Facebook censored some photos of bare-breasted protesters posted on the Marcha das Vadias (SlutWalk) Belo Horizonte page and it suspended the accounts of some of the activists for posting these pictures. Perhaps the act of censorship reflects the schizophrenic American relationship with the breast. Elsewhere in the world, nudity would not necessarily be linked to pornography and perhaps uncovered breasts would not even be categorized as “unacceptable” nudity. Facebook deems examples of acceptable “nudity” as pictures of women breastfeeding and nudity in artwork.
Art is often conceived of as a form of protest and protests often take on artistic forms, although Facebook fails to establish this link. Many of the bare-breasted women in the photos also paint their skin, making their bodies both a site of protest and contested art. GVO teases out this dynamic with a quote from a Brazilian professor and activist: “Within the context of affirming liberty and of the human body as a political battleground, some protestors choose to go out on the streets with uncovered breasts. It’s a provocation, of course, to demonstrate that a woman should not be an object of desire 24 hours a day, in the way that the advertisers of beer would like it to be” (translated from Portuguese by GVO).