I was in London the other day and popped in to a local newsagents, which was one of those that has the newspapers displayed on the counter in front of you, next to the till. I was waiting to pay and in front of me were two children, seemingly brother and sister: the boy was about ten and the girl about thirteen. They were paying for some sweets, and as the woman put their money in the till I noticed the boy stealing a sideways glance at his sister. He then quickly turned over the front page of the Sun on the counter right in front of him, and displayed the Page 3 picture. His sister scolded him and the woman behind the till looked very disapproving, and the page was hastily closed again. The girl dragged the boy out of the shop, obviously angry with him.

That incident sort of summed up why I support NMP3. The boy knew what he was doing was ‘naughty’ and also in some sense he knew he had power: he could annoy three women at once – myself, the shopkeeper and his sister, by doing what he did. Boys will always be naughty but the Sun provides them with the means and the permission to be naughty in a sexist way.

When I moved to the UK from Sweden to start university about ten years ago, I had played sports pretty much every day of my life. First football then ice-hockey since the age of 5. From about the age of ten to the day I moved to the UK at the age of 20, I had spent as much time I could in an ice rink. Me and my friends fought against stereotypes about female ice hockey players and stigma about women and physical sports all the time. We fought for time on the ice, funds for tournaments and new kit. We fought to do well, to excel at a sport we not only loved and enjoyed but that was an important part of who we were. Playing a male dominated sport is character building and I was immensely proud of myself, all my team mates as well as the opposition for growing a sport against a backlash of opinions and stereotypes.
Being an athlete was a large part of who I was when I went of to a new country to start University. I have always loved football and in the absence of an ice hockey team near by, I was excited to take up football again. And I was excited about the prospect of living in a country that breaths football, where i knew I would be able to talk about it, watch it – read about it. When you move to a new country, you never know what newspapers to read, which ones are on the left, which ones are on the right, and most important to me at the time – who has the best sport section. So I looked around and I asked around. The unanimous answer was that the Sun was my best bet for good sports coverage. My hall mates read it, my classmates read it, everyone seemed to be reading it. I can still remember the SU shop that day when I picked up my first copy and flicked through it. My first emotion when I came across page three was embarrassment. As someone from a different country, a country that is by no means perfect but has long since moved pornography and naked pictures to top shelfs or behind dark plastic, I remember being embarrassed about taking it to the til. I also remember wondering why it was there at all? In Sweden sports is also massively linked to notions of masculinity and women often reduced to half time entertainment, but this was just here in the open. I flipped through it to look at the sports. Second disappointment was that the sports pages were just as lacking in female sporting achievement as the ones at home.

That paper that day was an introduction to how my new country valued not only women in sports but women in general. Reduced to naked breasts on page three of a magazine by and for men, not for me. I bought the Sun that day. I read the sport section with the paper neatly folded, the naked breasts secretly tucked away where no one could see them. And I think I did a few more times whilst at uni “for the sports coverage”. But as I matured, learnt more about who I was, learnt about the bigger picture, I decided to never again pick that paper up, never to pay for it. I love my new country, it has a lot of amazing qualities and I am proud to have made it my home. But I will never accept how page three still makes me feel when I look at it. How I remember how it made me feel that day, like I should be the one embarrassed, like I don’t belong in the sport section but naked across page three. Some people refer to Page Three as a British institution. It is not, it is a stain on this country’s reputation that has the ability to make a optimistic 20 year old female athlete newly arrived here feel like absolute shit. Page Three has no place here.

In comparison to other stories, this probably seems quite minor, but a few weeks ago I was with my friend waiting for our order in a takeaway. Three men in their mid to late twenties walked in and were then waiting for their order. One of them scoured through the selection of “news” papers before grabbing the sun and saying loudly “Where’s the tits? Are they decent ones today?” It made me feel really uncomfortable to hear men dicussing “the tits on that” right in front of us, and in a public place. I don’t think it should be normal or acceptable for material like this to be available in a ‘family’ newspaper.

One morning as we went outside we found Page 3 pictures stuck on our front windows. I have young children so removed the pages quickly. Peeling pictures of bare breasts from my window is not an experience I want to revisit. I felt cross, bewildered and also a little demeaned at the same time. I had no idea why this has been done or why it made me feel so bad.

Someone had walked up to the front of our family home during the night and stuck pictures of almost naked woman on the windows. I wasn’t sure if the motivation was personal and if so what on earth it was supposed to say to me or my husband or my family in general. Or maybe it was random in which case it was weird.

My husband had left for work in the dark and was oblivious until I called him when I got to work to let him know what had happened. He initially said it was not worth worrying about. Although he understood my concerns better when I pointed out our daughter nearly walked out to see such a sight on her her way to school.

Later we found out there was a group of teenage boys daring each other to stick the pictures on a few local houses for a laugh. They had been seen running away from one home but not caught.

So then I thought this merely a modern day version of cherry knocking. But it’s not just harmless irritation. Someone put breasts on peoples’ homes for a dare. They didn’t choose a picture of say a racing car or a sporting hero or even a fully dressed attractive woman for this act of bravado. Perhaps they used Page 3 because it was accessible titillating porn and socially acceptable to them so good for their game. It should not be in a family newspaper any more than it should be on my family home.

I still feel uncomfortable thinking about it now even though this happened about two years ago. Page 3 is not about real women, it’s about male fantasy. It’s not the type of (very young) woman I want my daughters to be or see. Especially as we set off on the school run.

I stopped buying The Sun years ago due to page 3. It is disgusting and degrading. Recently I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer and had to have a quarter of my breast removed. I feel horrible and ugly and these images in Newspapers and films make me feel worse. I also work at a school and every time we ask parents for Newspapers,we make sure we tell them not to bring any of The Sun Newspapers.

I once worked for a few weeks at a well known insurance company in Lytham, and one day in my department two of the young men in a higher position were stood behind me, laughing with each other about something evidently very amusing they were reading whilst rustling the newspaper. As they were right behind me, I turned, smiled and innocently asked ‘what’s funny?’. They ignored me so I turned back round to face my desk. I was not expecting the response. They suddenly thrust the newspaper page right in front of my face, 3 or 4 inches away from my eyes, and said ‘this’. It was Page 3. I was forced to look at the pornographic image in very close proximity. I felt shocked and upset.
I went to the manager, a woman, and quietly confided in her about what had just happened. She called me a trouble maker, that these two young men were going places and would have big careers, and threatened that if I dared to take it further I ‘would be known forever more as a complainer’, that I wouldn’t want a negative record on my career.. and then I was fired.
I just want to share this with others as it was a horrible thing to happen to a young woman at work and the two men got away with their behaviour and were rewarded. Pornography has no place in the workplace or in public and is a symptom of the contempt and destructive, harmful attitudes directed towards girls and women in our supposedly modern society.
-A.

My mum had breast cancer and eventually had to have her left breast removed. She was devastated about it, and she fought the cancer like a true hero, we were all so happy when she recovered. My dad used to buy the Sun and bring it in to the house, my mum never said anything for a few months but we could all tell she was visibly upset by it, she would stiffen up when she saw it, she would try to put it in the bin as soon as possible, one day my sister brought it up at the dinner table, she asked my dad why he would bring the sun into the house when his wife has just had to have her breast removed due to nearly dying of cancer, why he was bringing pornography that belittled and degraded a woman to just her breasts, what did that make mum, she asked. We were all shocked at what she said, my mum the most of all, she thought no one had noticed, she thought she was hiding her discomfort and upset from us all, my dad was so ashamed. He said he hadn’t even thought about it, that he was so sorry that he had done that, that he had upset her every single day by bringing a new naked woman into her house each evening and putting her on the kitchen table where my mum would be reminded of the ideal that she would never ever meet again, that her husband was being presented with a perfect set of breasts every single day in front of her whilst she tortured herself over her operation scars, when really she should have been so proud of them, they were the signs of victory and the fight against cancer, but instead the sun made her feel terrible. my dad swore never to buy the sun again, and to this day he hasn’t. neither has anyone else in my family. I think everyone is just still quite shocked that the sun still ignorantly prints this.

Hannah, 22

Long story short – I have deep body image issues. I have been to see a doctor but she dismissed it as ‘hormonal’. However, she did say that my experience at school is partly responsible for my insecurities. And I agree with her.

Most of the boys who had a picture phone had page 3 girls as their background in secondary school… and this made me feel very inadequate and abnormal, and to this day (I’m now 22) I have a complex with my breasts.

As I became older and older I started to question my situation as a young woman in a largely pornographic, patriarchal society. I’m a feminist and I want equality and I’m sick and tired of The Sun and their ignorant supporters trying to justify sexism. How on earth is boobs news? If Sun readers want boobs so much, why don’t they just Google ‘boobs’? What place do boobs have in a national NEWSpaper?

Unfortunately, over the years I’ve developed a horrible unnecessary sickness called breast envy because of our large-breasts-obsessed-society. I am by no means ‘flat-chested’ but as my friends, male and female, seem to refer to any pair under 32EE in a very negative manner e.g. ‘boring’, ‘too small’, ‘no boobs’, ‘fried eggs’, it has made me feel very paranoid about myself.

I remember my first ‘boyfriend’ when I was 13 (not a PROPER one, just a boy you’re friends with and hold hands with during break time), he had a photo of Jordan/Katie Price in all her glory as his background which really hurt me. And when I had a look at his picture folder, they were mostly page 3 girls. Back then, I didn’t question this as I had seen The Sun newspaper and thought – ‘that’s what I should look like, that is the ideal’.

I still ask my boyfriend of 2 years ‘are my boobs to small?’ which is terribly pathetic. I’ve often felt that I’m not good enough for him because of the way I look. But I have become much happier with myself since I became aware of the No More Page 3 campaign.

I have so much more to say about this subject but I don’t think one entry will cover it!

I feel empowered by the NMP3 campaign and each time I see a tweet saying that you’ve gained followers and supporters, I feel optimistic and proud of what you’ve achieved. Thank you :)

I am a 25 year old woman who suffers from body dysmorphic disorder. After speaking to my psychiatrist we realised that page 3 had a huge affect on my mental health & helping trigger my bdd. When I was a teenager I had small breasts as I was very slim, I was never bothered about my size until I got a boyfriend. His dad bought the sun everyday & so did he as a result. He would come into college & put page three on the desk in front of everyone in the class (he was the only male) he used to make comments about her breasts & the size of them which after listening to this everyday it started to have an effect on me. I noticed I was starting to become self conscience & comparing myself. I would obsess over the way they looked & how I wasn’t good enough, I would sit & cry for hours, cut myself, argue with my boyfriend, research surgery. After a year of this I was at an all time low. I quit college because I felt too self conscience to go & me & my boyfriend broke up. As another year past I was wearing make up everyday & even slept in it, I dyed my hair, wore false eyelashes & did everything I could to change myself & try & make myself ‘good enough’. I ended up in a relationship with a friend of mine who yet again loved rubbing page 3 in my face, this obviously continued to make my bdd worse & after a year of listening to me constantly talking about my boobs & boob jobs he finally said he would pay for an operation. At 18 I went under the knife! Even with my new found confidence page 3 was still very much apart of our relationship so it eventually ended. My last relationship was with someone I was in love with at school until he cheated on me. We rekindled our relationship at 21, I was still madly in love with him & I really thought everything would be perfect until page 3 reared it’s ugly head. I went to see him in his room as he lived in a hostel & the walls were covered too to bottom in page 3 girls that he & his mates had cut out of the sun. I sat on his bed feeling as small as an ant. I actually felt sick to my stomach. He would also bring the paper to mine & even once said to his friend “cor I wouldn’t mind joining the army if girls like that send you photos”. He & his friend used to also sit in his room & play snog, shag or marry with the pictures on his wall. These girls in their eyes were their property to decide what they wanted to do to them, although it would never happen this was their mentality & this is what them women allow to happen to all of us by doing this. Regardless of all this we stayed together but my mental health & self worth deteriorated. We are now not together. I have attempted to take my life on several occasions when it all gets too much. I now see a psychiatrist every week, my bdd I have to live with every single day & cope with its large number of burdens & I can only see the media & it’s effects on women lives getting worse as the sexualisation of women is EVERYWHERE! The final blow came a year ago when I discovered the breast implants I had when I was 18 are the toxic pip implants, I have to pay £1500 to have them removed & replaced even though they could kill me. I am now a single parent of 3 & their is no way I can afford this so I am constantly anxious & depressed. I have page 3 & the constant sexualisation of women to thank for this!

when i first started as a truck driver i was the only female who had ever worked at this particular yard and page 3 was used in many ways to sexually intimidate me into leaving cos i felt the men didnt want me in their space. one morning i had to spend time scraping page 3 women off my wing mirrors, they had been glued to them. On another occasion i was told that i looked like the woman on page 3 but could i get my tits out to see if they were a match. On another occasion i was chased around the yard to much laughter by a guy wanting me to look at the page 3 image cos i had the same smile as her and he said he had got aroused thinking of me when he had seen it. the list goes on, even to this day,13 years on, i have to endure men purposefully leaving the sun open on page3 when im around just to get a reaction out of me. Unfortunately it works and ive had to take on many misogynists who think its funny to try and intimidate me and flaunt their privilege of not knowing what sexual intimidation, harassment, assault and fear of rape feels like. Page3 provides them with a starting block to indulge in this cos it gives them the opportunity to broach the subject of sex and the image gives the impression that if you dont like it then there is something wrong with you cos ‘she does’