There’s a strong chance you’re familiar with the Warwick Rowers. And if not, we guarantee you’ll be all about them in just a moment.
Started by LGBT activist, Angus Malcolm, and a group of mainly heterosexual male student athletes at an English university, the organization’s mission is to challenge homophobia and bullying in the sports world (and beyond) and champion diversity and inclusivity. With an emphasis on fundraising, the Warwick Rowers produce their famous calendar products and have funded the establishment of Sport Allies, a charity that shares the Warwick Rowers ambitions to make athletics a leader in championing for gender equality and LGBT inclusion.
Aside from the release of the annual calendar, the org uses Instagram to promote their message. Unfortunetly, over the years, as the Warwick Rowers have posted their thought-provoking images on key dates like Women’s Day, LGBT Pride, and International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT), Instagram has removed posts for “breaching community guidelines.”
One Warwick Rower, Lucas Etienne (who runs the social account), noticed that more and more images were being deleted, even though he found endless examples of other accounts that seemed to be far more in breach of Instagram guidelines. To that point, on IDAHOT, he posted previously published images with a direct message to Instagram.
“These were images that had already been published on our Instagram account without a problem. They were all images from our print calendars, so had been reviewed for conformity with our own strict rules on implied nudity, as well as social media standards.”
What he specifically wanted to point out is that female nudity, no matter how sexualized, is often considered less challenging than male nudity.
Unfortunately, Instagram does have guidelines on nudity (and will remove content that shows “sexual intercourse, genitals, and close-ups of fully-nude buttocks).
While none of the Warwick Rowers’s photos featured any of this, the images do feature body hair, with an occasional glimpse of pubic hair. Malcolm commented:
“We have a policy of requiring models to have fairly natural pubic hair on the grounds that shaved crotches reflect an unrealistic and hyper-sexualised aesthetic that promotes unhealthy relationships with our natural bodies. But whatever your position on this, the clue is in the name. Pubic hair is not part of the genitals. It’s hair.”
Regardless. the Warwick Rowers Instagram account was unfortunately deactivated. The organization is currently trying to appeal the decision, but have had no luck in response yet. However, they did agree to share the 10 photos that ultimately pushed to the deactivation of their account.
Keep scrolling to check out the photos and let us know what you think. Should their account have been deactivated? Let’s be real, no.