So, Page 3 is over. The Sun has been heavily criticised for its sexualisation and anachronistic views of women for several years now, and have finally decided to replace images of women with bare breasts with images of women in bikinis. Apparently that 6 inches of fabric makes a big difference. I’ll admit to being skeptical when the feminist group – ‘No More Page 3’ – emerged in 2012, led by a woman called Lucy-Ann Holmes. It was an honourable movement, and yes, the sexualisation of women is prevalent in the current media. My issue is that this victory is pointless. This is nothing to do with the sexualisation of women. It is an attempt at body-shaming, by people who should know better.
Let me be frank. I posed for Page 3 in 2010, and found it massively liberating. I wasn’t ashamed of my body, and was quite excited about standing up confidently. I felt powerful. I felt in control. To me, baring your breasts for the newspaper is no different to breastfeeding in public. We are women. We’re allowed to be proud of our forms, and breasts are not offensive. Page 3 is not the problem. It’s people’s perceptions of it. We fought for the freedom of choice, and now other women are telling us what jobs we should and shouldn’t be doing? Modelling is a career choice. It isn’t exploitative, and we should be supporting each other as women. Where is the sisterhood? Where is the support? As a feminist, I am incredibly pro-choice, and Page 3 was a choice for me. Should I feel ashamed for that now? Are we making choices that must be approved by others first? That doesn’t really sound like a ‘choice’ at all.
Lucy-Ann Holmes, the leader of the ‘No More Page 3’ movement, once said that sex should be ‘beautiful,’ but now seems disgusted by the image of the human body. It’s an almost puritanistic view of nudity, which seems more reflective of a 1600s mindset. Will we be forced to cover our ankles eventually, to protect others against the seemingly offensive view of skin? It is also incredibly insulting to men, who apparently cannot be trusted to act sensibly around a pair of breasts. Many feminists argue that nudity in the media promotes rape, which is a ridiculous argument to make, and again, it is completely insulting to men. I’ll confess to seeing pictures of Vin Diesel in magazines that have made me feel gooey, but it doesn’t make me anymore likely to attack him in the street. You just don’t bloody do it.
Feminism is also quickly gaining a bad reputation, which isn’t good for the future. It is supposed to be a liberating movement, and not be forcing unrealisatic and puritanistic views on us. It isn’t healthy. Feminism should make us proud to be a female, and proud of our bodies. The dissolution of Page 3 feels like a step backwards, back into the shaming of the female form, and I am not in favour. My Page 3 days are over, but I’ll still look back on my pictures and smile. I look happy. I look happy, confident and totally in control of my life.