The secret of the perfect page three model was once described by Beverley Goodway, former page 3 photographer, as ‘having the ability to glow’. This desire to stand out – better known as the image of a smiling, topless woman a few pages into your newspaper read– is still one of the most the prominent daily newspaper images to date. Since The Sun newspaper first introduced the controversial slot for topless models in November 1970 – when German model Stephanie Rahn posed topless for readers for the first time on page 3 – glamour (nude) modelling has encountered many speculations on whether it devalues the female image and degrades the British public.
The famous newspaper feature has faced public criticism about the potential obstruction it could cause for women in their professional lives and the substandard role it promotes in the eyes of men. Former MP Clare Short famously campaigned against the idea in 1986, and was vilified as a ‘fat, ugly and jealous killjoy’ by The Sun representatives. Author and actor Lucy-Ann Holmes has more recently started the No More Page Three campaign. Holmes famously tweeted that ‘It took me until I was 35 to go, why have I hated my boobs? The image in the paper is purely for the gratification of men. I have never really owned this part of my body’. Holmes is getting support fast through Facebook and Twitter accounts and hopes to boycott the paper’s advertisers later this year.
Thankfully, we are beginning to see the female being celebrated for more than just the ability to take her top off. For instance when the world was gripped by Olympic fever this summer the female was showcased as successful, talented and deserving of winning gold. The Olympics really showed to contest the ideologies page 3 has historically represented.The idea that woman be successful in high profile, well paid jobs – gaining equality with men in both success and income. Arguably the female is currently at its most powerful. The objectification, which many feel page 3 and other glamour modelling avenues promote, really is at its greatest judgement.
Is page 3 archaic? Or should page 3 not be taken so seriously? Should we as a nation learn to celebrate the feature for its playfulness and its intention to be nothing more than harmless fun?
Interact UK – http://interact-uk.org.uk