Hello, it’s Lucy Holmes here, I started the No More Page 3 petition in August 2012 and I’d like to fill you in a little with what’s been going on behind the NMP3 scenes and most importantly introduce you to the quite, quite brilliant No More Page 3 team!
I started the petition in the late summer of last year and you might have noticed, went a bit ballistic with it! To the point where by Christmas I had totally burnt myself out. (I write more about this here)
I didn’t really know what to do, I felt spent, so I reached out to a group of people, some I knew, most I didn’t (save for their communication on NMP3’s Twitter and Facebook) explaining my situation and wondering how they would feel about forming a team to run it together. Amazingly, they all came back with the most beautiful words and the magic word ‘YES!’
And now, I am very proud to introduce you to the glorious No More Page 3 team who are newly invigorating me and the campaign with their energy and ideas.
Hello, I’m Jo.
I grew up in a working class community in South Yorkshire; a place where everybody read The Sun. My dad read it. The boys in my class read it. Once I was called to the headmaster’s office and he had a copy on his desk. I was intimidated by the way men would leer at Page 3. ‘If that’s how men look at women,’ I thought ‘I never, ever want to be one.’ I used to pray that I wouldn’t develop breasts and, when I did, I wore layers and layers of clothing to hide them. I just wanted to disappear so that no one would ever look at me.
After leaving school I worked in a pub that displayed Page 3 posters in the men’s toilets, and had copies of The Sun and The Daily Star on the bar. I suffered sexual harassment every day and, eventually, sexual assault. This campaign has given me, and so many others, a voice. Over and over the same remarks are made; that we don’t want another generation of women to be made to feel uncomfortable, inadequate or objectified by Page 3. When our campaign is successful, they won’t.
Hello, I’m Sarah, currently living in West London with flatmate & fat cat. I’ve been a NMP3 supporter since the night Lucy disappeared from a Twitter chat & reappeared with a new profile & petition. It’s important to me because I strongly believe that the constant drip-feeding of sexism that we all live with makes true equality impossible. The existence of Page 3 in the nation’s favourite paper undermines every other story of female success that they publish. To me it says, “We don’t care what country or business you run, we don’t care how many Olympic medals you won; to us you will always be a pair of tits & a nice ass”. I don’t want my nieces & nephews to grow up in that world.
My name is Lisa, living and working in Nottingham, East midlands. I have 2 children, a son age 15 and daughter, age 11.
I grew up in a house with The Sun when I was little and remember my dad having posters of some of the women too. My Mum was very negatively affected by this and had negative body image as she had naturally small boobs. Imagine that! If you were a man with a hang up about his willy, imagine your wife bringing home pictures of massive ones everyday! As I went through puberty I was really worried I would have the same “Problem” as my mum. Even before they grew I was measuring my boobs against an unobtainable example of perfection.
I am honoured to be part of this campaign because I want women to be valued for who they are and not the size of their breasts and I don’t want my son or other men to view women as “that” but as a person. In a world where women are people not objects I hope it will be far harder to harass, abuse or violate them. I am over the moon to be fully participating in this revolution!
Hi I’m Laura. I am a supporter of NMP3. I became interested in feminist issues when I did my Sociology A level, back in 1999. I had, until this point been a pretty miserable teenager. Feelings of inadequacy reigned and I felt very uncomfortable in my skin. Then along came Mr Hewitt, who was a fantastic teacher and a male feminist. He set a task where we cut out pictures of men and women from newspapers and talked about what we thought about them. Seeing the contrast between the men in suits running the country and the women in their pants I began to realise why I felt so unhappy with the way I looked. It was because I looked nothing like these women and I was feeling the strains of living in a society where women are treated as objects. From this moment on I was a feminist. That was over a decade ago, I am now the mother of two young girls, and I cannot believe Page 3 is still in existence.
When I remember what being a teenager felt like, I feel frightened for the future generation growing up with the added pressures of social media and the Internet. Page 3 feels like an embarrassing hang on from a different era that we should have put a stop to by now. I feel honoured to be a part of this campaign and cannot wait to celebrate when it succeeds.
Hi I’m Angela; delighted to be a part of team NMP3. When I think about the reasons I wanted to join this campaign, there are quite simply too many to state. The only thing I can think to say, to sum them up, is that in my heart I know it’s right. I believe in this campaign, I believe in the supporters and their reasons for signing, and I believe in the good in all of us to make society better. And I too look forward to celebrating when we are successful!
Hello, I’m Phillippa, I work in Higher Education, and I’m a feminist. I help with the No More Page 3 campaign because it’s fantastic. Here’s why.
Treating 50% of your readership with a basic level of respect should be a fairly obvious requirement of an Editor’s job description. Yet, whenever I see a topless photo of a woman in a mainstream newspaper, accompanied by a name that may or may not be hers, and some ‘hilarious’ News In Brief drivel, then I don’t feel very respected. Page 3 has had negative effects on my day-to-day life – when working as bar staff in a small village pub, some of the locals would openly leer at Page 3 in front of me, and feel entitled to make comments about me as if I too were an absent image on which they were invited to pass judgement. It’s unsettling to say the least. So that’s why I’m helping the campaign to ‘ask nicely’ for Page 3 to be delegated to the ‘Benny Hill’ category of cultural history; creepy, irrelevant, and more than a little embarrassing.
Hi I’m Stephanie, I’m 54 and a mother of four teenage/grown up children. I’m a sculptor and Communication Skills trainer for parents and teachers. I’m thrilled to be working for NMP3 because Page 3 was introduced in 1970 just as I hit puberty and it had a profound impact on me as a young girl growing into a woman. Although I always hated it, it has taken me a lifetime to unpick the subconscious conditioning of that daily image. As a young woman I had huge body and self-esteem issues, and I suffered bulimia for over five years. I feel angry looking back that Page 3, in its constant visibility, spoiled a time of my life when I should have been enjoying myself at Art college, feeling proud of my achievements and looking ahead to a meaningful future, rather than feeling trapped in a narrow one-dimensional cage of body dysmorphia. In my work I have researched social and cultural psychology and it is only recently that I have become aware of the huge impact of unconscious cultural conditioning and can finally feel compassion rather than shame for the young woman I once was. I don’t want my teenage daughter to suffer the same.
Ahoy there me hearties! My name is Sian, I’m 27 and I just got engaged to the love of my life. I work for an organisation called FoodCycle, which helps people at risk from food poverty by cooking surplus food into delicious vegetarian meals; our aim is to unite vulnerable people through the magic of food! I became involved with the No More Page 3 campaign about 9 months ago. I was so relieved that somebody was putting a voice to my concerns and it empowered me to speak out myself. This is the beauty of the campaign! I grew up a household which bought The Sun everyday and Page 3 had a profound effect on my body image and self esteem. My opinion is that there isn’t a good reason NOT to support the campaign. There is a sexualised photograph of a woman with her breasts out in a newspaper everyday for gods sake! Both genders deserve better than this!
Hello! I’m Yas and I’m a student just about to start my A-Levels. I’ve been a big supporter of the campaign ever since I first saw the petition in the summer of last year. I’m living in a household where my parents regularly buy the Sun so I’m exposed to Page 3 quite a bit unfortunately! Seeing such images of women in the family newspaper has definitely had a negative effect on me growing up. I used to always wonder why I couldn’t be “pretty like the other girls,” and I had really negative body image. I went through periods of depression and self-loathing because I was upset with my appearance. I’m so happy to be a member of Team NMP3 because I’ve seen the negative effects Page 3 has had on myself and other young women around me. I want this world to be a better place for all women and men and that can only happen by removing the things that put us down.
Hi! I’m Åsa, a 42-year old mother of two young boys. I think, being me, Swedish and growing up in a much more gender equal society than the UK, the fact that Page3 still exists (and was ever thought up) is the most atrocious, mind boggling and astonishing thing and I am very proud to be a part of the NMP3 campaign, all that we have achieved so far and everything we will make happen! I want both my sons, and everyone else’s children – boys and girls – to grow up in a society that sees them all as equals, with the same opportunities to fulfil their potentials, free from the objectification of women, sexism and misogynism and I believe The Sun dropping Page3 would be a huge step in the right direction.
Hello, I’m Pippa and totally chuffed to be part of this campaign. I work for a UK charity which (amongst other things) promotes and protects human rights and challenges discrimination so volunteering for NMP3 was a complete no brainer. Page 3 has been around for about as long as I have and I could really do without it being there anymore. I grew up living and breathing 70s sexist culture and, directly and indirectly, it caused me a lot of problems. Page 3 is a symptom of this era and it’s time for it to go. I also have 3 children who proudly support the campaign and what it stands for. It’s been a great tool for discussion and learning about sexism, equality, businesses, ethics, human rights, career choices, politics, the UK media, and why they would never want to buy a Murdoch newspaper (which is nice).
Hello, I’m the other Jo.
I am from a working class town and family but I’m glad my parents didn’t buy The Sun, sadly though my uncle was a big fan of Page 3 girls and ‘girly’ posters and calendars so I was very aware of ‘glamour’ models at a young age and friends’ parents bought the paper (basically I didn’t buy it, so that argument against this campaign has absolutely no credibility). Parents also gave it in at school for us to protect the tables with it in art lessons and it was at 8 years old when two of my classmates, behaving like mini-Jim Davidsons, gave me my first taste of feeling ashamed about my female body by talking salaciously and disrespectfully about the Page 3 model in the paper on our table.
It’s funny that art and feminism have been inextricably linked for me as I’ve grown up and I try where possible to use my creativity (art, design and writing) to help with promotion and fundraising for campaigns and issues around equality. I think cultural producers have to take responsibility for what they put out into the world, it’s context and the effects that their work might have. Normalised images of female objectification like Page 3 speak volumes about the value of women in our culture. It’s not ok and I’ll do all I can to challenge it.
Hi, I’m Hayley. I’m 20 years old and a 3rd Year English Literature and Creative Writing student. I’ve been involved with the campaign since the beginning, which is something I’m hugely honoured by. To me, NMP3 is about so much more than just boobs in a newspaper. At 20 years of age and on the cusp of graduating (which is TERRIFYING, btw) I’ve never lived in a world where women have been fairly represented. From the boardroom to broadsheets, women have never been treated as more than pretty little ornaments and I’m BORED of being a decoration. This campaign calls for media as a whole to step back and ask itself just why no one has ever questioned the half naked 19 year old on Page 3. It’s a campaign that opens eyes, and opens hearts. The amount of inspirational stories we hear from men and woman all over the place still astounds me. This campaign has kind of given people a voice, which is pretty cool if you ask me. More than anything though, it’s taught me that the word ‘feminist’ has about 8000 different meanings, but all it really wants is equality.
And you can’t argue with that.
Hi everyone, my name is Kathryn. I’m 21 and work at the Students’ Union at Wolverhampton University. I was part of the campaign from the beginning and after a lengthy break to finish my degree I have come back to NMP3 HQ. I’m so excited to back and help promote this awesome campaign. For me, the most interesting thing about Page 3 is how before the campaign I hadn’t really questioned it as I had never really thought about it before. But the more I thought about Page 3, the more unacceptable I felt it was. Objectifying women in a newspaper is definitely not normal, nor is it acceptable. I’m so excited to think that one day the media will start acknowledging women for the things they do rather than the way they look. This campaign is a huge step in that direction.
Hello, I’m Pavan, 26, I work as a journalist.
To me, the campaign always made sense. From a young age I became tired of how women were viewed. Aged ten I began to experience men leering at me as I walked down the street where I grew up, in Edmonton Green, north London. It is horrifying, I was still in primary school, but at the time I thought this was normal. I always felt this was partly due to a culture where it is acceptable to objectify women, and publicly perve at them. Page Three contributes to this culture.
I found humour was a really good way of fending off boys in school and getting them to view me as an equal, but again there were a number of occasions I was compared to Page Three – they were allowed to bring this into school because it was a proper newspaper. When I left school I worked in a pub. There, men would sit at the bar and read The Sun. I was told on a number of occasions that I should be on Page Three and I would make more money that way. All I was trying to do was make a living, and really didn’t want to be perved on. As a survivor of sexual violence this made me feel incredibly upset and uncomfortable, but I had to hide these feelings, as Page Three was supposedly normal. It is a consistent feature in a national newspaper after all. Ironically while I have been out campaigning I have been told the same things.
I believe Page Three teaches women their only value is their body, and that is the only way in which they will be worth a full news page. It needs to go, and the way other journalists and editors represent women needs to change. It has a real impact on the lives of women everywhere.