But hopefully that’s all about to change.
The ‘No More Page 3‘ campaign was started during the Olympic summer by Lucy Anne Holmes. She realised that despite young and brilliant women winning gold medals, the largest image of a woman in The Sun, was a women baring her breasts. The main concern is that The Sun is a national newspaper, circulated amongst people on trains, in restaurants and in other public places. This means that anyone of any age has access to the content of the paper, including young people.
Lucy says that people regularly use the the ‘don’t like, don’t buy’ arguement, but that doesn’t stick here. Newspapers are regularly left lying around, anyone can pick them up. You don’t have to buy the paper to know that it’s there.
But Lad’s mags are full of topless women, and sometimes more, I hear you cry! Indeed, but these aren’t usually left lying around on a train seat. Neither, I suspect would a newsagent allow a child to buy a topshelf magazine, whereas they would probably let them buy The Sun.
This arguement also extends to the idea that not everyone reads The Sun. True enough, but why should those who do be subjected to these images? And why should we go about our daily business knowing that these images are being circulated?
The Sun doesn’t publish a Page 3 feature at the weekends, so children won’t see it, but that doesn’t mean they won’t pick up a paper left on a bus seat on the way home from school on a Thursday! Why should children grow up thinking it’s acceptable for a woman to pose in her knickers for millions of people to see? The simple answer is, they shouldn’t and it’s not!
This campaign has since been backed by Girlguiding UK, an organisation that promotes confidence & respect amongst young women. The Advocates, a group of young women within the Girl Guides, invited members between 16-25 to vote on whether or not to support the campaign. Young women have enough trouble accepting the changes their bodies are going through, without being bomarded with images of a man’s ideal women, with ‘perfect breasts’ on Page 3, five days out of seven! These young girls should not be pressured into feeling that what they have (or don’t) is not the norm and that breasts are only there to be looked at.
But this isn’t all about protecting children, it’s about grown women too. We may be old enough to accept that airbrushing is something that happens on every advertising campaign, but it doesn’t stop older women from feeling insecure. Why then, like young children, should we feel we might not be the ‘ideal’ woman with the ‘perfect’ breasts? We shouldn’t. And this isn’t about being a feminist, it’s about basic respect for women.
Why can’t we see images of successful and inspiring women (with their clothes on!)? Why is it that during the Olympics, The Sun chose to have a full page feature of a topless woman and not gold medal winning Jessica Ennis? The simple answer is, because that’s what they think we want. Well now is our chance to tell them that it’s not.
If you want to show your support for the campaign, you can sign the petition here.
What is your opinion on this? Would you like to see the end of Page 3?