After Instagram deleted her topless photo, Sarah Silverman responded with the perfect post

Photo by Yong Tek Lim / Getty Images

Warning: This story includes a photo of a woman's bare nipples. If you can't handle the sight of breasts, please turn back now.

Sarah Silverman has made a career out of pushing boundaries. She first caught the public’s attention for looking like the girl next door while making jokes that were shocking and subversive.

On May 7, she tried to see how far she could go on social media by posting a topless selfie of herself standing in front of a bathroom cabinet. Instagram’s censors quickly removed the photo, claiming it violates community guidelines.


Per Instagram's community guidelines, they “don't allow nudity.”

“This includes photos, videos, and some digitally-created content that show sexual intercourse, genitals, and close-ups of fully-nude buttocks. It also includes some photos of female nipples, but photos of post-mastectomy scarring and women actively breastfeeding are allowed. Nudity in photos of paintings and sculptures is OK, too,” the company stated.

Later, Silverman posted the photo to Twitter where she pointed out the double-standard in the perceptions of male and female nipples.

“Men’s breasts are not obscene but women’s breasts are obscene (unless they’re oiled up and smashed down by sexy suspenders covering the obscene nipples),” Silverman captioned the photo. “Sorry, @instagram ! You are teaching our girls well! Thanks for the guidance! LESSON LEARNED : girls: be ashamed. Be very ashamed.”

She then returned to Instagram and shared a photo of a man with large breasts next to her offending photo, but this time her nipples were covered up. “Not Obscene vs Obscene. GOT IT,” she captioned the photo.

View this post on Instagram

Not Obscene vs Obscene. GOT IT

A post shared by Sarah Silverman (@sarahkatesilverman) on

It’s understandable that Instagram doesn’t want to devolve (or evolve, depending on your viewpoint) into a pornographic site, but there should be some parity in how men and women are treated in terms of nudity.

How about we allow both men and women to show their nipples as long as the image isn't pornographic in nature? Instagram's new policy could be based on the 1964 Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart definition.

“I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description [hard-core pornography],” the justice said. “But I know it when I see it …”

If the internet has taught us anything it’s that what’s erotic and what isn’t is in the eyes of the beholder. Silverman’s photo was an artistic shot of a woman having an intimate moment. Instagram should let its users decide whether they approve by either following or unfollowing Silverman on the platform.

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Breasts were made to feed babies. Yes, they also have a sexual function but anyone who has the maturity of a sixth grader knows the difference between a sexual act and feeding a child.

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Courtesy of Macy's

In many ways, 18-year-old Idaho native, Hank Cazier, is like any other teenager you've met. He loves chocolate, pop music, and playing games with his family. He has lofty dreams of modeling for a major clothing company one day. But one thing that sets him apart may also jeopardize his future is his recent battle against a brain tumor.

Cazier was diagnosed in 2015. When he had surgery to remove the tumor, he received trauma to his brain and lost some of his motor functionality. He's been in physical, occupational, and speech therapy ever since. The experience impacted Cazier's confidence and self-esteem, so he's been looking for a way to build himself back up again.

"I wanted to do something that helped me look forward to the future," he says.

Enter Make-A-Wish, a nonprofit organization that grants wishes for children battling critical illnesses, providing them a chance to make the impossible possible. The organization partnered with Macy's to raise awareness and help make those wishes a reality. The hope is that the "wish effect" will improve their quality of life and empower them with the strength they need to overcome these illnesses and look towards the future. That was a particularly big deal for Cazier, who had been feeling like so many of his wishes weren't going to be possible because of his critical illness.

"In the beginning, it was hard to accept that it would be improbable for me to accomplish my previous goals because my illness took away so many of my physical abilities," says Cazier. His wish of becoming a model also seemed out of reach.

But Macy's and Make-A-Wish didn't see it like that. Once they learned about Cazier's wish, they knew he had to make it come true by inviting him to be part of the magical Macy's holiday shoot in New York.

Courtesy of Macy's

Make-A-Wish can't fulfill children's wishes without the generosity of donors and partners like Macy's. In fact, since 2003, Macy's has given more than $122 million to Make-A-Wish and impacted the lives of more than 2.9 million people.

Cazier's wish experience was beyond what he could've imagined, and it filled him with so much joy and confidence. "It is like waking up and discovering that you have super powers. It feels amazing!" he exclaims.

One of the best parts about the day for him was the kindness everyone who helped make it happen showed him.

"The employees of Macy's and Make-A-Wish made me feel welcome, warm, and cared for," he says. "I am truly grateful that even though they were busy doing their jobs, they were able to show kindness and compassion towards me in all of the little details."

He also got to spend part of the shoot outdoors, which, as someone who loves climbing, hiking, and scuba-diving but has trouble doing those activities now, was very welcome.

Courtesy of Macy's

Overall, Cazier feels he grew a lot during his modeling wish and is now emboldened to work towards a better quality of life. "I want to acquire skills that help me continue to improve in these circumstances," he says.

You can change the lives of more kids like Cazier just by writing a letter to Santa and dropping it in the big red letterbox at Macy's (you can also write and submit one online). For every letter received before Dec. 24, 2019, Macy's will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million. By writing a letter to Santa, you can help a child replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy, and anxiety with hope.

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