Page 3 is the most innocent form of female nudity possible. It is not porn as many of its protestors claim, it’s not even sexual. The models are young, healthy, confident women who generally just stand there topless, smiling benevolently. There are no overt sexual overtones, no bitten fingers, no fake pouts, no guilty sneers or coy slyness, no feigned moans of sexual ecstasy. Just a pleasant woman with a nice body. Plain and simple. And beautiful. And innocent.
We believe that is precisely why Page 3 is so often attacked. Not because it’s disgusting porn, but because it’s not. Launched in the 1970s at the height of the women’s movement Page 3 introduced nudity to newspapers for the first time and remains a placeholder and touchstone of freedom and empowerment for women. For example, FEMEN’s topless public protests would never get the media coverage they do today if not for Page 3 and what’s behind it: the belief that there is something inherently good and appealingly powerful in female beauty and sexuality. Page 3’s innocent virtues have garnered respect for the female body from a majority of an entire country. To our knowledge this has never happened before, ever, anywhere. Unfortunately, it’s also attracted what sexy women always do: hatred. For centuries ignorance of the female body and the nature of its beauty led to fear of female sexuality on an almost hysterical scale. Virgins were believed to have enough raw sexual power to appease gods and were summarily sacrificed, witches were burned alive to rid the world of a power people could only conceive of as satanic.
It’s been easy for haters to make people see female beauty and sexuality as a scary and powerful force. And they used this fear to deny women freedom and rights throughout history. But what is this scary, powerful force in female sexuality? Depravity? Immorality? Satan himself? No. It’s innocence. Innocence is the force people have feared in women for millennia. They fear it because it threatens the moral stranglehold they’ve had on women.
Of course Page 3’s enemies will never admit they hate Page 3 for its virtues. Instead they try to stop us from seeing them. They shamelessly denounce Page 3’s charity work as an attempt to justify porn in the paper and suggest Page 3 models should just go into mainstream porn.
They claim it’s because Page 3 is more ubiquitous than porn. But we suspect it’s because Page 3 is simply more respectable. After all, the common is the morally acceptable and thus the influential. In fact the nudity, beauty and innocence of Page 3 was one the early inspirations for bodyinmind.com.
We think Page 3 should be proud of its virtue, because at the end of the day, only the depraved find it unbearable. (I mean what kind of people value porn more than charity?!) Many claim Page 3’s protestors are simply jealous of Page 3 models’ beauty. But in reality it’s what’s inside, it’s innocence they can’t stand.