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No more Page 3… but don’t be fooled

No more page 3 T-shirtAt long last Page 3, The Sun’s long-running big-breasted totem is to be shelved … and replaced with scantily clad young women covering up that little bit more. A victory? I suppose it is one, of sorts. It’s clearly a pay off for the No More Page 3 campaign. I wonder if the rest of the left will emulate its example and realise that taking a hectoring, berating tone is not always the best way of going about things? However, when Uncle Rupert said Page 3 was old-fashioned, the writing was on the wall.

There are a couple of things about this that need noting. First of all, the dirty digger was right. The number of people who still buy The Sun to ogle some boobs must surely by now be a vanishingly tiny minority. The ubiquity of porn and its ready availability absolutely everywhere, provided you have the appropriate technology, rendered that selling point obsolete well over 10 years ago. What purpose did it serve between then and now from a commercial point of view, apart from content filler? Nothing, though it hasn’t stopped some idiots from trying to get a Je suis Page 3 meme going.

Second, one should always be careful of what one wishes for. Whatever one thinks of Page 3, it is a consensual, commercial transaction between the paper and model/modelling agency. Some of the women who have posed, such as Jodi Marsh, have said they felt empowered by the experience and, indeed, for some it has been a passport to better things and a privileged lifestyle they may never have known otherwise. That the problematic messages Page 3 conveys does not negate this. As Stavvers rightly points out, its replacement so far has been more pernicious and far more problematic. It has made way for candid shots, of (female) celebrities snapped by paparazzo in swimwear and perhaps less without their knowledge or consent.

I’m not going to repeat what Stavvers said. Except to say from The Sun’s point of view, this makes more commercial sense than persisting with baps out unknown wannabes. The Daily Mail is the peeping Tom’s paper of choice and has built the most successful media website in the world on creepy voyeurism. No woman is safe, even underage teenagers. And, unfortunately, this has been the way celebrity media has been going for some time. In this regard the Murdoch stable have somewhat dropped the ball. A big exclusive page 3 splash of some starlet caught in the altogether on the other hand … that might do something to arrest the collapsing circulation figures.

Page 3 is dead. Long live page 3!

This article first appeared at All that is Solid

Image credit: The Fashion Move

9 Comments

  1. John reid says:

    The Jesuis page3 hash is surely a joke, snobbish for you to call them idiots, surely the comparison is with those trying to stop Charlie Hedbo,and the jesuisCharlie campaign was standing up to censorship,

    If a Newspaper had a topless owen not objectifying her,from a film caption to a protest or breast cancer awareness ,it wouldn’t raisea eyelid, surely the sexist comments of Clarksin or Mckenzie are worse
    The defenition of objectifying women ,isn’t always for sexual superiority ,a wonan can be objectified if she was token, like Caroline Flint saying the reason she was in the cabinet

    1. Robert says:

      I see so page three is for scientific reasons, bet you buy it for the page three.

      1. John reid says:

        I don’t buy it, what scientific reasons are you on about,

        I won’t be blogging till after the election now, good luck to everyone even if you’re not voting .labour,as long as youre supporting another left wing party.

  2. James Martin says:

    Flint hardly helped her case when as Europe minister she had the time to pose for a glossy magazine photo-shoot in various posh frocks while she attempted to draped herself seductively over various sofas (it never did it for me), but then admitted she hadn’t actually bothered to read the Lisbon Treaty that she was happily endorsing.

  3. Page 3 as we have known it is to be replaced with what amounts to a daily advertisement for Marks and Spencer’s. In The Sun. Think on.

    Far be it from me to wish to put ideas in the mind of Richard Desmond. But from now on, especially since the term has always been Star Babes without necessarily specifying a page number, might there be a naked woman on every other page of the Daily Star?

    Could it be that desperate? Oh, yes, it could. But would anyone at all still write for the Express titles in such company? Sir Jimmy Young, say? Or Ann Widdecombe? If not, then why do they do so now?

    But here’s a thought for The Sun. Instead of News in Briefs, how about an opinion column by a working-class woman?

    For that matter, how about an opinion column by a working-class woman in any of the newspapers, or on any of the websites, that campaigned against Page 3?

  4. Chris says:

    Let’s cut to the chase here: the people campaigning against Page 3 are middle class types who don’t read The Sun, but they think that the working class people who do read it are impressionable and weak-minded and that merely seeing a glimpse of tit will have all sorts of horrible effects on them.

  5. swatantra says:

    Lets face it P3 defined the moral decay in Britain. With its demise, Britain may have a chance to redeem itself. However the battle just doesn’t stop here, we have to clear the whole darknet of filth.

  6. Robert says:

    We tell women if you do not want a baby then have an abortion your body is your own nobody else. Then a news paper offers this same women who’s body is her own a chance of earning decent money, a really popular women can earn up to £2,000 a picture some on page three can earn anything from £12,000 to £100,000 a year the top model earned £1 million a year.

    Now then the same women of course will work for other agencies and these women can make a nice living while they are of course young teens and up to about thirty with the money they can buy a house put some away, better then working in Tesco or Asda for the min wage and never buying a house..

    As for Swat again going way over the top when his own country India has the biggest issues with rape of girls and women he thinks going topless is depravity.

    They are breast they are not nuclear weapons now my argument with the sun news paper is that they should be for news not nudity, and they belong to that moron Murdock.

    I’ve never bought the sun it does nothing for me, and I do not support the right wingers in the Murdoch press the Tories or New labour.

    I will back the girls for making a living the best way they can with what they have, better then shoving bread onto a shelf, but if that’s what your happy with good luck.

    Big big difference of course seeing breasts to doing porn.

  7. swatantra says:

    Puts me in mind of that ad, doing the rounds on many bus shelters a few years back, when all the talk was of Saddams weapons of mass destruction WMD; forget who the well known model was, but the byline was ‘Hello Boys’.

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