A street “artist” whose risqué mural of a buxom Hillary Clinton clad in a plunging-neckline American flag bathing suit went viral and got him (temporarily) kicked off of Instagram is crying “censorship” after the photo-sharing app apparently deleted the mural’s image, according to reports. The image is now available on the artist’s second account.
“I don’t want to sound like a conspiracy theorist with a tin foil hat but the timing of the Hillary Clinton mural posting and the deletion that ensued can’t just be a coincidence,” “Lushsux,” an Australian provocateur whose shtick involves painting nude images of politicians, told the Daily Mail Australia. Political bias may be at play, and it also remains entirely possible that good old fashioned prudishness and weirdness about the female form might be the reason for his deletion.
We still live in an internet where photos of breastfeeding and period stains are regularly scrubbed from the photographic record. And furthermore, isn’t it possible that a mural of a semi-nude Hillary Clinton is more offensive than the same kind of image of her rival Donald Trump, who has publicly talked about his “hand” size and joked about Clinton getting “schlonged?”
Instagram’s policy on offensive content is admittedly problematic, but we don’t live in a vacuum. We live in a patriarchy. And in the context of a patriarchy, sexualizing female politicians, whether they’re Sarah Palin or Hillary Clinton, comes with sexist baggage.