“Rupert Murdoch was absolutely right when he said that Page Three was ‘old fashioned’ – in the twenty first century, a tabloid newspaper is no place for semi-naked women,” opines retired News International executive Bruce Blaggs, reflecting on the apparent dropping of topless models from page three of The Sun‘s print edition. “Their proper place is on the web and I’m glad to see that Rupe has finally realised this and put them on the paper’s web site instead.” Blaggs was quick to reassure loyal readers of the paper that, although their regular daily fix of topless beauties had now moved online, everything else they loved about The Sun would still be present in the print edition. “I have it on good authority that it will still be chock full of the usual ill informed misogyny, benefits claimant bashing, obesity hating and immigrant baiting,” he says. “Plus, in the wake of the Ched Evans controversy, I’ve heard that there might even be a big dose of rape victim bashing!” Despite fears that the banishing of bared breasts from the paper might alienate a significant number of regular readers, many media commentators believe that The Sun will see no significant decline in circulation as a result of the move. “In recent years it has been increasingly unclear as to what purpose those girls served,” says Rob Krikken, Media Correspondent of the Sunday Bystander. “I mean, why does any self-respecting pervert need to buy a newspaper to look at pretty tame pictures of women baring their breasts, when they can see much, much more online – for free? It’s continued existence was just another example of how Britain’s print media have failed to get to grips with the web. Is it any wonder circulation of newspapers’ print editions are in decline?”
Some loyal Sun readers are in agreement with the decision, feeling that the page three feature had become patronising. “It was as if they were saying that they were assuming we were all technologically illiterate,” thirty two year old scaffolder Reg Twett told The Sleaze. “The fact is that we’re a tech savvy generation – I’m more than capable of finding pornography tailored to my own tastes for myself on the web. Guys like me don’t want to see soft core porn in their newspaper – we read The Sun and its ilk to have our prejudices and bigotry reinforced and justified by journalistic articles of dubious veracity -they want it in their browser and they want hard core!” However, not all readers share Twett’s views, with some lamenting the decline of hard copy soft core pornography. “It’s a tradition in certain trades, isn’t it – putting pictures of birds with their knockers out up on the workshop walls? It brightens the place up, doesn’t it?” says twenty seven year old garage mechanic Andy Lobbstone. “I mean, you can’t stick a lap top or a tablet up on the wall like that, can you? And the pictures on mobile phones are too small to get a good look at, aren’t they? We used to get those calenders full of naked norks, but thanks to all those feminists, we can’t them any more – The Sun was the last place we could get a regular supply of hard copy bared boobs without having to buy wank mags like we were perverts! The garage won’t be the same without all those page three girls on the walls, with greasy finger prints all over their nipples!”
Lobbstone is also worried about the impact the removal of page three to the web will have on those Sun readers who are not as tech savvy as Reg Twett. “What about the pensioners?” he asks. “Most of them have no idea how to use the web. My Grandfather is in his seventies and he hasn’t a clue how to use a computer – how is going to get his daily tit fix now? I’m telling you, if he doesn’t have those page three girls to wank off over every day, his balls will explode! He’s a randy old git and since Gran ran off with the bingo caller he’s had no other outlet for his urges!” But Blaggs has been quick to reassure ‘lovers of the female form’ that the print edition of The Sun that scantily clad women won’t be vanishing from the paper’s pages altogether. “They’ve continued to provide pictures of young women on page three – they’ve just kept their breasts under wraps,” he has pointed out. “Arguably, bikini clad reality TV stars or soap actresses in their underwear are even more tantilising than the topless models – inviting readers to imagine what their bare breasts might look like from the glimpses they get in these candid shots. I mean, their real knockers are probably pretty average, so the ones the readers are forced to imagine are bound to be sexier!”
Once again, Lobbstone has objections to this new strategy. “But what about us readers with no imagination?” the mechanic demands. “I don’t expect to have to think about pornography – I expect it to give me instant gratification.” In response, Blaggs has stated his belief that the bikini-clad girls currently occupying page three could actually be a ‘Trojan Horse’. “According to my sources at News International those pictures aren’t ordinary photos – they have additional information embedded in them which can’t be seen by the naked eye,” the former executive says. “Apparently, the plan is that The Sun will be offering a pair of special glasses to readers in the near future. When worn by readers, they will allow them to view the underwear-clad beauties on page three naked. Not just bared breasts, but bared everything!” Blaggs believes such a development would represent a quantum leap forward in smut delivery – full frontal nudity in a family newspaper. “But thanks to those glasses – which will be available only to over eighteens – children won’t be exposed to any of the nudes!” he enthuses. “It’s a brilliant idea – combining high tech with the traditional print media.”
Whilst welcoming the banishment of bared breasts from page three, women’s groups are still worried that the underwear clad girls replacing them still serve to objectify women. “Just because their breasts are now covered, it doesn’t mean that these women are simply being presented as sex objects, to be drooled over and fantasised about by men,” says top feminist writer Germaine Slingback. “Not only that, but the rest of the paper is still full of sexist and misogynist bile!” Nevertheless, religious leaders have welcomed the change in page three. “It’s good that they have finally realised that nipples are the most offensive part of a woman’s anatomy and covered them up!” declares the Reverend Jim Sprung of the East Beacknell Church of Chastity, his hands trembling. “They are what the unclean whores use to tempt the weak from the path righteousness – perverting them from their true function to suckle the young! The sight of them erect reduce men to a state of infantilism, reducing them to putty in the temptresses’ hands!” For its part, News International has declined to confirm that topless models have been removed permanently from page three, or that it will be introducing special porn viewing glasses.