By Jade Taylorson
After 44 years, Page 3 still appears to be a fixture in family households, either in the paper or on our smartphones. Gaining popularity in the seventies, Page 3 has put the boobs in news. But are topless, objectifying images of women near the front of a newspaper actually newsworthy?
It is quite evident that there is no reason for Page 3 other than for the sexual gratification of men. Therefore The Sun is implying that a woman should base her worth on how sexually attractive she is to the opposite sex.
Not only does this degrade women, but it also makes them insecure about their breasts and how men would perceive them with their clothes off. Dominic Mohan, former editor of The Sun, claims that the women used for Page 3 have undergone no amount of plastic surgery. Despite this statement, it is glaringly obvious that not every woman looks like a ‘Page 3 girl’. Is this a bad thing? Should all women aspire to look like these topless models?
By only portraying one type of breast – the perky, “flawless” D+ cups kind – women are made to feel inferior by the images. So much so that they would begin dieting, making themselves sick, and even consider plastic surgery just to have the same body image as the models portrayed on Page 3.
By creating a “cor look at the tits on that” culture, The Sun is rejecting the idea that there is more to a woman than her breasts. Ironically we live in a society where women are made to feel uncomfortable about breast feeding in public, but it is apparently acceptable to show teenage breasts in one of its biggest selling newspapers.
The misrepresentation doesn’t end there. As a popular household tabloid, it is without a doubt that the young teenage daughter of a man reading this paper has witnessed the monstrosity that is Page 3. It is most likely that the girl’s breasts don’t look like that of the model’s – making her feel insecure and even shameful of her perfectly normal body.
Equally, how would that father feel about his daughter going out in a very revealing outfit? It’s doubtful that he would be comfortable with it, never mind let her out of the house. But, by viewing Page 3 that man has been conditioning his daughter from an early age to believe that as a woman, she is a sex object.
As there has been a 20% rise in sexual assaults this year alone, it is hardly a comfort to society that the representation of women as sex objects is blown up in every person’s face that turns over the first page of The Sun.
Home Office statistics show that over 400,000 women are sexually assaulted and approximately 85,000 women are raped on an average in the UK each year. By depicting women as ‘play things’, does Page 3 encourage these horrific assaults?
Famously, Former MP and leading feminist Clare Short tried to get legislation in the 80’s to stop these images being published in the paper. She received thousands of letters of support. Twelve of those letters were from women who had Page 3 mentioned to them whilst being raped. One can only imagine how much, within twenty years, this figure has increased.
After 44 years, we should say farewell to the misogynistic, degrading and outdated Page 3. These images have damaging and widespread effects on both women and men. So, in order to stop insulting both the readers and the female population and to stop putting women off buying this paper, remove the bare breasts. Take the tits out of The Sun.