This is a guest blog by Hayley, a 19 year old student who’s been thrown into a whirlwind campaign whilst getting to grips with grown up life. Find her on her blog or on Twitter as @hayleydevlinx!
As a 19 year old girl my boobs are an important part of my life. Whether it’s my housemates complaining that theirs simply aren’t big enough, boys talking to my chest or me feeling completely unable to wear a low cut top in fear attracting unwanted attention; boobs are business.
Open any page, of any magazine and there we will be, a group of young 18-20 somethings with our limbs out and our boobs out… After all, we are only young and as I am continually telling my friends, if you’ve got it, flaunt it. I am bored with hiding the parts of myself I actually like. I spend enough time hiding the parts of me I dislike, let alone the rest of me too. I may as well start going out in a bin bag if that is going to be the case! It’s funny when I look back at the girl I was at 13, too big for her own comfort, with all these new curves and bumps appearing and how wearing a bra and having boobs was making me feel awkward. They didn’t make me feel pretty, like how I imagined having boobs would make me feel when I was 11. Why did my new boobs make feel so out of place?!
People are always very, very quick to point the finger at fashion magazines for promoting an ultra skinny look that promotes unhealthy images of perfection amongst young women, but no one questions the other images of the female figure that out there in media…
You know where I’m going with this.
I am the elder sibling in my household, it is only now that my younger brother is 16 and full of far too much testosterone (and Lynx body spray) that Lads Mags have began appearing in my house, and even now, he tries to hide them as best as he can from my mum, because well; ‘She’s my mum!’. Up until this point, Lads Mags such as Nuts and Zoo have been few and far between in my household, not that it stopped beautiful ladies with their boobs out looking me in the face everyone morning.
So where did these boobs come from? That’s right, Page 3.
There was never an eyelid batted at The Sun’s daily dose of lady nakedness, but all the while numerous young females across the country were being presented with this perfect person and being made to think, ‘well, mine don’t do that. What’s wrong with me’. I’m not even entirely sure what’s worse, being a girl and having Page 3 in your face every day making you question your own womanhood or having Page 3 in the face of young boys every day and have them grow up to, perhaps subconsciously, see women as little more than objects of sexual desire.
When I think about, is it really that much of a surprise that 98% of the boys I come across would rather chat to my chest than to face, whether I have the girls on show or not? When from a young age, and long before they start using Google for more sordid searches, they are being presented with a nice, very pretty, half naked lady on a daily basis?!
Here in the UK and worldwide, Glamour is a big, busty industry. Admit it, we can all name at least one lady that has, at some point in their careers, graced the pages of Maxim or Nuts. These ladies are beautiful; they are, in some ways, far more fitting to the ideal image of a sexy woman than the models that grace the pages of Vogue and they can be empowering. If a woman wants to get her kit off then she will get her kit off! It’s just a matter of time and place; and a newspaper is so not the place. Especially not when it’s the country’s most popular paper and is therefore entering the most homes on daily basis too.
That is why, when asked by good friend of mine, Lucy Holmes to help out with her No More Page 3 campaign, I was more than happy to say yes. No More Page 3, is a campaign asking Dominic Mohan, very nicely, to please take the bare breasts out of The Sun. The whole campaign was built upon discovering that during the Olympics even though Jessica Ennis had won her heptathlon event, the largest image of any single female was still the day’s Page 3 girl who had merely been moved to Page 13. This then sparked Lucy to try and bring about an end to all this bare-breasted madness.
Now there is an entire twitter army behind the campaign, an interest from all sorts of lovely media folk and most importantly 4500+ signatures on the online petition that swells in numbers almost every minute. There is faith in our campaign, hope that this will finally see the end of Page 3, something women have already fought for. We do not live in the 1970′s. I want to go into the workplace when I finish university and know that I am worth more than merely what I look like in my underwear. The beautiful thing about the online petition is the comments, and it is clear that this is no longer an issue for ‘fussy’, ‘prudish’ and ‘insecure’ women who feel threatened by Page 3. It’s a mass of fathers, mothers, husbands, boyfriends, grandparents and young women like myself who are the forefront of it all. In an age when newspapers really should be filled with the news, it appears to me that people everywhere are saying enough is enough.
Sign the Petition here: http://www.change.org/nomorepage3