So, a national institution is no more. I’m a little conflicted as to how I feel about it.
As a photographer, it’s sad that posed photos are apparently to be replaced by paparazzi shots, meaning less work for photographers, models, hair & make-up artists. I’ve always found it strange that people campaigned against it; I’m a believer in freedom of speech, not censorship,so I don’t believe it’s right to dictate what can or can’t be published. Also I’ve shot most of the girls who’ve appeared on it over the last ten years, ( and two of my make-up artists used to pose for Page Three), and they’re all pretty upset about having their ability to work restricted.
As a feminist, things are a little tricker. It was well-paid work for consenting glamour models, make-up artists and photographers, almost all of whom were women, and one of a too-small number of jobs where women are paid more than men. It also showcased models of a larger size than almost any other publication, which is a good thing.
On the other hand, it’s hard to argue against it objectifying women, but did it do that more than any TV drama or film that showed a woman topless for no particular reason? Or any magazine or broadsheet newspaper with photos of women in lingerie or swimwear? Women are certainly objectified in the media in general, and there certainly should be more debate about that, but that’s been happening since long before Page Three showed it’s first pair of breasts.
I don’t actually believe the campaign made any difference, I think it’s pretty unlikely Rupert Murdoch takes any notice of anything but the bottom line, so I guess the reasons are financial.
Anyway, here’s a photo of mine that made it to Page 3 back in the day.