History[ edit ] Beginnings and early years[ edit ] When Rupert Murdoch relaunched the flagging Sun newspaper in tabloid format on 17 November , he began publishing photographs of clothed glamour models on its third page. The first edition featured that month's Penthouse Pet , Ulla Lindstrom, wearing a suggestively unbuttoned shirt. Page 3 photographs over the following year were often provocative, but did not feature nudity. Whether it was editor Larry Lamb or Murdoch who decided to introduce the Page 3 feature is disputed, but on 17 November , the tabloid celebrated its first anniversary by publishing a photograph of year-old Singapore born model Stephanie Khan in her "birthday suit" i.
Sitting in a field, backlit by the sun, with one of her breasts visible from the side, Khan was photographed by Beverley Goodway , who became The Sun's principal Page 3 photographer until he retired in The feature, and the paper's other sexual content, quickly led to The Sun being banned from some public libraries, the first such decision being taken by a Conservative council in Sowerby Bridge, Yorkshire.
In this case, the decision was reversed after a series of local stunts organised by the newspaper, and a change in the council's political orientation in Since the mids[ edit ] The Sun made some stylistic changes to Page 3 in the mids.
It became standard to print Page 3 photographs in colour rather than in black and white. Captions to Page 3 photographs, which previously contained sexually suggestive double entendre , were replaced by a simple listing of models' first names, ages, and hometowns. After polling its readers, The Sun also instituted a policy of only featuring models with natural breasts in A special pictorial in to celebrate 40 years of Page 3 lined up 15 Page 3 women posed together.
Before , British tabloids sometimes featured and year-old girls as topless models. Samantha Fox , Maria Whittaker , Debee Ashby , and others began their topless modelling careers in The Sun when they were 16, while the Daily Sport was even known to count down the days until it would feature a girl topless on her 16th birthday, as it did with Linsey Dawn McKenzie in During her tenure as deputy editor of The Sun, Rebekah Brooks then Wade argued that Page 3 lowered the newspaper's circulation because women readers found the feature offensive.
When she became the tabloid's first female editor in January , she was widely expected either to terminate the feature or to modify it so that models would no longer appear topless.
However, Brooks changed her position and became a staunch advocate of the feature. Some campaigners have sought legislation to have Page 3 banned. Others, wary of calling for government censorship of the press, have sought to convince newspaper editors and owners to voluntarily remove the feature or modify it so that it no longer featured a topless female model. A YouGov survey carried out in October found marked differences in attitude toward Page 3 among readers of different newspapers.
The Sun has responded to such campaigns with mockery. When Short tried in to introduce a House of Commons bill banning topless models from British newspapers, The Sun branded her "killjoy Clare".
Holmes stated that she began the campaign after noticing that despite the achievements of Britain's women athletes in the Summer Olympics , the largest photograph of a woman in the nation's biggest-selling newspaper was "a massive image of a beautiful young woman in her knickers". In an October radio interview, Clegg said he did not support a legislative ban on Page 3, believing that government in a liberal society should not dictate the content of newspapers.
Representatives of women's groups including Object and the End Violence Against Women Coalition argued that Page 3 was part of an endemic culture of tabloid sexism that routinely objectified and sexualised women. The inquiry also heard testimony from Sun editor Dominic Mohan, who argued that Page 3 was an "innocuous British institution" that had become a "part of British society".
Arguing that The Sun newspaper should be removed from sale in Parliament until it dropped the feature, she said that "if Page Three still hasn't been removed from The Sun by the end of this year, I think we should be asking the government to step in and legislate".
Culture minister Ed Vaizey responded by stating that the government did not plan to regulate the content of the press. The Irish Sun now features images of glamour models with their breasts covered.
Eighteen months earlier on twitter "glamorous fashionistas" i. While defending it from criticism, he said: Never in America, never in Australia. It just would not be accepted. A notice appeared in the issue: We would like to apologise on behalf of the print and broadcast journalists who have spent the last two days talking and writing about us.
A lot of people are about to look very silly". Clare Short thought that the dropping of topless photographs on Page 3 of The Sun "is an important public victory for dignity.