Could 2013 be the year we say goodbye to Page 3?

No More Page 3 campaign has gathered over 60 thousand signatures, gained followers like Jennifer Saunders and Alastair Campbell and the even been mentioned in The Leveson Enquiry. So what’s next for the controversial campaign? Behind it all is writer and actress, Lucy Holmes, 38. We caught up with her about the campaign’s future plans.

In the exclusive interview, Lucy revealed that she and her team are scheduled to meet major supermarket chains, Tesco and Morrisons. The No More Page 3 group want to ask these stores not to supply The Sun, until their famous page 3 section is dropped. Lucy said: “I want to discuss with them how its not great for their brand to be associated with page 3, how they really should champion women, not be so closely linked to sexism and they should respect the women that shop there. The Sun shows soft pornography and goes against the family friendly image that these supermarkets pride themselves on.”

The campaign has attracted WI groups throughout the country wanting to get involved and people have been joining together all over the country to campaign including Birmingham, Nottingham and London. Controversially, on 17th November, the campaigners protested against page 3 outside The Sun’s headquarters.  Lucy said: “The Sun rang the police to get rid of us, the police did come but only to sign the petition and let us carry on instead!”

Lucy said: “The common argument is when you ask someone how do they feel about the getting rid of page 3 and they say ‘oh its just always been there,’ what do you think kids think when they see page after page of men dressed in clothes running the country, in politics, doing powerful things and then a massive image picture of a young woman standing in her knickers, what do you think they think and everyone says no its not really on is it? I do believe that even though the sun readers may like looking at breasts they also want their children, nieces and nephews to grow up in a more respectable the society and if that meant giving up their right to see breasts in the paper then I’m sure they would happily forgo that. I want women to grow up and know that they have a voice and that society respects them for more than just their body. “

Despite efforts in the past to stop page 3 before, such as Clare Short famously standing up the 80s, Lucy and her team believe that in this age of social media, it will be different this time. Lucy said: “It’s different today, still a hugely sexist era, but people wrote letters by hand of support to Clare and the newspapers were only once a day, whereas now we have Twitter/Facebook, 24/7 news websites and pages, things are moving really quickly and we can access things like never before, and we are reaching people-its awesome. Its a big difference.”

Lucy said: “For me it’s always been a case of build it build it build it! People are still only just hearing about it now and its consistently happening. I will carry on pushing and pushing until we get to a tipping point. I think it’s going to change soon, I really do, a German paper dropped their topless models in June, a Finnish paper lost their models, I really think it’s going to happen soon and we need to keep shining a light on it.”

Despite a huge amount of support and positive feedback, the reactions haven’t always been so great as Lucy reveals: “I turned up at one of our nomorepage3 comedy events last night in tears because of trolling, we had a really great weekend, change was happening and then I got onto our facebook page and read this from a young bloke ‘you are all a bunch of f***ing fat feminism b****es whining because no one wants to see you naked, if some dumb s**t wants to make money by degrading herself who cares, it’s not The Sun’s fault that so many low self esteem women have to get topless to deal with the fact their uncle touched them up as a child.’ The bigger we get the more this comes up! It makes me chill to the bone! Just shows no respect for the women doing it. If it was the reverse, the roles, if it was men who were suppressed for years, and women said yeah let’s put some schlongs on page 3! What would it be like? Its really interesting how some people can’t see it and there’s so much hatred.”

Lucy touched on the Jimmy Savile case and how she thinks that page 3 and Jimmy Saville go hand in hand: “With the Jimmy Saville case we are suddenly realising what a sexist era the 70s and 80s were, looking back, page 3 is a remanence of that.’’ I know a lot of people are scared of The Sun, so it would take a strong person to do that and stand up to them and it could be so so powerful. In the 70s and 80s, the page 3 girls were 16 so now you have The Sun labelling Jimmy Saville – pervert, pedo, picture of him with a 15 year old but at the time your paper had a 16 year old topless! Its crazy.”

People are expressing their support for the campaign in many different ways, from photos and art work to poems and stories. Playwright and artist Sabrina Mahfouz created a poem/rap to raise awareness for the campaign. 
Sabrina said: “I wanted to make the video because I want women to be and to feel valued for far more than their looks and their bodies.”

Follow the twitter page, @nomorepage3

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