After a six month hiatus from Instagram, Rihanna returned to the social network this weekend posting memes and Halloween pics. It was speculated in May that Instagram disabled her account after she posted some NSFW shots from a Lui magazine shoot, as per the site’s terms of service. Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom tweeted for the first time in two years to welcome her back:
— Kevin S. (@kevin) November 2, 2014
True to their word, Instagram did not delete her account. Badgirlriri has been completely restored (though those Lui shots are gone) and her account spiked from 9 million to some 12 million followers after her first post, an upside down selfie, followed by this:
You should care about this not just because her Instagram account is a fine way to spend your Monday morning (there could be an NYU course on her celebrity sharing habits), but because Instagram is pulling topless photos all over the place. This past week, Chelsea Handler called the platform “sexist” for taking down posts of her topless.
Here’s the thing about nudity on social networks: It’s hard for the algorithms (or the masses) to figure out what is ‘suitable for work.’ Shots like Rihanna’s and Handler’s aren’t pornographic, violent or posted against their will. In fact, you probably have a bro friend from college who routinely posts shots of his nipples exposed on a vacation, posing randomly at the gym, or, well, on Halloween. So what gives?
We won’t be seeing female chests exposed on social networks without a fuss anytime soon. Until then, you can just try to figure out what this means.