Page three pictures not of this age

Warr Zone with Simon Warr

THERE has been a lot of discussion during the past couple of weeks about the banning from our daily newspapers of photographs of topless young women.

This topic has once again come into focus following the publication of those Duchess of Cambridge photos across Europe.

When these page three models first appeared in The Sun in 1970 they caused quite a stir. I was at boarding school at the time and, surprise, surprise, this particular daily was not one of the papers on the delivery list.

The most revealing photo I ever saw was one of Anne Bancroft dressed in a bra and pants – I think it was in the Daily Telegraph – a still taken from one her films. Anyway, back to the point – the 1970s were a different age and had different values.

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In my opinion, these topless model photos have become anachronistic and certainly have no place in a modern newspaper.

If these models want to show off their breasts in public, there are plenty of magazines that cater for this sort of stuff; likewise, the voyeurs who want to see this type of thing can follow the same route.

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Do we really want photos of semi-naked women lying around the house, or on a train, in full view of children? Aren’t we normalising the sexual objectification of women, sexualising our children and “purifying” our society?

These newspaper editors are quick to humiliate anyone who goes beyond the bounds of sexual decency, while at the same time they nod through the publication of sleazy, sultry photos, in a bid to sell more copies.

The British are almost schizophrenic when it comes to this sort of thing. We throw up our hands in horror at the thought of photos of the topless Duchess being published around Europe, yet page three girls are claimed to be “an innocent part of our culture”.

Page three is treated like it were a Benny Hill sketch, a harmless bit of fun. It is certainly NOT a harmless bit of fun if it is any way responsible for the early sexualisation of our children. After all, the UK has the highest rate of teenage pregnancy in Europe. Yet, we still persist with this argument of these page three young women as “only a bit of fun”.

What about all those girls who compare their own bodies to those of these well-endowed models? Might it not lead to their own low self esteem? Might it be one of the reasons for the increasing demand for cosmetic surgery among young people in the UK?

Page three topless photos reinforce the view held by some men that women’s contribution to society is to look attractive and that society has two layers – men at the front, women in their shadow.

I don’t believe that these photographs exploit only the models themselves, but also the voyeur. They are tasteless and belong to a different age.

Ban them forthwith.

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