Ontario woman banned from Facebook over photos of nipple tattoos for breast cancer survivors

Photo via Facebook/Margeaux Collyer

This isn’t the first time Margeaux Collyer has been banned on Facebook for posting images of breasts. This isn’t her second time, either. Last week, the London, Ont. woman was kicked off the site for the third time, and had over 95 images removed because of visible nipples violating Facebook’s guidelines.

Except, none of the nipples were real.

Collyer is a micropigment artist who works with breast cancer survivors who have undergone breast reconstruction to creates 3-D areola nipple tattoos. Collyer herself is a cancer survivor of nearly two decades.

“Facebook is totally missing the point. It’s not a nipple. It’s not an areola. The nipples were removed because of cancer,” she told the National Post. “These women almost died. These women have been to hell and back.”

She says the realistic nipple tattoos help those who have undergone mastectomies, or who have irregular or fading areolas “feel and appear ‘normal’ again.”

In its Community Standards, Facebook states, “We restrict the display of nudity because some audiences within our global community may be sensitive to this type of content – particularly because of their cultural background or age.

“We remove photographs of people displaying genitals or focusing in on fully exposed buttocks. We also restrict some images of female breasts if they include the nipple, but we always allow photos of women actively engaged in breastfeeding or showing breasts with post-mastectomy scarring. We also allow photographs of paintings, sculptures, and other art that depicts nude figures.”

Collyer is hardly the first woman, or the first Londoner, to challenge Facebook’s nudity guidelines. Area photographer Laura Robinson was also temporarily banned from Facebook for posting a photo gallery of topless women — even thought their nipples were covered by her arms.

Following that Robinson issued a call asking women of all sizes, ages, races, abilities to join her for a photo series with the hashtag #dontbanmybody. The women posed topless but this time with black tape covering their nipples.

Robinson also met with Collyer to photograph some of her clients.

“We are trying to highlight Facebook’s arbitrary ban/reporting system that disproportionately subjects women-identified bodies to greater levels of scrutiny even when our photos 100 per cent meet their stated community standards,” she writes in a post. “My body is not offensive. My body is not inherently pornographic.”

In their Community Standards, Facebook admits that they “can sometimes be more blunt than we would like and restrict content shared for legitimate purposes [but they] are always working to get better at evaluating this content and enforcing our standards.”

Collyer has sent in an appeal to Facebook thrice but her account remains permanently banned.

Do you think Facebook should relax it’s nudity guidelines? Let us know your thoughts by tweeting us @YahooStyleCA.