Make-up artist who tattoos nipples on women with mastectomies slams Facebook’s decency policies

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  • A UK-based make-up artist has publicly slammed Facebook for their ‘double-standards’ in removing a post they said violated their decency policies.

    Business woman Claire Louise Willis specialises in permanent make-up, where ‘make-up’ is applied with a tattoo-style needle and can last for years.

    Typically, she offers eyebrow and lip make-up, but also offers one particularly important service, absolutely free of charge, which Facebook have deemed as unacceptable to post on the site.

    Once a month, Claire offers realistic 3D nipple designs to women who have undergone mastectomies. After a picture of her impressive artwork went viral, it was brought to the attention of Facebook themselves, who deleted the ‘offensive’ content and banned Claire from the platform for 48 hours.

    This isn’t the first time Facebook has come under fire for sexist decency rules, routinely removing pictures of women breastfeeding, and Claire was quick to point out that often their rulings are completely absurd.

    ‘I’m sure we are all sickened by some of the graphic images and videos of the most horrifying subjects that get posted on Facebook,’ she said to the Daily Mail.

    ‘I have seen brutal attacks on people and animals, yet they remove an image of a prosthetic breast as they feel their viewers may be offended.

    ‘I fully respect their views on nudity and I appreciate why guidelines are there, however in this case where the image is not nudity, and could easily be classed as art and with an extremely positive message, Facebook need to review their decision.’

    Facebook’s official policy outlines: ‘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,’ but Claire has argued that there is no nudity in the image, and it spreads ‘such a positive message’ because ‘it raised awareness to thousands of women worldwide that this treatment is available.’

    In a further blow, Claire has compared the way Facebook allows the same kind of representations in ‘Paid for Ad’s’, but because her work is self-funded and free to clients, she hadn’t been afforded the same freedoms.

    Alongside an image of stress-ball shaped like a breast, which hasn’t been censored, she wrote:

    ‘The image on the left has been vetted by Facebook as it is a “Paid for Ad” and has been approved by them, It’s a stress busting boob! The image on the right is a prosthetic breast used to demonstrate the art of Areola reconstruction post mastectomy. Which apparently is not allowed under Facebook’s policy.’

    ‘In my view It’s double standards and needs a rule change regarding post mastectomy areola reconstruction images.’

    Facebook users were quick to support her, with one writing, ‘Disgusting and shows the ignorance of those that make the stupid rules.’

    Another said, ‘so life saving operations and reconstruction to make a woman feel like a woman again Is not right but a stress ball is … get a grip!!!’

    ‘I hope they never to endure half of what I’ve been through, then they would think wisely about their decisions,’ said a third.

    Since the case has gained attention, Facebook have apologised to Claire and said the removal was due to a ‘technical error’.

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