For those of you who are unfamilar with the concept of page 3 models, let me explain. For many years, sloppy British tabloids have routinely printed photos of naked ladies on page 3. This, for a while, was accepted- even celebrated by many male readers, as ‘traditional’, or harmless entertainment. I strongly disagree.
I first remember seeing a page 3 model when I was very young, and I remember staring at the photo of the vulnerable woman for a long time. It’s not that I hadn’t seen a woman in all her glory before, infact, my Mum and I often took baths together and it was so natural and normal that there was no need to stare are the curves of her body that I was yet to develop.
Yet, this picture seemed very different. She was posing provcatively, gazing at the camera, openly allowing her body to be objectified to the reader. And let’s be real here- those admiring her photo are hardly thinking to themselves, “I wonder if she’s clever/talented/kind.” .
Flash forward to 2015 and page 3 is finally banned- or, the models must be wearing some form of bra or bikini top. I was delighted when I heard the news, because it’s such progress for women in our country. How can we expect equal wages when we are still openly allowing ourselves to be reduced to eye candy? Funny that there was never a page 4 section, with a greased-up male model flashing his bits. That’s the problem here: it’s inequality.
Some famous page 3 models are Katie Price, or Jordan, and Jodie Marsh. If you are unfamiliar with these grounded, inspirational beauties; here’s a taster:
Seriously, these are our poster girls for page 3 modelling. I think the story would be very different if these women went on to study at university, research, read, educate, inspire…. Instead, both ladies have been at the centre of the most tragic, cheap TV programmes you have ever seen, selling not only their bodies but their soul in order to squeeze the last penny out of their 15 minutes.
Now, since page 3 has been moderated, I have heard some quite disgusting responses from men who don’t seem to get it the big deal. They say “but it’s the model’s choice, they are making a living” etc. Well men, listen up:
1. Women have strived, for many hundreds of years, to be seen as equals to their male counterparts. Page 3 was hindering this. Progress can’t continue until both sexes are equally objectified, or neither at all. I’m sure if the tables were turned, you wouldn’t be awfully happy with women leering over you, slapping your bottom, calling you patronising names, looking for a quick fix and nothing more . In this position, your worth is qunatified by the amount of junk in your trunk. Nasty, eh?
2. The rise of the boob job can only be attributed to these kinds of lingerie/topless models. Men think curves are sexy, which is great. But not everyone is born with a lovely set of DDs, and the pressure on women forces them into dangerous surgery for no reason other than to please you, Mr Male. Before you deny this, it ain’t Vogue telling ladies to bulk up their bosoms, that’s for sure.
3. To those who say “only misersable, fat women hate page 3.” Stop. Stop now, you’re embarrassing yourselves. 1. The first thing wrong with that staement is that you assume all heavier ladies detest their own bodies and so are riddled with jealousy and spite. What if some of these women were making twice as much money as you because spent studied hard at a Law degre instead of practicing lurid poses in the mirror to please misogynistic arseholes like yourself?
I know some of you might actually agree with me, and if you are offended, as a male, by the above statements, then I’m sorry (notsorry.) But let’s be clear, I’m no prude. Sexuality is wonderful, and as women, men, trans, whatever, we all have the right to embrace our naughtier side. I disagree with women who claim that vulgar nudity is ‘liberating’ (I’ve heard SO many hasbeen celebrities say this) Liberation will come when women don’t feel they need to prove their good looks in order to get an ego boost. Exposing your breasts will only take us backwards.
There’s a time and a place for sexually explicit material. Although I do think it’s great that men have come to realise that women have just as big a sex drive, just as many fantasies, just as many needs… These should be kept for our private lives. That is, not out in the open, not in a shop, not for a 5 year old Gemma to see.