Page 3: Let It Be

Boobs in the media are the least of women’s problems, says ROSIE HORE, who argues we should let tit be.

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Knockers, boobies, fun-bags, nips and nawks.

Just a few of my favourite words for that part of the female anatomy which will no longer be gracing the coffee tables of Pembroke, after their Junior Parlour voted to ban The Sun as part of the ‘No More Page 3’ campaign. It’s something that has been talked about a lot, and I for one need to get something off my chest.

Let’s start with a comparison:

Here are two photos. One is a page 3 model – let’s call her Stacey – who is naked apart from what appears to be a Mario mushroom over her lady garden. The other – who we’ll call Tess – is modelling the latest range for Topshop, and is naked, apart from £200 worth of crop top, short shorts and indie layering.

We need to get something absolutely clear. Tess and Stacey do exactly the same thing for a living. Stacey woke up age 18 and found that puberty had been exceptionally kind to her and her double-Ds, and realised she had an opportunity to make some money. Tess, on the other hand, wasn’t in the day puberty called, but her skinniness was as profitable as Stacey’s boobiness apparently, so she too could earn an honest wage in front of a camera.

Now onto the campaign: a lot of it seems based on the effect that topless models will have on young girls who pick up their Dad’s newspaper and realise that this is the standard of femininity they will never live up to. Certainly, both these women are unattainable goals – they’re meant to be. But ask yourself seriously, which would you prefer your little sister, or your daughter, to see? The happy, healthy looking lady who’s starkers and sexy, or the stick-thin, greyscale girl who is, quite frankly, hardly any less underdressed.

It also matters what these photos are for. Only one is selling something. Correct me if I’m wrong, but a 13-year-old girl flipping through the Sun will probably see Stacey on Page 3, think ‘ew’, and move on. It’s the Topshop ad she’ll be poring over, working out what she can afford, whether her clothes are now last season, why her thighs aren’t two dimensional. Tess looks like that cool, bitchy girl from school – she’s the image that we actually diet, and shave and spend money for. And if you think I’ve chosen an extreme example, just have a flick through a women’s magazine and tell me that these ads aren’t the norm.

No More Page 3, by picking the easy target, chooses to remain oblivious to what’s actually at stake for the sake of a slogan that fits on a t-shirt. It’s Stacey who we’ll be putting on the top shelf in the newsagent, for fear she’ll offend our darling daughter’s sensibilities, leaving the floodgates completely open to the barrage of images that do so much worse. I’m not blaming either Stacey or Tess for what they do, but please, see past the big boobs, and see the bigger picture.

And until you do, Page 3 campaigners, leave Stacey alone.