Some days in NMP3 HQ are tough; we get frustrated and the trolls get to us and we all have day jobs and friends and family that need our attention. But when we hit a signature klaxon or a great article gets published it gives us all a massive lift. Then there are the days when the story is so heinous, it just proves to us why what we’re doing is so important and gives us that extra little boost. Yesterday was one of those days, yesterday this One Direction story ran on Page 3 (post it note modesty cover = ours):
Just to break that down for you…
- · One Direction fans eat up stories about One Direction
- · One Direction fans are predominantly teen and pre-teen girls
- · This particular story was positioned beside the regular topless pic
- · Thus ensuring that every One Direction fan who read the paper, also saw the Page 3 pic
- · The message implied by this editorial decision “this is what you are worth to society young ladies”
We speak to women who have been affected by Page 3 all the time, a lot of the impact was due to their exposure to Page 3 as a teenager. Women who now deeply regret becoming topless models because of how Page 3 made them feel about themselves. A 16 year old who has seen boys at her school comparing girls to Page 3. Even The Sun itself takes pride in 13 year olds stating that being a Page 3 Girl is an ambition.
At least 1.1 million people in the UK suffer from an eating disorder, 14 – 25 year olds are most at risk from developing a condition. Research has shown that exposure to people considered ‘beautiful’ will lead to more dissatisfaction with our own bodies. Women feel a pressure from the media to be thin, this pressure in turn leads to body dissatisfaction and means that those already vulnerable are more likely to develop and eating disorder. The Sun considers the models to represent “natural beauty”, we did a bit of research on that and found that it’s a very narrow definition of beauty, one that’s probably unobtainable by about 95% of the population.
So what The Sun did yesterday, was point a legion of young women and girls towards a model who represents the thin-ideal. Not only thin, but “The Page 3 image carries the highest sexual impact and currency of any image seen in the public space” (Stephanie Davies-Arai). What possible message will those teens and pre-teens take away from yesterday’s Sun? Surely not just One Direction news but potentially something far more dangerous to their health and wellbeing.
This (and many many other reasons) is why we will keep challenging and standing up to David Dinsmore and Rupert Murdoch because Page 3 is a long long way from a bit of harmless fun.
BTW – if you feel like it, tweet @Onedirection and ask them to stand up for the young women and girls who love them.