Page 3 - individualism vs. society?
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The editor of The Irish Sun’s decision yesterday to remove bare breasts from its magazine has injected further momentum into the No More Page 3 campaign. Despite Paul Clarkson’s slightly dubious citing of ‘cultural differences’ and allusions to Catholicism as part of his justification for the brave move, this is a promising development that owes thanks to tireless campaigning and persistent lobbying. Campaigners praised this ‘first bold step’ as part of the broader battle to ‘dismantle a sexist institution’. The campaign has experienced a staggering surge of support following endorsements by GirlGuidingUK and the National Association of Headteachers and its popularity further skyrocketed when its message reached the celebrity stratosphere. Famous supporters include Chris Addison, Jennifer Saunders and Caitlin Moran, who has mobilised legions of followers with tweets such as "teenage tits aren't news OR a feature.” We should celebrate the astounding success of a campaign whose message has been propelled towards the status of a household name and has made Page 3 a topic that frequently peppers wider discussions about the enduring shadow of sexism that still darkens the media. In only 2008, AskMen posted a feature saluting their favourite page 3 models which mocks the "feminists and other PC whiners" who were lobbying against what they elevate to the status of a “national institution”. Amusingly the writer goes as far as to say that "fortunately, no one has paid these “activists” much attention" - comments to which supporters of Lucy Anne Holmes can now direct a loud and resounding HA. However, this is not to say that we should solely content ourselves with this new development. Sadly, Page 3 is not an isolated expression of media pressure on women; what is disturbing is the emergence of the cult of appearance and its social, and more worryingly, business value. Female Apprentice finalist Luisa Zissman said in a revealing interview with The Sun, in which she is described as ‘busty’, that she admired the business sense and cleverness of Page 3 glamour models that exploit sexually charged market forces. This is not a new idea; Katie Price is often hailed an idol or even as a feminist icon due to her ability to manipulate a growing market.
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