Scream and Voltron actor Bex Taylor-Klaus shared a topless photo of themselves on Instagram today (8 November).
The photo, and subsequent caption, makes a powerful statement, and topic to ponder, about gender and gender presentation.
Over the summer, Taylor-Klaus came out as non-binary. They now also use the preferred pronouns of they/them.
In the Instagram post, Taylor-Klaus photographed themselves in a bathroom with a towel around their waist. From the waist up, they are naked.
‘What if I wake up some days and see a boy with droopy pecs?’ they wrote in the caption.
‘Why do I have to hide my areola from one day to the next? What about my genetic coding makes my areola less “appropriate” to be viewed than my brothers when examined in the same context? Well … let’s see, I guess.’
They hashtagged the post with: #trans, #nonbinary, and #freethenipplemovement.
People have been supportive and encouraging in the comments, including their former Arrow co-star Colton Haynes.
Haynes wrote in a comment: ‘So proud of u!’
On Twitter, meanwhile, Taylor-Klaus posted an exchange they had with a 4-year-old.
4 Yr Old: “Bex, do you have breasts?”
Me: “Yeah, buddy. They’re hidden somewhere under here”
4YO: “Oh. Ok. Jo, can we give Bex his biscuit now??”
I love this kid.
— Deputy Bishop ✨(Bex Taylor-Klaus) (@IBexWeBex) November 8, 2018
What’s up with banning nipples?
Instagram has come under scrutiny before what it allows and doesn’t allow on their platform.
Madonna’s topless Instagram post, in which she covered up her nipples, also stirred up controversy and discussion.
Per Instagram’s community guidelines, they explicitly prohibit nudity, including female nipples.
‘We know that there are times when people might want to share nude images that are artistic or creative in nature, but for a variety of reasons, we don’t allow nudity on Instagram,’ the company states.
This includes ‘some photos of female nipples, but photos of post-mastectomy scarring and women actively breastfeeding are allowed’.
People involved in the Free the Nipple movement have long taken issue with this rule, arguing against the double-standard of allowing men to be shirtless but not women. Society created the construct of breasts as sexual in nature, despite that they exist primarily to produce lactation.
It is unclear if Instagram will take any action against Taylor-Klaus, given they don’t identify as female. If they do remove the post, there will undoubtedly be an outcry and pushback against them.