For a newspaper that is used to reporting about scandals The Sun has certainly been creating enough of their own with this week with the apparent scrapping and then reinstating of Page 3, the daily photograph of a topless woman that has graced the third page of the paper for the last forty or so years.
Two days ago, which seems like a lifetime in the world of internet news, I was fully supportive of the apparent decision to 'retire' Page 3, but now I realise that this isn't the case I do feel very disappointed. The Page 3 'stunna' is an outdated part of a sexist past that Britain should have moved on from years ago. Yes, I fully agree that Page 3 is a British institution, but then again so was corporal punishment in schools and that has no place in modern society either.
Before anyone suggests it - no I'm not a prude and I'm certainly not offended by the sight of a pair of breasts, neither would I describe myself as particularly feminist, what I'm more offended by is what the Page 3 girls represents to young females, particularly when it comes to describing the girls being photographed as 'models'. Besides the obvious elements of sexism and objectification, as a model agent I always found it particularly lazy and contrived that any pretty girl with her boobs out could suddenly consider themselves a 'model' when they were in fact, well, a pretty girl with their boobs out.
The problem I have is that Page 3 perpetuates the myth that a model is nothing more than a nice smile and a nice figure. In reality however as I often say, tomorrow's top model is likely to be the girl who is picked on at school for being, too tall, too quirky looking or too flat chested. The modelling industry proper has a completely different set of requirements to what it is to be a model than the people who pick women to be ogled daily in The Sun.
Of course it's no coincidence that page 3 girls always tend to be in their late teens or early twenties, the perfect time when impressionable young women can easily be swayed by promises of a 'modelling career' that never actually materialises. Model, like actress and popstar is one of those go-to dreams for young girls to want to be when they grow up and for them to literally grow up with the notion that taking your top off for money makes you a model is no better than suggesting that doing porn makes you an actress or singing karaoke down the Lamb and Flag makes you a popstar.
Not only is Page 3 outdated and, let's face it, pretty lame but it sells young women who want to be a model a promise that in all likelihood will never be fulfilled. For me Page 3 is the publishing equivalent of a dodgy bloke hanging around in bars pretending to be model agent to pick up women . Yes of course some girls have no aspirations further than taking their tops off for a little bit of money but for those who do and think that Page 3 is the first rung on a ladder to being a legitimate model it represents everything that modelling agents like myself fight to get rid of in the modelling industry.