she feels as an influencer, “I want my Instagram to be something you go to and makes you feel good. You leave feeling empowered.”

In that vein, Noelle didn’t think twice when she decided to post a sexy topless photo of herself on her feed. While it sounds revealing, she’s quick to note, “I was pretty covered up in the photo. There was no nudity or sexual activity. The caption of the post was about overcoming your fears of being sexy and doing a sexy photoshoot at larger size.”

Body positive influencer poses in a sweater printed with foxes, an orange skirt, and a brown leather handbag.

Instagram’s policies can feel like a double standard, especially when smaller sized women usually post similar content without their images being removed. “We normally see that kind of content from smaller frames and I wanted to be an inspiration for larger ones.” 

For Noelle, getting this photo removed was just another example of why inclusivity matters. “Having the opportunity to share my journey and help change people’s relationship with their body has by far been the most rewarding thing about Instagram.” As for any advice she has for women who are struggling with staying body positive on social media, she says, “Stop seeing all the flaws that the mainstream media says we have. Focus on what makes us special and unique. Say something kind about yourself every time you look in the mirror. When you are having a bad day, remember that it’s normal and will pass.”

Body positive influencer sits on the street wearing a striped top under a corduroy jumper. She has a handbag with her that features a fox print.

Words to live by. Follow @NoelleDowning to keep the conversation going!

Erica S

About Erica S

A proud plant mom, Erica can be spotted in between trips to the nursery at her local hiking trail, or on the hunt for her next favorite ramen spot. A lifelong lover of live music, you can usually find her singing or humming a tune - most likely a late '90s pop hit.

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