R.I.P. FREEDOM OF SPEECH, YOU WERE TAKEN TOO SOON (WHEN INSTAGRAM KILLED YOU)
I’m faced with a few questions after Instagram removed a post with Trophy Wife Barbie’s Niqab-clad friend, Surayyah winning the Miss Represented title at the Honest Media Awards. They stated I’d violated their Community Guidelines.
I’m simultaneously baffled and not surprised at all, especially since the last time I had a run-in with Instagram (they deactivated my account for four days) I had also just posted an image of Surayyah on a coffee date with TWB – both of them trying to guess what percentage of people don’t know it’s possible to see something on Instagram they disagree with and just move on with their lives.
The irony in both these cases are not lost on me.
I realize, of course, that putting myself forward as an ally should not be about me or my feelings. I also realize that no group - marginalized or otherwise – agrees on anything 100% but it saddens me that the majority of hate I receive on Instagram are on the Surayyah-based posts and they're mostly from Muslim women. Offence seems to be taken at Surayyah's 'devil' horns. It is most illuminating to see viewers project their own ideas and fears onto my doll and interesting that TWB's huge antlers aren't even spotted.
This raises a lot of questions: is my message of support not clear enough? Are my posts not perceived as positive and in solidarity with my Muslim sisters? Is the message being lost because it’s in English? Or is the perception of support by Barbie, the epitome of White America just too offensive to even consider?
Now I wonder if I push on and use my platform for what I think is a message of support at the risk of losing my voice on that platform? Do I seek an alternative platform? Or do I simply stop with my messages of solidarity and keep things light and fluffy – what it seems Instagram was intended for?