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No Breasts Please, We’re British!

Censorship of breasts in the media

The war against boobs has been raging for some time. It’s a touchy subject. From breastfeeding being relegated from open spaces to the ‘decency’ of toilets and mastectomies deemed acceptance only to be heard but not seen; the spotlight really is on the battle between the natural and sexual functions of our breasts and how to police their representation both in everyday life and the media.

In the last couple of months two campaigns have caught the public’s imagination.

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The ‘No More Page 3’ appeal is spearheaded by Lucy Anne Holmes and urges the populace to add their signatures to a petition addressed to the Dominic Mohan, Editor of The Sun. The tabloid has a daily circulation of around 2.5 million per day; so does it have a responsibility to provide news not boobs? 104,00 people so far want to negate the sex and have their news served with a side of seriousness.

The question rather, is whether a national newspaper is a tasteful platform for nudity? Most people would say no, but are they scandalised to reject something which has become normalised. The lobby hopes to reject the patriarchal nature of journalism and well, sexism residing within society itself. In what other industries is it so openly acceptable to objectify female bodies?

Personally, I don’t feel it is right for ideologies of inequality and definitions of what is deemed beautiful or sexually attractive to have such a receptive audience in the modern world. It seems archaic to have what is essentially a daily pageant at the front of such a prevalent publication. These girls have a caption in which to try and add some relevance, or dignity, to their presence but more often than not end up sounding like they’re asking for ‘world peace’ a la Miss Congeniality.

As a society, shouldn’t we be instilling young girls with a sense of self respect and esteem with aspirations of success equal to that of their male peers; not one where glamour modelling is deemed a valid career choice amongst other ‘role models’ who need to lose their clothes in order to garner media attention or be newsworthy? Furthermore isn’t there an issue of glorifying bigger as better – a social dysmorphia fuelled by these ‘perfection’ of these images?

Censored Lad's Magazines in future

The second campaign identifies with the former. ‘Lose The Lads Mags’ led by UK Feminista’s Kat Banyard and ‘Object’ are demanding that certain men’s magazines are removed from the shelves as their presence alone can be classified as sexual discrimination and harassment under the Equality Act 2010. No chance you say, well apparently not, the declaration has been legally approved and signed by 11 lawyers from respected companies.

The duality of this cause however is more dubious to navigate and approve. Does the dehumanisation and pornographic portrayal of young women as sexually available to all take prominence over arguments of free speech and censorship? Is this industry a necessary evil; where there will always many compliant women willing to sell their bodies for profit and rather at this level before being possibly drawn into darker enterprises if it was to disappear?

Finally, if these female led campaigns ringing the death knell in a business already dying out due to encroachment of the free internet and readily available materials, should we care or is it a natural end to misogyny as a reflection of progressive society?

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