THE BLOG

No More Page 3 Is a Huge Achievement - But There's Still a Long Way to Go

21/01/2015 10:06 GMT | Updated 22/03/2015 09:59 GMT

It's awesome to hear that there won't be topless women on Page 3 anymore.

Page 3 was everywhere you looked: on shop shelves, in waiting rooms and even on public transport. It was harmful to young children and teenagers and most of all was disrespectful and embarrassing to women everywhere.

I babysat a young girl last year where a copy of the Sun had been left open on a coffee table. When she saw page 3 she looked at me and asked if the image was what boobs are meant for!

But while it's great that topless women have been taken out of the Sun, there is still a long way to go. It's 2015 and women shouldn't be objectified in any way.

Our Girls Matter campaign is calling for girls to speak out and be heard on the impact of media sexism and stereotyping, just as Lucy Holmes did when she created the No More Page 3 campaign. Every day we are exposed to thousands of images from the media which help shape our ideas about ourselves and our position in society. Giving girls a voice on how to challenge what they may see and read in the media is really important in continuing to create change and in the move towards equality.

In 2013 girls and young women in guiding aged 16-25 voted on whether to support the No More Page 3 campaign. Now, two years on, we have shown that together we can make a difference.

In future I want to see more girls encouraged to love the way they are - their abilities as well as their appearance. Girlguiding's Girls' Attitudes Survey has found that 87% of girls feel they are judged more on looks than ability, and that 45% of girls aged 11-21 sometimes feel ashamed of the way they look because they are not like girls and women in the media. Images like Page Three have for a long time encouraged girls to look a certain way. Constantly seeing airbrushed and sexualised images of women has an extremely negative effect on girls' body confidence, and also affects how men and boys think too. And with technology expanding, the pressure of achieving this beauty standard is increasing. This can influence young people's lifestyle and body image choices from a really early age with the Girls' Attitude Survey also finding that one in five primary school age have been on a diet.

I want to see images of women doing different and active things - like jobs in science and technology rather than being dressed in skimpy lingerie. And sport too - I want to see reports on women's football, tennis and cricket alongside the men's reports. Campaigns like the recent This Girl Can campaign have been great in highlighting this, showing that women can and do enjoy sport and take it seriously, while also having fun.

Girlguiding is a huge charity for girls and young women in the UK. We're the next generation of engaged young people and we want women to be valued for who we are and not what we look like!