Huffpost Media
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Sarah O'Meara Headshot

Give Me Page Three Models Over 'Celebrity News' Any Day

Posted: Updated:
Print Article
CELEBRITY BIKINI BODIES
FameFlynet

My male friends freely admit they use porn - a fact that makes no difference to me.

After all, so do I and my female friends. Whether we're thinking about that guy on the tube, a Dolce and Gabbana advert or 50 Shades Of Grey.

Yet, according to Lynne Featherstone, writing in support of a petition to ban Page Three models, pornography and domestic violence go hand in hand.

I guess in that case it's remarkable, my mates have all ended up in such loving, equitable relationships.

According to both Women's Aid and the Women's Resource Centre, there is no evidence that grown-up men are turned into brutes by looking at naked women.

But somehow, female anger towards the objectification of women in the media in general has morphed into a censorious tirade against the Sun.

Campaigners, such as Lucy Holmes, whose petition entitled 'Take the bare boobs out of the Sun' has more than 30,000 signatures, seem convinced that removing this masturbation material would have a significant impact on gender politics.

However, this tired, out-dated crusade against Page Three comes at a time when the rest of mainstream media is actively conquering and exploiting a far more insidious form of female objectification.

While feminists feebly fight the Sun, the online titillation monster grows daily, snatching bite-sized chunks of celebrity bikinis from the hands of news publications and serving them up to whomever types 'Kim Kardashian' and 'bikini' into Google.

huffington post page 3

Best Celebrity Bikini Bodies Of Summer 2012: Stars On The Beach

From the Huffington Post (above) and the Daily Mail (explanatory hyperlink hardly necessary), to female-focused publications such as Marie Claire, Handbag.com and MyDaily, these entertainment news stories all comment on women with far less courtesy than shown towards the Sun's Courtnie from Plymouth.

Perhaps that's because their motives are entirely cynical - to drive up readership numbers in the fiercely competitive news world by weaving 'keywords' into stories that can be found by people looking for thrills.

Perhaps it would be better if every magazine or newspaper just had a porn section. At least all those 'objectified women' would have agreed to have their photos taken.

The sincere petition that Lucy writes to Dominic hints that if only this 'man' would stop labelling these 'women' as sex objects, the world would change.

However, half of the publications listed above have female editors - and all are driven by the need to return readers to their management by any means necessary.

If you type 'sexy bodies' into Google, you're as likely to read a piece in a tabloid, as find pornography. However, the porn might be less critical about the woman's cellulite.

A spokesperson for Women's Aid pointed out to me that it's not images of female sexual objectification that are the problem per se - but how they are interpreted by the viewer.

Phew. Thanks goodness, most of online stories about celebrities in bikinis contextualise the images properly and promote women's bodies positively. Oh hang on...

Instead of fretting over the Sun, let's start being a little more honest about how the media is really warping men's minds towards women.

The message many online newspapers deliver is simple: if she's half-naked, she's fair game.

Around the Web

Page 3 video - The Sun

Page Three - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Sun: Page 3 - the woman you'd love your woman to be like ...

Page3.com

The censorious campaign against Page 3 is driven by the oldest and ...

Former Page 3 girl Nina Carter calls for topless ban

High profile celebrities back the anti-Page 3 petition

Brit politician blames topless Page 3 pictures for domestic violence

Exclusive: Why I started the No More Page 3 campaign