Juliette Bains: Naked truth is it’s time to put an end to page three girls

top shelf material?: Topless pictures should be the province of lads' mags, not newspapers.
top shelf material?: Topless pictures should be the province of lads' mags, not newspapers.
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Every time I check the papers at work or when queuing at the supermarket, it always catches me off-guard when I stumble across a page three.

It feels completely unnatural, wrong, even, to see a young, buxom woman baring all in something that’s meant to be bringing news to the masses.

Getting your kit off just isn’t news and pictures of topless women shouldn’t have a place in newspapers.

Lads mags, maybe.

Newspapers, no.

I’m all about equality here, so an alternative option, if we want to play fair, is to have pictures of semi-naked men on the same page too.

But seeing as that’s a completely alien thing for any of us to imagine, which speaks volumes, I’ll settle for getting rid of the whole page three thing altogether.

It’s good then, that Leeds University joined almost 30 other universities and banned The Sun from being sold at the union last week.

Apparently only seven copies were being bought per week on campus anyway, which shows this younger generation couldn’t care less for such tripe.

OK, these students may be getting their naked female fix somewhere else, but that statistic goes to show that ogling women in newspapers is old fashioned and doesn’t appeal to young men anymore – proving that sex doesn’t always sell.

Leeds University also banned the ‘Blurred Lines’ song recently after student uproar over its controversial lyrics.

Whilst we shouldn’t be slapping a ban on anything and everything, it sends a clear message to the culprits and corporations that young men and women are prepared to make a stand over these issues and fight for equality.

Leeds’ universities are leading the way and it seems the city could be following suit.

The page three ban comes at the same time the future of the city’s lap dancing bars has been under the microscope of council bosses.

As with the page three issue, there are some pretty strong and compelling arguments from either side.

But in my eyes, a woman shedding her clothes for the paying public’s enjoyment, be it in print or on a pole, is not in any way empowering for either party.

However while places like this exist in Leeds, we need to make sure the women working there are safe.

Closing these places isn’t the answer either – there’s no point closing the stable door after the horse has bolted.

It’s a business, like anything else, and should be treated like one.

The page three/lapdancing fiascos flag up the fact that, somewhere, a line needs to be drawn.

We need to have a divide where people have to purposefully look for this kind of content rather than just stumbling across it.

Music videos are another source of irritation for me.

There’s barely a music video doing the rounds at the moment that doesn’t feature a nipple, side-boob or some kind of twerking, and it’s getting old.

But we’re starting to see small signs of change there too.

Recently, Katy Perry so very bravely stepped forward and said she now wants to keep most of her clothes on and, what’s more, she’s urging others to do the same.

I wonder how long that will last.

Cynicism aside, it’s sad that we’re so used to popstars shedding their clothes that we’ve come to the sorry state of affairs where keeping them on is what actually makes them stand out.

Newspapers, music videos, adverts and TV shows are becoming saturated with this kind of thing.

But I hope that Leeds continues to lead the way and be a city fighting for change and, more importantly, equality.

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