Article by ABC/AFP/Reuters /
Radio Australia /
January 21, 2015 /
Click here to view original /
British tabloid The Sun will no longer feature topless women on page three, ending a controversial tradition that has lasted decades.
The Times, which like The Sun is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News UK, reported that last Friday’s edition of the tabloid would be the last to feature a topless model.
Monday’s page three featured a model wearing a bra, while Tuesday’s edition showed women in bikinis running on a beach.
“The Sun will still run topless photographs on its page3.com website and the models will continue to act as ‘ambassadors’ for events and campaigns backed by the newspaper,” The Times reported.
A spokesman for The Sun said: “Page three of The Sun is where it’s always been, between pages two and four, and you can find Lucy from Warwick at Page3.com.”
He declined to comment on whether the move was permanent.
Introduced a year after Mr Murdoch took the helm, the photos were part of a vein of British popular culture in the 1970s that also relished jokes with crude sexual content.
A petition to stop the four-decade-old tradition gathered more than 217,000 signatures and last year Mr Murdoch himself described it as “old fashioned” and asked for feedback on the controversial feature.
The No More Page 3 campaign group welcomed the change, calling it “truly historic news and a great day for people power”.
The campaign’s website, which has not been updated since the article appeared in The Times, argued the feature represented “soft porn”.
“Page 3 was first introduced in the sexist 1970s. A lot has changed over the last 30+ years in our society, we think it’s time The Sun caught up,” the website said.
Opposition Labour member of parliament Stella Creasy said Page 3 Girls were not “some great British institution like James Bond or moaning about the weather”.
“The sexualisation, the objectification of women in this way was basically saying to all of us that what mattered, frankly, were our breasts not our brains,” said
University of Melbourne senior lecturer Lauren Rosewarne, writing for The Drum, said the Page 3 Girl was no longer relevant.
“She doesn’t titillate sufficiently to sell papers. She doesn’t irk anyone enough to run articles about her naughtiness. She fails, even, to be classy enough to motivate defence of her on free speech grounds,” she wrote.
“The Page 3 Girl is a relic of a past where a certain class of gent liked to cop an eyeful before wrapping up his vegetable peelings.”
First published in 1964 as a broadsheet newspaper, The Sun is one of the most highly circulated publications in the United Kingdom.
The end of Page 3 Girls was not expected to make a big difference to sales. The Irish edition of the newspaper stopped publishing the images in August 2013, with little impact on circulation.