page three?

I hate to be made a fool of. And, last week, I fell hook, line and sinker for the gag to end boobs in The Sun newspaper. Actually, News International tricked quite a few of us as we leapt for joy that – finally – our national rag had come to its sense and realised that boobs in page 3 don’t sit as well as they might have done 44 odd years ago.

The thing is I’m not a prude. Not really. There’s a time and a place for big bouncing boobs but I’m just not sure it’s page 3. A couple of weeks ago my 10 year old and I were admiring Allen Jones’ exhibition at the Royal Academy. She took the bondage pop art in her stride. I, in turn, glorified Jones as a pioneer and artistic rebel. A prime example of boobs that don’t disturb.

But how can I explain to my daughter as she flicks through a copy of The Sun that this is how some of our society choose to view women? Men who love cheap thrills and have forgotten what a beach in the South of France looks like. It becomes tricky boob messaging.

So, my point here is that I’m just not sure we still need Page Three, now that it appears to be back. I’m certainly not trying to restrict free speech nor ask women to hide under a burka. The debate is really one of national pride and not about banning a pair of naked naughties. It’s about the society in which we live and perhaps relocating the boobs to a less visible part of the daily newspaper.

This column first appeared in The Lady where I am their Mum About Town.

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