For a long time, Page 3 was a prominent part of The Sun newspaper, but it appears to be gone. There have been no topless models since Friday. However, The Times, both of which are owned by Rupert Murdoch, joked that the page will still be around. It remains where it always has; between pages two and four.
Page 3 has been a fixture in the tabloid newspaper for the last forty years. It has been hit with controversy, as people complain about the topless woman in the U.K. paper. While many feminists have complained about it being included, a number of people have commended Murdoch for not choosing to get rid of it. Many feminists hated the idea of the things the page stood for, including inequality as it was only women featured.
The decision to include topless women on the page started in 1970. Larry Lamb, an editor for The Sun, decided to publish a topless photo of a German model while Murdoch was away from work. However, before his death in 2000, Lamb did say there were things that he regretted about that decision.
Reader numbers quickly rose by an extra 1.6 million, despite many saying that it was softcore pornography. The Sun did the only thing that it could, and that was continue selling the paper with a topless model, who would later become known as a Page 3 model.
Now it seems like Page 3 has gone from The Sun newspaper. This is despite a statement in 2004 that said the paper would never stop selling something that its audience wanted. There was a government attempt to bring a stop to the topless models by Clare Short. She introduced a bill into parliament that would ban the nudity, but it failed to pass through as an Act of Legislation. Short later explained that she had over 5,000 letters over the issue.
The Sun continued to defend its decision to include the photos. In an article, officials stated that the women who did appear were there out of choice. For them it was a job that they enjoyed and both sexes enjoyed looking at the images.
A statement is yet to be released about the decision to not include the images over the weekend or yesterday. It seems like the paper has decided to drop the issue quietly. Even when asked on Twitter, editors are finding other ways around talking about it.
Many Members of Parliament have commended the decision to get rid of Page 3 girls. This comes from men and women, and they hope that this remains a permanent part of the newspaper. Jo Swinson, from the Liberal Democrats, said that getting rid of the old-fashion sexism is delightful. However, she did criticize the decision to have two cast members of Hollyoaks in bikinis. While it removed the pornography, it did not help to reflect real bodies or offer “positive role models for young girls.” However, it is one step in the right direction for The Sun newspaper to get rid of Page 3 models.
Opinion by Alexandria Ingham