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Thailand Bans the Always Popular “Underboob”

Thailand’s Ministry of Culture recently stated that not only are “underboob” selfie photos inappropriate but they are also possibly worthy of jail time.

Women in Thailand who post underboob selfies on social media sites could now face up to five years in jail for doing so. How the authorities plan to go about identifying any “offending boobs” remains a mystery, though, as these types of photos typically only show a woman’s mid-section and underboobs (sans nipples).

“When people take these ‘underboob selfies’ no one can see their faces,” remarked a Ministry of Culture spokesperson. “So it’s like, we don’t know who these belong to, and it encourages others to do the same. We can only warn people to not take it up. They are inappropriate actions.”

Shay Maria /Instagram

Shay Maria /Instagram

The act of taking such a selfie does seem to fit the definition of content that violates Thailand’s 2007 Computer Crimes Act, which includes material causing “damage to the country’s security or causes public panic” and/or “any obscene computer data which is accessible to the public.”

In their coverage of this story, Arts Technica provides an excerpt of the Act:

Section 14 of Thailand’s Computer Crimes Act says that a person who uploads “any computer data of a pornographic nature that is publicly accessible” could face “imprisonment for not more than five years or a fine of not more than one hundred thousand baht or both.” (100,000 baht is approximately $3,035.)

Thai Visa reports, “[the director] added that the Culture Ministry does not support Thai women to be scantily clad in public places, and it would become a serious problem for the society if many Thai girls follow the example.”

This stance on semi-nude boobery makes little (to no) sense when you consider that both Maxim and Playboy have had Thai editions for some time now. In addition, risqué ads are broadcast with regularity on Thai television.

So what makes an underboob selfie “pornography” while all others get a free pass? Is it the Act’s “publicly accessible” clause that makes the difference?

Whatever the case, Thai women have been warned. Resist the temptation to incite public panic with your underboob shenanigans. Keep ’em covered, ladies.

H/T: Reuters