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Esmay Wagemans, “Second Skin”
Courtesy Esmay Wagemans

This artist has found a new way to #freethenipple

Esmay Wagemans’ ‘Second Skin’ project challenges how we see the naked body

Instagram's strict no-nudity policy has been a hot topic in recent months. It's sparked debate, a slew of body-positive art, and even ignited its own #freethenipple movement. After all, if it's fine to watch a man get shot in the head by these standards, what's the big deal about showing a slip of a woman's nipple? 

“A great deal of my art projects are about the female body, so I had struggles promoting my projects online due to the naked censorship policy on Instagram and Facebook,” says artist Esmay Wagemans. “I wanted to create a ‘problem-solving’ product which wouldn’t break the Instagram guidelines, but would still give me the opportunity to show the naked body. This is where we designed the first latex suit.”

This latex suit would be the start of her latest project, “Second Skin” – which is a direct response to the hypocrisy shown by these sites. Testing the taboos of the online world through colourful moulded sculptures, Esmay's work is tackling censorship, and what it means to be naked, in a whole new way. “I think our experience of naked is more a perception than theoretical,” she explains. “Our society maintains the sexual objectification of the female body... Because of this, we keep linking the body to something sexual and experience it as something shocking.”

“I wonder if a naked body is really that shocking to us, or whether it's the perfect example of a self-fulfilling prophecy.”

To see more of Esmay's work, follow her on Instagram here.