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Page 3 Idol: grooming by any other name?


no more page 3, grooming, child protection, She remembers looking at Page 3 when she was a kid and dreaming of appearing on the page herself.

Guest post from Lisa Clarke of the No More Page 3 campaign.

One of the things which has been bothering us at No More Page 3 HQ is the nature of the way some of the Sun’s Page 3 girls emerge.

As part of the theme Page 3 and parenting  No More Page3 took a look at some of the biographies of the Page 3 girls which are accessible on their website.

Here are a few extracts.

“Many of our girls have had a long-standing ambition of appearing on Page 3, but 32D beauty Poppy first gave the news to her parents at the tender age of 13!

“They were a bit shocked, but said they would support me whatever I decided to do,” she insisted, and five years later, that support was rewarded when she made her debut on the nation’s favourite page.

“It was a long time to wait for a young girl, but the Somerset stunner certainly made herself busy in the meantime.

“I first contacted the Sam Bond modelling agency at the age of 15, but lied about my age to get my foot in the door.

“Despite her best efforts Poppy was told that she wouldn’t be able to get any glamour work until she was 18, but she was back in the frame well before that and signed with Girl Management six months before her birthday.

“As soon as that momentous day came our brunette beauty was off to visit Page 3 snapper Alison for a test shoot and about four weeks later she got the call she’d been waiting years for for years.”

And another where looking at Page 3 in childhood is mentioned:

“Stunning Katie Leigh can remember looking at Page 3 when she was a kid and dreaming of appearing on the nation’s favourite page, but insists that she didn’t really believe it would happen until she started – how can we put it? – growing up!

“Call it divine intervention, call it luck, or maybe she simply wished herself in to shape, but if ever there was a face and a body made for Page 3, Katie’s is it.

“We’re hoping it’s the first of many Page 3 shoots for the girl who harboured ambitions of becoming a barrister at school.

“The stunning Essex lass burst on to Page 3 in February 2006 and with her raven hair, ivory skin and seductive eyes, she certainly brought something different to the Page 3 table.

We don’t doubt you will have your own reactions.

To us it is difficult to understand how The Sun gets away with mentioning the Page 3 aspirations of 13 year-olds or the fact that Katie has been dreaming of it since being a kid, how it justifies mentioning her “growing up” – by which they presumably mean “going through puberty” – without being concerned about raising child protection concerns.

But it seems this is all perfectly ok.

I suppose it’s just lucky for Katie that she “wished herself into shape”.

So there you go, little girl, that’s all you need do and one day you too can feature in the National Family newspaper in just your pants.

Scary stuff…

At least that’s what we felt.

If girls are bought up with a father, older brothers or other significant male figures in their life reading the Sun and looking at Page 3 or commenting on the women, then The Sun then has ready-made Page 3 girls; it can recruit them from their very own homes with their yearly competition – Page 3 Idol.

To become a Page 3 Idol young women are invited to send in topless photographs of themselves for the public to vote on and decide who will be the next “lucky girl”.

They are lined up in a row, in their pants and nothing else, and readers – of a newspaper – look at them, standing there, in their pants and nothing else, and vote for their favourite.

They are filmed in their bras and pants, getting ready to pose, taking off their bras and just in their pants, and readers vote for their favourite.

So… it seems the industry has it all nicely sewn up with a formula which grooms young women to fulfill a glamour model role from a very young age with promises of a career which may lead to stardom or at the very least the chance to be ambassadors for The Sun, visiting troops in Afghanistan and doing great charity work…

But it still looks like grooming.

But it seems no one has been raising child protection concerns.

  1. I have been echoing just this line for a while – that exposing children to Page 3 Is grooming/ sexual abuse.
    Exposing abuse victims to porn is a common form of grooming and frequently emerges in sex abuse cases.
    ie looks like the Sun could be prosecuted for sexual abuse /grooming on this basis !

  2. sue tapply says:

    Until I sat down to set up and sub this I had no idea it even existed. Am still suffering from shock.

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