Tommy Lee nude photo sparks accusations of double standards on Instagram

Alexandra Ferguson

(CNN) — Musician Tommy Lee posted a nude photo on social media, but not everyone is cheering for him.

The heavily tattooed Mötley Crüe drummer shared a full-frontal nude on Instagram and Facebook on Thursday, captioned “Ooooopppsss.”

Tommy Lee is the latest celebrity to stir up controversy on Instagram for a nude photo.

Instagram and Facebook took it down within hours for violating nudity rules, a Meta spokesperson told CNN. This sparked a debate on social media, with critics accusing the platform of delaying its removal and having double standards.

“So Tommy Lee can post a pic of his dick on @instagram that’s still up 3 hours later, but a pic of my curvy butt in a thong bikini gets taken down? Great, great,” tweeted journalist Lola Méndez. Mendez compared seeing Lee’s nude photo on social media to receiving an unsolicited photo of a penis.

Others cited the photo as an example of the misogyny women face, saying that some of Britney Spears’ revealing posts were widely criticized while Lee’s image received mostly praise.

“Make sense. The double standards are so blatant,” one user posted. “2022 and we have to witness Tommy Lee being praised for posting frontal nudity while Britney Spears is constantly shamed for posting sexy photos,” added another.

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Lee is the latest in a series of celebrities whose photos have been removed by the platform. Instagram suspended Rihanna’s account after the singer posted a topless photo of herself on the cover of Lui magazine. Photos posted by Chelsea Handler, Scout Willis, Miley Cyrus and non-binary model Rain Dove have also been removed from the platform.

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Instagram explicitly states that it does not allow nude photos.

“This includes photos, videos, and some digitally created content that depicts sexual intercourse, genitalia, and close-ups of completely nude buttocks,” it says on its website. “It also includes some photos of female nipples, but photos in the context of breastfeeding, childbirth and the moments after it, health-related situations or an act of protest are allowed.”

In recent years, artists and activists have launched the “Free the nipple” campaign to demand that Instagram stop censoring photos.

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It is not the first time that Lee has been in the news for something unrelated to his music. In the 1990s, the rocker’s stolen sex tape with his then-wife Pamela Anderson became such a defining pop culture moment that Hulu this year premiered a series about the viral video.

Lee has not responded to the Instagram controversy, but did post an additional sexually themed photo after her nude. Some people questioned in her comments why she posted a new picture of herself, while others told her to go to sleep.

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