Scout Willis on Her Topless Protest: ‘I am Fighting for ‘Body Positivity’

Scout Willis, who recently strolled topless in Manhattan as sign of protest against Instagram nudity policy, wrote a long post defending and explaining her decision.

Last week, Scout Willis shared topless photos of herself walking down the street in New York's East Village to protest Instagram's nudity policy. Photo: Kirk Stauffer/Flickr

Last week, Scout Willis shared topless photos of herself walking down the street in New York’s East Village to protest Instagram’s nudity policy. Photo: Kirk Stauffer/Flickr

The 22-year-old daughter of actors Bruce Willis and Demi Moore, who recently protested Instagram’s nudity policy by walking topless in the streets of NY, explained her act in a lengthy post titled “I am Scout Willis and this is the only thing I have to say about walking topless down the streets of New York last week.”

The middle Moore-Willis daughter tweeted photos of herself in a pretty floral skirt, flats and nothing else roaming around New York City.

“Legal in NYC but not on Instagram,” Willis tweeted about her photos. She captioned another: “What @Instagram won’t let you see #FreeTheNipple.”

The recent Brown University graduate explained, that after she posted a photo of herself in sheer shirt with no bra, and a photo of a jacket she made that featured two of her friends topless, Instagram deemed the photos “instances of abuse.”

“My situation was in no way unique; women are regularly kicked off Instagram for posting photos with any portion of the areola exposed, while photos sans nipple – degrading as they might be – remain unchallenged,” Willis wrote.

“So I walked around New York topless and documented it on Twitter, pointing out that what is legal by New York state law is not allowed on Instagram.”

She called her stunt “kind of crazy” in her explanation, but maintained that walking around topless provided an “opportunity for dialogue” about Instagram’s “prejudiced community guidelines.”

“I understand that people don’t want to take me seriously,” she wrote. “Or would rather just write me off as an attention-seeking, over-privileged, ignorant, white girl.

“I am white and I was born to a high profile and financially privileged family. I didn’t choose my public life, but it did give me this platform. A platform that helps make body politics newsworthy.”

Defending her protest, 22-year-old Scout wrote that she understands people don’t take her seriously and would rather write her off as an “attention-seeking, over-privileged, ignorant, white girl.” But, she writes, it’s the fact that she was born into a high-profile family that helped give her this platform.

“If my coming from a high-profile family could help spread their message, so be it. I am not ashamed of who I am. And for every nasty comment I received there were ten more of support, appreciation, and empowerment,” she explained.

Ultimately, she says, her protest was a success as it provoked “conversations about gender equality and body positivity that are both necessary and sorely lacking”.

“I am not trying to argue for mandatory toplessness, or even bralessness,” Willis wrote.

“What I am arguing for is a woman’s right to choose how she represents her body – and to make that choice based on personal desire and not a fear of how people will react to her or how society will judge her. No woman should be made to feel ashamed of her body.”

Rihanna tweeted her support for Willis, after deleting her own Instagram account following the channel’s censorship of one of her topless photos.

The singer wore a nipple-revealing, shimmering dress designed by Adam Selman to the CFDA Awards on Monday 2 June – which may or may not have been a protest against the channel’s restrictive rules, says Independent.

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