See the picture that got Vogue’s creative director booted from Instagram

It’s official: Instagram is at war with with the female nipple.

Not long after a public disagreement with Rihanna over just how much exposed breast it was willing to host on its servers, Instagram came under fire again, this time for suspending the account of Vogue’s creative director, Grace Coddington.

Coddington recently posted a pen-and-ink scribble of herself in a beach chair, colorless aside from the bright, fluffy red crown that is her trademark. The caption read: “Self portrait. For more naked people, visit http://paddle8.com/auctions/noclothes before it ends,” a reference to an auction of nudes that Coddington curated.

Unlike Rihanna, Coddington wasn’t aiming to titillate, but perhaps her comfort with her own body was just too much for Instagram. Meanwhile, fitness enthusiast Jen Selter’s butt selfies continue to reign supreme, and Rihanna has packed up all her goodies and ditched the picture-sharing service entirely. Links to her previous posts all lead to the same indiscriminate grave marker:

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Coddington’s absence was marked by W magazine fashion and style director Edward Enninful on Twitter:

Instagram, realizing its hastiness, reinstated Coddington’s account, which she acknowledged by posting a bemused pictographic equivalent of a Calvin Trillin poem. It was a scrawl of her two cats, Bart and Pumpkin, with the attendant caption: “Good grief Pumpkin, Mother drew a nude selfie for her very first Instagram. no wonder they shut her down……she is much fatter than that.” There’s a censorship bar over Bart’s boy bits, as he’s depicted sitting on his hind legs holding an iPhone, either oblivious or uncaring about his shocking lack of modesty.

“When our team processes reports from other members of the Instagram community, we occasionally make a mistake,” an Instagram representative told the Cut. “In this case, we wrongly removed content and worked to rectify the error as soon as we were notified. We apologize for any [in]convenience.”

Coddington is well-respected and liked in the fashion world, and became known as the easygoing yang to Anna Wintour’s sharp-edged yin in the 2009 documentary “The September Issue.” Her humor and good nature generated new fans of the 73-year-old former model, who by some accounts, stole the show from the icy Wintour.


Grace Coddington, left, creative director of Vogue, and Anna Wintour, the magazine’s editor-in-chief, in “The September Issue.” (AP Photo/Roadside Attractions)

Wrote the New York Times’ Maureen Dowd:

There is friction in the Mick Jagger-Keith Richards relationship between the 59-year-old Anna and her closest collaborator, the 68-year-old flame-haired creative director and former model Grace Coddington, who is the only one willing to tweak “the Pope,” as Anna is dubbed by a staffer. Coddington tells French Vogue, “We have a real mutual respect for each other, even though sometimes I feel like killing her.”

Coddington’s temporary ban was just another chapter in the snit over what’s appropriate for Instagram. Professional photographers like Lance Gross (an actor who was also on the recently-canceled NBC show “Crisis”) have responded to the challenges of Instagram’s censorship by attempting to follow the rules while still maintaining a level of artistic integrity.

Coddington’s example is probably the best yet of a user tweaking the service for its seeming absurdity.

h/t The Cut

RELATED: Who made Instagram the arbiters of what constitutes smut, anyway? Well, they did.

Soraya Nadia McDonald covers arts, entertainment and culture for the Washington Post with a focus on race and gender issues.
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