Page 3 was the first of the media influences to expose me to nudity. I was about 6 or 7. It was something the boys knew about at school and their free talk of breasts that seemed to be something funny conflicted with the teachers opinion that it was something rude and wrong. I didnt understand. But the boys were obsessed, and once, boys had been my friends, but what interested them most about girls now, was their breasts.
I saw The Sun posted at my Grandparents house and used to look at page 3. Jordan was a page 3 girl I knew somehow. We all knew who Jordan was at school. When I am 18 I thought, I want to be on page 3. I will be famous and people will think I am beautiful and sexy and all the boys will want to go out with me.

I wonder how different my life would have been if i had not seen or heard of page 3 existing. I wonder if my formative years would still have been spent crying about not having breasts that would fit a bra. Weighing down on my personality to become shy and ashamed of my body, cowering in the shadows at high school so that I wouldnt be in the direct line for verbal abuse about not having breasts. Interpreting this understanding as not being good enough or worthy of respect. I wonder if then I wouldnt have developed eating disorders to compliment my figure in my pursuit of male approval. I wonder then if I had not been so desperate to seek this approval, I would have been more wary of the grooming I was subjected to – rather than feeling so complimented and flattered. I wonder then if I had not been subjected to the direct and indirect influence of page 3, I would have valued myself enough to use my voice, enough to say NO, enough to not get raped. Maybe I would have valued myself and fought harder against the normalisation of sexual objectification to not get raped by 6 different men in the past 7years.

In the Summer I walked a group of 20 children aged 10 and 11 from their holiday school ground to the shop to buy ice lollies. On our walk there was a pull-out page of a newspaper on the ground breast-side up. I couldn’t turn the page.
Boys laughed and pointed, and the girls shrank and appeared embarrassed.
The paper pullout was on the ground by a building site. I had to walk by that site to get to and from work. Everytime I walked past I would avert my eyes and my heart rate would pick up and heat would flush to my cheeks – out of fear and intimidation, because of the cat calls I would receive and for the 30seconds it took me to pass I would be under the scrutiny of 9 or 10 pairs of eyes as they undressed me as I walked by.

When I was younger (I’m talking really quite young here – about 7 – 12), I found headlines obviously really quite intriguing, so when I wanted to read about a story form the newspaper – bear in mind that reading about our world is something young people in particular should really be encouraged to do – and it was on ‘page 3′, I found it so awkward to look at. I never, therefore, used to read those stories at the beginning of the paper because of how intimidated, shocked and simply freaked out I was by the naked women in the newspaper; the *newspaper*.