No More Page 3!
The Sun is famous for all kinds of things, few of them good. It isn’t known for it’s high brow reporting, nor it’s dedication to providing the truth. Nope, The Sun is known for being owned by Rupert Murdoch, the man responsible for The News of the World (and we all know how off the reporting rails they went), having more pictures than a comic-book, salacious gossip and… Page 3 – topless models.
It doesn’t pretend to be in the leagues of the likes of The Guardian or The Independent, it’s tagline being “The Best for News, Sport, Showbiz, Celebrities” – not exactly a representative for international affairs, more the working man’s rag. But that’s ok. We need something for everyone. It keeps the press versatile and interesting. But there is “not exactly high brow” and then there’s “morally bankrupt”. The Sun comes under the latter.
There has been a huge debate in recent months regarding page 3 girls, mainly due to Lucy-Anne Holmes starting a petition on change.org last August. As of right now, it has amassed 94,396 signatures. She began the petition after tiring of the patronising way page 3 photos misrepresent women.
You know the ones; topless, naked except for skimpy knickers and, if they’re luck, a pair of cowboy boots or stilleto heels.
Now I personally don’t want to see this sight on the inside of my paper. When I open The Sun, I want – well, I say want, I mean expect – to read articles with fewer words than a receipt and bigger pictures than a billboard, telling a peculiar mixture of half truths and “public interest” stories. What I don’t want to see is an unnaturally large pair of tits. I have nothing against the female form; lets face it, if you’re female, you have the same equipment as these women; but the only good thing I can say about page 3 pictures is thank god they’re not man-boobs. Seriously, that’s the only small mercy I can afford such objectification.
Newspapers are failing, readerships plummeting since the rise of the internet and online magazines and forums. They are having to use different tactics to pull in as many readers as possible, from cheaper subscriptions to online versions of their paper equivalent. But selling newspapers using poorly disguised porn is a step too far. It’s cheap. It’s disgusting. It’s meant to be a family newspaper.
Would you hand a 5 year old a copy of Playboy or Zoo? Of course not! Would you hand them a copy of The Sun? You should be able to, but if you do I’d say you were crazy. Conditioning readers to view women as sex objects is so 1950s. Have they not heard that women have the right to be seen as people, not just porta-boobs or talking uterus’s?
I realise that models make a living doing this kind of shoot, but if you have the figure to be accepted for a topless feature, I’m sure it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to find someone willing to take pictures of you with your clothes on. Neither am I oblivious to the fact that some women feel liberated by how comfortable they feel in their own skin – that’s great, I absolutely accept, even admire this quality – but please, feel liberated and sexy somewhere more appropriate than a newspaper that kids can see.
Call me a prude, but there are countless other places you can get your rocks off if that’s what you really want. As Avenue Q say, “The Internet is for Porn“. I wouldn’t advise using it for that exclusively, but the resources are there. Let us keep the dignity in reporting. Or at least, let’s try grasp some of it back. It’s clear to see that we’re losing some of eminence and ethics in journalism, as it slides through our fingers as it vanishes into a web of fiber optics and trolls.
If we can bring back the dignity to one daily newspaper then it would be the first step towards earning back some of the respect reporters have lost in recent years.
NO MORE PAGE 3!!