A Lifetime of Page 3

When Page 3 first started in the 1970s I was just approaching adolescence. I remember it well (it was in black and white back then) . I was at secondary school and there was some building work being done on a part of the school that I had to walk past every morning on the way in. The group of builders working there would talk to me and my friends each morning and we were flattered to get this attention from older men : it made us feel grown-up. They always read the Sun and they started showing Page 3 to us and asking what we thought about that day’s model. Everyone seemed to be cool about it so I pretended to be cool too, but actually I felt embarrassed and humiliated. I was a late developer (still waiting…) and the images made me feel inadequate. I realise now that everyone else was probably also putting on an act to impress the older men, and may not have been comfortable either. I also realise in retrospect that it was probably a turn-on for these men to have the opportunity to present a sexualised image to schoolgirls and watch their reaction.

One of the reasons I was unable to complain was that these images were in a national newspaper, and therefore condoned (or so it seemed) by society. It was ‘normal’, so obviously I was the one who was ‘abnormal’ to be bothered by it. I couldn’t risk being the only one who didn’t like it…

Fast forward to a more recent experience : it was my fiftieth birthday and as a treat my partner booked a weekend away in the country. We were staying in a lovely old pub and on the Saturday night we were sitting in the bar having a drink to celebrate my birthday. There were several men in the room but I was the only woman. I was looking pretty good – it was my birthday : I’d made an effort! One of the men sitting at the bar was looking at the Sun newspaper. Suddenly he turned round to the room, displayed the Page 3 picture that he’d been looking at, and said, ‘Cor…you’d have to go a long way to find a woman like THAT…!’ He was addressing all the men in the bar (my bloke included), as if I didn’t exist. I had heard that women over fifty become invisible, but this was  rather too abrupt  for my liking. I’d only JUST turned fifty…! AND I was looking good that night…(I really had made an effort…). He, by the way, was probably in his late sixties, grossly overweight and sweaty : hardly a catch. But he felt entitled to assess, and comment on, the hotness of a half-naked young woman, PUBLICLY, in front of another woman, VERY rudely, because Page 3 allows some men to think they can do that.

When I was a young woman I felt too embarrassed about my developing body to kick up a fuss. Now I’m older I don’t care so much about kicking up a fuss, but I realise my opinions don’t count any more, because, whatever my other attributes and achievements, I am no longer in possession of a young pair of breasts…

SO! There you have it! It doesn’t matter about your age, or your circumstances… Whether you’re fifteen or fifty, there will be a Page 3 experience tailored to suit YOU!!!

If you haven’t signed the petition yet, here it is :

http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/david-dinsmore-take-the-bare-boobs-out-of-the-sun-nomorepage3

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2 thoughts on “A Lifetime of Page 3

  1. Marcela Kunova September 30, 2013 / 5:03 pm

    I’m sure you were beautiful that evening. But the sweaty chap was not up to search some subtle beauty – I guess it’s a good thing he didn’t pay you a compliment, considered his standards. It’s sad how some blokes, especially the ones we would hardly even look at, consider world’s female population their harem. It’s equally pathetic and sad.

  2. John December 27, 2013 / 12:32 pm

    I used to be a handyman (job before I went to Uni) and the culture on building sites is hard to describe. Often you get one guy who’s lacking in social skills and throws out all these inappropriate comments and the rest of you have to figure out how to respond. If you ignore them they usually get more vocal, if you instantly stand up to them they decide to use the comments to rile you up (it becomes a game for them for the rest of the day).
    I was working in the late 90s/early 00s and generally they’d get a laugh (‘polite laugh’ isn’t the right word but you get the idea) for the fist couple then told to shut up and get back to work if it continued. Back in the 70s I’d imagine it’d be harder to recognise that the loud-mouth was part of the minority. Most guys have women they care about and it jars them to hear women spoken about that way. Over and above that most of us can see that we’re encountering another human being and they’re deserving of the kind of treatment you would wish to have yourself.
    Nothing worse than a loud-mouth spoiling a nice night, I hope you managed to enjoy yourself regardless.

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