This weekend it's the 43rd anniversary of Page 3. I hope it's the last. Here is a letter I wrote to Sun editor, David Dinsmore.
I'm Lucy. I started the No More Page 3 petition last year.
I've been thinking. I understand that this is a tricky one for you. How do you get rid of Page 3 when it's such a big part of your brand?
But then I remembered something, that 'it's always much easier than it seems'.
So I have a radical suggestion.
Why don't you tell the truth?
Yes, many of your readers love looking at big, young bare breasts. But your readers also love women. Really, really love them, in many cases I'm sure your readers would even die for the women they love. They would do anything for their precious daughters, their lovely mums, the women they've chosen to spend the rest of their lives with, their sisters and friends.
If you said to your readers,
We're stopping the page 3 topless pictures.
We've been asked to by over half a million teachers and head teachers, they have said that they can't explain to primary children why there is a picture of a young naked woman in the paper, that they've seen boys treating girls disrespectfully and touching them inappropriately because of Page 3. They have seen how it makes developing girls hate their bodies, distracting them from all the other incredible things they could be doing, and making them depressed.
I've been asked by well over half a million young girls to stop showing these images in the paper. Some said Page 3 was 'disrespectful and embarrassing.' Others wrote and told me, 'We dream of living in a society where a national newspaper, like The Sun, depicts men and women as equals.'
I've heard of girls who were abused and made to look at Page 3, I've heard of many women who were raped and had Page 3 mentioned to them during the attack. I've heard many accounts of girls and women being abused and made to feel uncomfortable by page 3.
1 in 5 of the women we love will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime. 1 in 4 will experience domestic violence.Almost 1 in 3 girls have experienced unwanted sexual touching in school. These figures shock and sadden us at the Sun.
Now, perhaps you're thinking, that this isn't all down to Page 3. There are other issues at work here too, online pornography, music videos, women's magazines, other newspapers even. We agree. But does that mean we shouldn't do our bit?
So I ask you as readers what would you do?
Would you continue to show Page 3 images?
Or would you try to do what you could to make the women we love feel safe and respected in the UK.
I hope you'll support me in my decision to do the latter.
I'd like to thank the fabulous women who have modeled for us over the last 43 years. Rest assured Page 3 will still continue online. And you'll still see the models in the paper doing their terrific work for charities.
If you did this, I for one would promise to buy your paper for the rest of my days. I know others would do the same. (I can't guarantee I won't pick you up if you disrespect and misrepresent women in other ways, David, I'm not saying we'd be mates) But I think rather than lose readers. You'd gain them. And more than that, you'd gain respect.
Larry Lamb, the editor who introduced Page 3 regretted it before he died. I can't imagine that the editors in the 80s who used 16 year old models and dressed them in school uniforms feel proud of their actions. But your legacy could be so different, so positive.
Oo and if you wanted the issue where you announce this to be a seller. You could include a big picture of you posing in your pants. You could even bring back News In Briefs and quote Martin Luther King Jr 'The time is always right to do what is right.'
For now, until you change your mind, myself and team NMP3 will keep on keeping on.
Please do sign the petition if you haven't already.