I will NOT be backing the campaign to ban page 3 girls from The Sun, any time soon. There are numerous reasons why, which I will attempt to explain.

Firstly, I think women have beautiful bodies and that we should not be ashamed of them. I’m not buying into all this objectification nonsense. There are men who objectify women, there are women who objectify men. There are also women who objectify women and men who objectify men. This is not down to page 3, this is down to attitudes, values and personalities. Neither is it always serious, people who objectify sexuality, aren’t heartless and void of emotion.

Me for example… I am a happily married woman. I don’t read the Sun specifically. I do The Sun holidays. I will have a gander at page 3 whilst I’m flicking through the paper. I am neither fantasising about the lady on there, nor am I berating myself for not having the same body as her. I have been known to objectify men. Did you see my tweets about drooling over Charlie Clapham (Actor who plays Freddie in Hollyoaks)? Yes, I would like to do naughty things to that gorgeous man! You know that rule married women have… about bumping into a particular celeb and being given a “free pass”… well I’ve decided Charlie Clapham is mine! Clearly I know nothing about this man, as we only see his characters persona on television, but wow… he has a nice body!

In fact, I’m all for creating a page 4 in The Sun and sticking a half-naked man on there. That would be very nice. Women objectify men, just as much as men objectify us. Does it bother me? No. My husband does it all the time. You should see the texts he sends me! Cameron Diaz is his “free pass” by the way.

The very same women who campaign against page three, are the kind of women who find terms like “yummy mummy” and “MILF” derogatory. I personally am thrilled if someone considers me a MILF. It’s like when I get asked ID to go into a nightclub. I’m 27 – it’s hugely flattering.

And before you page three ban supporters start on me… I’m not shallow. I have very deep emotions, I write poetry, I campaign for IMPORTANT issues, I’m hugely considerate and always put others before myself. But life doesn’t have to be 100% serious 24/7. We are allowed to appreciate the good looks of the human body. We live in the free world.

If you remove the aesthetically pleasing lady from page 3, what’s next on your agenda? Banning lads mags? Banning nudist camps? Banning topless sunbathing (I’m an advocate of topless sun bathing by the way – it’s great for improving body confidence)? Banning breastfeeding in public? Hey we’ve gone full circle here – haven’t we all been campaigning to allow breastfeeding in public for years? (I’m also an advocate of breastfeeding in public places). I have no issue with breasts being on display, in any context. I can’t say I’m one of those who gets them out when intoxicated – I’ve never done that, as I’m not what you’d call voluptuous. If I was… I’d be on page 3!

Whilst on the subject… I am soon to be posing for a naked calendar for charity – I hope people won’t be campaigning against that!

To prove my open-ness on this subject… here’s a PROFESSIONAL photo I had taken when I was about 19…Emma Day

What’s going to happen to all these curious young lads who can’t see nudity in magazines? They are simply going to satisfy their curiosity with our daughters… and THAT would NOT be a good thing!

So talking of daughters… what will I tell them when they see page 3 in The Sun… well… nothing really. Why make a big deal out of it? Obviously, they are being brought up to respect their bodies and to keep their private parts private. But what they do as fully grown adults, is out of parental control. My dad used to buy The Sun when I was little. I’d have a giggle at page 3 on my way home from the newsagents, and then hand it over. I think things like this only become an issue, when you make a big deal out of it – by doing something like banning it!

What can I say? I’m comfortable with nudity. I am not offended by it. I do not believe all humans who see it, become sexually objectifying morons. But neither am I offended by those who do make us products of objectification.

Is page 3 the cause of domestic abuse or sexual assault? No! Come on, don’t be ridiculous. Stop looking to blame someone other than the perpetrator. You have to be a messed up criminal to take part in these acts – you don’t just look at a picture of someone’s breasts and then become a hardened criminal. In my opinion, it’s more likely that these sorts of crimes will rise, if people aren’t exposed to this kind of media on a regular basis. The naked body will become a taboo subject.

I’ve read some great posts lately, which align similarly with my views. Like one in the Huffington post by Neil Wallis, who points out that in comparison with the number of women who actively choose to buy the Sun newspaper, the people campaigning against page 3, are very few. To quote a very prominent point he makes in his article, there are far worse issues people should be campaigning against…

“Why aren’t those petition signatories putting their energy into campaigning against, say, female genital mutilation? White slavery? Sexual stereotyping in the workplace? Forced marriages? Under-age sex and pregnancy? TxtSexploitation in schools? The list is endless – in my view, all these are far more important… but silence”.

 

How about the article in Lincoln University’s newspaper, who quite rightly points out that celeb gossip mags are doing far more harm to women, that pictures in The Sun.

“while we’re talking about bans – what about women’s weekly gossip mags, that criticise and tear down female celebrities for putting on weight or having a bad skin day?”

 

There’s a fascinating article by Martin Robbins in the New Statesman (far more controversial than this post, for those of you looking for a rant). I had to quote this one-liner from him, as it made me smile…

“Put more boobs on Page 3, and add some cocks too.”

And how about a post from one of our own (a blogger). Brilliant writer Markus (also known as Silly Daddy) also supports the notion that celeb mags and womens mags sexualise and degrade women far more than page 3 of The Sun.

“There are so many publications, tv shows, celebrities, and so on and so forth who tell not just women what to think, how to feel, how to dress, what to eat and what not to eat.”

Markus also quite rightly points out, the importance of how we educate our children on nudity, women’s rights and variations in peoples career choices. A lot falls on how we explain these things to our children, rather than what images we show them or hide from them.

So there we go… I’ve said my piece. Why I’m not supporting the ban of page 3 and why this does not in any way, reflect my parenting skills. Just simply my outlook on life and the human form.

If you are now steaming and ranting, because you disagree with every word I’ve written – go and join Mumsnet. I’m not interested in you blowing your steam off in my comments panel. There are plenty of places for you to do that. You are not about to change my opinion. I’ve heard it all before. However, if you also want to show the other side of the coin – where buying The Sun doesn’t make us all criminals… feel free to add your two cents below.

Why am I not welcoming opposing comments? I’m aware that this topic is a controversial debate. There are numerous outlets where people are backing the ban. I want to provide somewhere where people can safely tell the other side of the story, without fear of interrogation or ridicule.

  1. Clare says:

    Here here!
    I’ve already told you where I stand but I agree with absolutely everything you’ve said.
    Am I pro-page 3? Not particularly. Am I against it? Certainly not? Does it make me a bad mother? No, I’m not waving it in my daugter’s face telling her how disgusting it is, nor am I telling her it’s something to aspire to. Read it, feature on it…do as you like. It’s not forced at gun point.

  2. nortonmum says:

    Totally have same opinion as Clare above. Being older than you I grew up when ‘page 3’ girls were big celebrities, the majority have gone on to be wives & mums just like us, for example Linda Lusardi.
    There’s worse stuff on television, some of it shocks me.
    I have to say though we never buy the Sun, being from Liverpool.
    nortonmum recently posted..TeamHonk – DonateMy Profile

  3. UrbanVox says:

    Can only describe the campaign in two words BULL SHIT… Sorry to anyone that is in favour and is their right to be vocal about it.
    I don’t really read the sun but I do check out a Page 3 if I have it in my hands. I think the human body is the most perfect thing EVER, male or female, and us not a page in a newspaper that will objectify it or not… Is whatever we are raised to think is right or wrong… And guess what? Sensuality/sexuality is actually good in my books. Kinda why we are in this earth for, right?
    And BTW… Phoooooaaaarrrrr! 😉

  4. Mummy Glitzer says:

    Bravo!

    I have been considering writing a similar piece for some time. Why are they focussing so much on Page 3 and not on more important issues? FGM, force marriages etc. I get that some young women really do see it as a way into a career of modelling or whatever but ultimately it is their choice.
    Mummy Glitzer recently posted..Goodbye January!My Profile

  5. Amanda says:

    So totally agree, I just can’t find a pair of boobs offensive, demeaning or whatever else Page 3 is supposed to do to women.
    The Diet Coke ads are a clear example of women objectifying men, why else was the water cooler invented, if not for women to gather around and praise the arse of the Diet Coke man?!
    Amanda recently posted..Extended School Days?! No Thank You!My Profile

  6. Kate Thompson says:

    GOOD FOR YOU for writing your opinion, which is completely valid and worthy of publication 🙂 I don’t disagree although I do have some concerns on placing a value on ANYONE because of their looks. All too often we comment that our daughters are “pretty” or compliment them and I want my daughter to feel valued for who she is not what she looks like. That said, I do also agree with you that the campaign gives the focus they seek to avoid…
    Kate Thompson recently posted..“Wiggling” the WiresMy Profile

  7. Amanda says:

    I absolutely agree with you! I personally think page 3 is outdated but it’s harmless. I’m not offended by it and I bet if there was no campaign it would slowly run it’s cause. There are far more serous causes, as you rightly said, that need help and the backing of the public.

  8. Franglaise Mummy says:

    Really interesting post, I totally agree with you re the celeb mags, I wish I could hide them from my 7 year old’s eyes, far more than anything else. As for topless sunbathing, I’m gutted that after 20 years of doing this it just doesn’t work for me anymore – age 38 with 2 pregnancies under my belt no one wants to see those without scaffolding these days, myself included. But keep enjoying it!
    Franglaise Mummy recently posted..Please don’t buy me a birthday cardMy Profile

  9. MummyOfSeven says:

    My husband is a naturist. I’ve tried for years to explain to people that, very much like breastfeeding, nudity does not always equal sex. Most of the time I come up against a brick wall.
    Page 3 is, evidently, sexualisation. Do I advocate it? No. Does it bother me? Meh. Does it objectify women? Of course it does, but they’re not being forced into it and, as Amanda pointed out, the Coke ads are pretty much the male equivalent.
    I happen to know an ex page 3 girl (from some 20+ years ago). It did her no harm and, all these years later, is a huge boost to her self esteem. She didn’t turn turn into a sex object, rich man’s plaything or nice-but-dim trophy wife.
    There is *so* much wrong with this world, I think that a couple of boobs on page 3 is the least of our worries.
    MummyOfSeven recently posted..Happy Birthday, We Love You.My Profile

  10. Mrs Teepot says:

    THIS! All of this! With bells on! Thank you for writing this. I’ve been silent on this issue for fear of attack from the campaigners, and honestly their arguments have made me wonder if I’m a bad person for not supporting them. You have shown me that I’m being silly and we body loving people, need to stand up and show that there’s nothing wrong with our choices.
    (Also, wow! You’re gorgeous!)

  11. Donna@MummyCentral says:

    Well said honey. And I agree that glossy, celeb-based magazines which scream make stupid statements like “she ballooned to a size 12 in pregnancy” are far more damaging to women and their self esteem than Page 3. What about Torso of the Week? Doesn’t Heat magazine do that, and show a hunky guy? I’m happy looking at those. So wouldn’t it be hypocritical to campaign against Page 3?
    Donna@MummyCentral recently posted..Dear Matilda MaeMy Profile

  12. Sarah the Suburbanite says:

    One minor disagreement.

    Boobs are fine. Do I want to see cocks on page3? Not really. For some reason, lovely and functional as they are, they are not as attractive as boobs!

    The way the quote is written makes it sound like boobs and cocks would be on the same person as well, which is a conversation I can have with the child another time!

    AC was often confused by page 3. Not because of the content, but because she had boobs but no baby to feed!
    Sarah the Suburbanite recently posted..Habits – Wednesday Words. (On a Thursday)My Profile

  13. Donna@MummyCentral says:

    Having grown up in the era when families enjoyed watching Benny Hill and Carry On I think we have to move with the times, but I know for a fact there’s no harm in finding entertainment in the female (or male) form. I totally agree with you that there are things worth fighting against…. and then there’s Page 3
    Donna@MummyCentral recently posted..The Difference Between Flu & Man FluMy Profile

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