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Instagram users who try to search for the word curvy are out of luck. It's a banned search term on Instagram, Buzzfeed reported this week. Instagram confirmed that the hashtag is blocked, but tried to clarify the reasons why it is blocked. "I can confirm that we did block the hashtag #curvy. It was being used to share content that violates our guidelines around nudity," a spokesperson told Mashable. "Please note that the block has nothing to do with the term 'curvy' itself."
There are many other NSFW hashtags that aren't blocked, Buzzfeed pointed out, like #fat, #forced, #bitch, #dildo, and many more. The terms #thin and #skinny aren't blocked, but there is an accompanying pop-up with info for help about eating disorders. Nylon reports that hashtags like #vagina and #body are still searchable. Meanwhile, Instagram has faced controversy for its community guidelines in the form of the #FreeTheNipple movement.
The decision to block curvy from Instagram is really not going over well with users. While curvy is unsearchable, terms like #curvyfashion, #curvygirl, and #curvywomen still pop up as suggested search terms. Instagrammers this week also invented a new hashtag in response to the ban. Buzzfeed reports that people are tagging posts with the word #curvee as a protest for banning a word that both seems innocuous and celebrates body positivity.
"Why ban a word that makes women feel good about their bodies?" blogger Victoria Butler wrote. "I think what this boils down to is the fact that curvier bodies are simply treated as more obscene than thin bodies," Curvily blogger Sarah Chiwaya told Business Insider. "For Instagram to stomp all over one of the most popular hashtags for women above model size is incredibly disappointing."