Whether sexualised or scrutinised, the female body is constantly under attack. Facing rigid pressures to perform and conform in certain ways, the female nude is repeatedly exploited, manipulated and used without consent.
The “ideal female form” is promoted everywhere, and this is harmful for young people’s sense of self; for their mental, physical and sexual wellbeing. But what about those who don’t (or don’t want to) fit into this one dimensional standard of “beauty”?
For your #NSFW eyes only, we have put together 14 of our favourite nudes from our favourite risqué Instagram artists who are using craft, paint, illustration and photography to reclaim the naked form.
These body positive artists seek to include all bodies, as well as tactically overcome the double standards around nipple censorship.
Speaking of nipples, in 2015 Instagram banned the female nipple and proceeds to remove any image that shows one for it’s “sexual connotations”. This is of course unless you are breastfeeding, post-mastectomy or post through this Instagram…
Advocating #freethenipple for all genders, this page directly conveys how ridiculous censoring female nipples are.
In fact they are so indistinguishable from men’s nipples up close that one male nipple was mistaken for a woman’s and removed!
NEWS: We just had one of our male nipples removed. Instagram, you can’t even tell the difference between male and female nipples; who could!? So why even bother banning female nipples if they can be so similar? Ps. Thanks everyone for returning tonour account @genderlessnipples is a fake Instagram account.
In a battle to desexualise the female form, Jaz Moodie’s embroidered “mudes” are re-empowering women to decide how they want their bodies to be shown. Moodie positively collects nude commissions to stitch onto clothing and bags, fabulously embracing the diversity of the female form.
Bigger the hoop, bigger the EMBROIDERED QUEEN! these three gorgeous nudes will be exhibited at the FEMINA exhibit today (5pm onwards) and tomorrow in Sheffield (@peddlermkt, in @kelhamstudio). Thank you @driftedlinedesign for bringing together a celebration of the female form! . . . SO SO SO proud of the incredibly brave women who have allowed me to not only recreate their nude commissions for the exhibit, but have infectious self-love and aren’t afraid to show it the hoops will be displayed next to some words from the women they’re based on. Thank you queens.
These gorgeous pots of personalised perkies are opening up conversations around booby beauty norms – demanding that all breasts and nipples are beautiful, no matter what size, shape or colour; how hairy, asymmetrical, scarred or stretch marked they are!
Embracing our differences and transcending social standards, one tit pot at a time.
4. @JulianaHuxtable: Sculptor Frank Benson
This 3D print of transgender DJ and artist, Juliana Huxtable, became one of Benson’s most famous nude sculptures. It was showcased at Huxtable’s exhibition, There Are Certain Facts That Cannot Be Disputed, in New York, alongside her other nude self-portraits.
As a trans woman of colour, her body – like so many others – experiences continuous exclusion and violent demonisation from society – making this badass nude so poignant!
Juliana, 2015 – 2016 Bronze, polyurethane acrylic paint, Corian Finished! Thanks to everyone that made this project possible: @julianahuxtable @gentlegiantltd @polichtallix @new__alchemy @associated_fabrication @sadiecoleshq @andrewkrepsgallery @lauren1cornell @ryantrecartin @newmuseum I couldn’t have done it without you!
Diagnosed with endometriosis, this Australian artist paints naked bodies to raise awareness of the disease. She reflects that bodies are not just objects for the gaze but they exist outside of that and things happen to them.
The reality of this disease is that 1 in 10 women have it and the pain is definitely felt through the evocative nudes that bleed and contort.
Women’s pleasure is constantly told through the male gaze – yet this Instagram page is totally refreshing.
By guiding “the beauty of sensual nature from a woman’s point of view” Tina Maria Elena Bak takes control of her own sexuality. Simultaneously she also gives up that control to the fluid watercolours that erotically flow across the page.
Happy International Women’s Day! This is the day we look back through history and do the status of the lives of and opportunities for women around the world! We look at challenges and demands and continue our wishes of equality for the future. Equality is about gender not having to play a role at all! This is my Self Love No 25. Available for purchase on tinamariaelena.com #tinamariaelena #kvinderneskampdag #internationalwomensday #feminine #femininity #kvindersinternationalekampdag #selflove
These personalised plates are one in a million and great for capturing a moment in time. Eliza Hopewell vivaciously paints you and your friends, into a scene, onto a plate. She has a way of bringing out your individualities, as of course we all have unique characteristics and interesting personalities that our naked bodies carry.
Warning: do not try eating off you and your friends; these plates are for display purposes only.
This Australian based poet-cum-tattoo inspirer has us hooked with her body positive line drawings. Self-love is the mission, and her ink characters are the mode of exposing the multitude of realities that the female body experiences, particularly those with differently abled bodies.
Cannon also requests personal descriptions of anxiety from her followers and attempts to visually recreate it in her nude art.
One of the most intriguing Insta-artists at the moment, Polly Nor, illustrates the female body as having a fake skin that sheds to expose our inner demon.
Hairy, grotesque and honestly empowering – we just love her provocative portrayal of female sexuality that gloats at the polished forms we see in the media.
“The bravest thing I’ve ever done can only be becoming a woman.” Alejandra Smits
This best-selling author, based in Barcelona, is definitely one to watch. Nathalie Nahai sketches incredibly sensual life drawings, playing with light and shade to expose the subtle textures and perfect imperfections of the naked form that are so commonly airbrushed out.
The final results from my long pose, working 5 weeks with the wonderful Celeste @bcnacademyofart (using @nitram charcoal on Archers 180g) . . . @bcnacademyofart #art #lifedrawing #nude #figuredrawing #atelier #portrait #figure #figuredrawing #academicdrawing #atelier #dibujo #artstudio #artacademy #artist #nitram #charcoal #realism #artlife #barcelonaacademyofart #drawing #baa @nitram
Taiwanese artist Pigo Lin colourfully creates a narrative of an eroticised naked girl. Against the shame that is normalised around female sexuality, Pigo Lin’s work tells a story of her desire through “positive eyes”.
The illustrations range from mundane tasks, to comical settings, to action packed adventures, all the while making her pleasure totally central to the scene.
Interested in photographs that shock the senses? The London Vagabond takes nudes under themes of “freedom, filth and fetish”. There is just enough censorship that keeps them from being blocked. We love their risqué flavours that will surely tantalise your tastebuds.
Birthday cake – 35mm – 2017 Another year passes and I am another year older. I’m still producing images that will shock your mum and get you in trouble with your girl! Thanks to @threespike @greyjampress @modest.gold @tworise @ironxniall & @harryfconway for massively supporting me through the half of this year that I was locked in a cage. As always I’m hoping the next year will contain freedom, filth and fetish! Do more of whatever the fuck makes you happy before it’s too late!
This photographer uses the naked body to sell fashion. Behind thin mesh clothing, nipples appear to be untouchable by the Instagram censorship algorithms! In an interview she defines the line between representation and exploitation when it comes to nude photography:
When a “woman willingly takes a nude portrait, it becomes a letter to the world; broadcasted message of here-ness. You cannot exploit the empowered.”
Taiwanese born female digital artist is obsessed with photographing naked women covered in temporary tattoos of big brand icons. These include high-end fashion lines and big corporate logos. Apparently this is another way to combat the censorship rules?
Advertising on Instagram, Yuyi uses the body as a billboard for her work. Through social media she was approached by Gucci headquarters to collaborate in making more logo nude art.