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Avon urges Instagram to lift nipple ban during Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Social media site does not currently allow photos of female nipples

Sarah Young
Wednesday 02 October 2019 09:55 BST
Avon urges women to take a "breast break" and carry out regular self-checks

Avon is urging Instagram to lift its nipple ban during Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM) to help highlight the importance of breast health.

The Avon Foundation for Women, the charitable arm of the cosmetics company, is calling for images of female nipples to be shown on the photo sharing site throughout October to coincide with BCAM.

Currently, Instagram's community guidelines state that it does not allow nudity including photos of female nipples.

However, exceptions are made for images featuring post-mastectomy scarring and women actively breastfeeding.

In an open letter to Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, Amy Greene, Avon Foundation for Women chairwoman, wrote: “We believe this will use the social media platform as a force for good, helping to raise greater awareness of BCAM and to further breast health education.

”At Avon we have a long-term commitment to breast health education and want to shine a light on breast health awareness across the globe.”

Greene went on to explain that the beauty brand is encouraging women across the UK to make time to check their breasts, by taking a ‘Breast Break’, and called on the social media site to participate.

“We want to go further – joining forces with Instagram to unleash a global social media ‘Breast Break’,” Green wrote.

Avon's appeal follows research by the foundation which found an ”alarming minority of women are performing regular breast cancer self-checks“.

The survey of 1000 women in the UK revealed that 86 per cent said they understood the importance of regular such self-checks.

However, only 44 per cent admitted they felt their breasts for signs of cancer once a month or more.

Katie Goodfellow, an Avon representative, was diagnosed with breast cancer in July 2017 after finding a lump in her breast, resulting in six months of chemotherapy and a double mastectomy.

“I had never checked my boobs before I found my lump and to be honest I can’t remember people telling me to do so,” Goodfellow said.

“For a huge number of people, regular checks still aren’t part of their routines - with so much to do, it can easily slip off the priority list. Checking our breasts and pecs should only take a couple of minutes in the shower, it’s just about getting into the habit.”

According to Cancer Research UK, there were 55,213 cases of invasive breast cancer in the UK between 2014-2016.

The NHS states that one in eight women will be diagnosed with the disease during their lifetime.

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