In what appears to be a dramatic U-Turn for the famous tabloid newspaper, The Sun’s Page 3 model has returned today despite being the talking point for feminist campaigners, newspapers and online comment sites for the last few days.
Although The Times had reported on Tuesday that the famous Page 3 feature was no more on Tuesday, the paper has today published another topless model on Page 3. In a cheekily worded caption to the picture of “Nicole, 22, from Bournemouth” The Sun apologises to all those “journalists who have spent the last two days talking and writing about us”. The front page featured a splash saying “We’ve had a Mammary Lapse, see Page 3″.
Is it a U-Turn? Is it simply The Sun’s cheeky sense of humour to make people think that it’s dropping the famous feature? Or was it a decision to simply make anti-page3 campaigners angry? It is most likely a PR stunt. One of the PR workers at the website this morning tweeted a taunting series of pictures of the model winking at leading figures in the anti-page 3 campaign with a caption reading “this one’s for you”
It’s an interesting decision which will turn even more heads and encourage even more debate. Personally I can’t help but wonder whether the bosses at the tabloid – ones not afraid to cause controversy – simply engineered the whole story to stir up a bit of trouble. Yet, the biggest condemnation of the feature’s demise came not from the paper’s readers or its fans on Twitter but from the models themselves.
Jodie Marsh, famous for being a former Page 3 Model had spent most of the last few days condemning the decision as being bad for feminism,she claimed that “telling girls they shouldn’t do Page 3 is not being a feminist” and that there may be bigger fish to fry in the feminism debate than Page 3. She criticised the No More Page 3 campaign for not dealing with “something that actually matters like campaigning against FGM [Female Gential Mutilation]”.
Another Page 3 Model weighed in on the topic by criticising those who campaigned against Page 3 as “man haters”. Rhian Sugdon claimed that “It’s only a matter of time before everything we do will be dictated by comfy shoe wearing… No bra wearing… man haters.”
Others had been quick to point out that most of the Page 3 photos are taken by a woman, Alison Webster, who has made a successful career in photography for many years before becoming a staple on Page 3.
Despite this, this morning the No More Page 3 campaign said they were ready to “continue the fight” against the sexism of Page 3. The campaign believes that it is unfair for “the most prominent photograph of a woman in the widest circulation British newspaper is of a young woman in just her pants”. The campaign argues that it is reinforcing the idea that women are “sex objects” and that this is juxtaposed with the pictures of besuited and “important” men in the politics pages.