Page 3

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For a list of Page 3 models, see Category:Page 3 girls.

Page 3 (or Page Three) is a tabloid newspaper feature consisting of a topless photograph of a female glamour model, usually printed on the paper's third page. Women who model regularly for the feature are known as Page 3 girls. "Page Three" and "Page 3" are registered trademarks of News International Ltd, parent company of The Sun tabloid, where the feature originated in 1970. Similar features are found in competing British tabloids and in other newspapers around the world.


A selection of the Sun's current Page 3 girls

When he relaunched the flagging Sun newspaper in tabloid format on 17 November 1969, Rupert Murdoch began publishing photographs of clothed glamour models on its third page. The first edition featured that month's Penthouse Pet, Ulla Lindstrom, wearing a suggestively unbuttoned shirt. Page 3 photographs over the following year were often provocative, but did not feature nudity.

On 17 November 1970, editor Larry Lamb celebrated the tabloid's first anniversary by publishing a photograph of 20-year-old German model Stephanie Rahn in her "birthday suit."[1] Profiled from the side, sitting nude in a field with one of her breasts visible, Rahn was photographed by Beverley Goodway, who worked as The Sun's main Page 3 photographer until his retirement in 2003.[2][3]

Gradually, The Sun began to feature Page 3 girls in more overtly topless poses, with their nipples clearly visible. Although these photographs caused controversy at the time, they are credited with the increase in circulation that established The Sun as one of the most popular newspapers in the United Kingdom by the mid-1970s.[4][5] In an effort to compete with The Sun, the Daily Mirror and Daily Star tabloids instituted their own Page 3–like features under different names.

The Sun would often connect its Page 3 photographs to topical sporting events. A model might pose in a short white skirt with a tennis racquet during the Wimbledon tennis championships, for example, or in jodhpurs with a riding crop during the Cheltenham Festival. From the 1970s until the mid-1990s, captions to Page 3 photographs contained titillating puns and sexually suggestive double entendre about the models' lives or interests. Widely considered sexist, these captions were replaced in the late 1990s with a simple listing of models' first names, ages, and hometowns. The Sun reduced its use of sports-related costumes and props at this time, and also instituted a policy of featuring models with natural breasts only. Models with augmented chests, such as Jordan and Melinda Messenger, were thereafter "banned" from appearing on Page 3.

In 1999, The Sun launched its Page 3 website The site features the tabloid's daily Page 3 girl in up to four poses, usually including the photograph published in the printed edition. It also hosts an on-line archive of previous Page 3 photographs, a "Page 3 Gold" section featuring models from earlier eras, and various other features.

Since 2002, The Sun has run an approximately annual contest called "Page 3 Idol." Women aged 18 or older can submit their pictures, which are published on the Page 3 website and voted on by the public. The winner of the contest receives a Page 3 modelling contract. The 2004 winner, 18-year-old Keeley Hazell, went on to become one of the United Kingdom's top glamour models. The 2008 winner, 19-year-old university student Jenny Grant, committed suicide in the early hours of 13 September 2008.[6] The 2009 winner is Kelly Hall, the 2011 winner is Lacey Banghard and the 2012 winner Lucy Collett.

In 2003, Julian Jones made a documentary about Page 3 girls, The Curse of Page 3, which examined the negative aspects of some Page 3 models' lives, including addiction to drugs and involvement in abusive relationships.[7]


Page 3 has often been controversial, particularly with conservatives and women's groups. Some critics consider it to be sexist, demeaning, and exploitative, while others regard it as softcore pornography that is inappropriate for publication in a national newspaper. In 1986, Clare Short, Member of Parliament for Birmingham Ladywood, led an unsuccessful House of Commons campaign to have topless models banned from all newspapers. After her proposed bill failed, Short accused the House's predominantly conservative male MPs of not taking the issue seriously, remarking "If you mention breasts, fifty Tory MPs all giggle and fall over."[8] Short renewed her campaign against Page 3 almost two decades later, in 2004, but found herself on the receiving end of an ad hominem attack by The Sun, which superimposed her face on a Page 3 model's body and accused her of being "fat and jealous."[9]

Editors of The Sun have themselves periodically considered eliminating the feature from the newspaper. During her tenure as the newspaper's deputy editor, Rebekah Brooks (née Wade) had argued (on economic, rather than feminist, grounds) that printing topless photographs on Page 3 damaged the newspaper's circulation by offending female readers. When she became the tabloid's first woman editor on 13 January 2003, she was widely expected either to terminate Page 3 or to modify it so that the models would no longer appear topless. However, she retained the feature unchanged.[3][10] Wade later wrote an editorial defending the feature against its critics, calling Page 3 models "intelligent, vibrant young women who appear in The Sun out of choice and because they enjoy the job."[9]

The Sun and other British tabloids have also provoked controversy by featuring girls as young as 16 as topless models, when it was legal to do so. Samantha Fox, Maria Whittaker, Debee Ashby, and others began their topless modelling careers in The Sun at that age, while the Daily Sport was even known to count down the days until it could feature a teenage girl topless on her 16th birthday, as it did with Linsey Dawn McKenzie in 1994, amongst others. Controversy over 16-year-old Page 3 girls ended when the Sexual Offences Act 2003 raised the minimum age for topless modelling to 18.

Similar features internationally

European newspapers


Especially in the Austrian newspaper Kronen Zeitung, the counterpart is mostly found on the upper part of page six or seven (sometimes even on page ten), but the feature has no specific name. In the new daily free newspaper Heute ("Today") there also appears a Page-Three-Girl; on Wednesdays, there appears a picture of a half-naked man.


The leader in circulation among daily papers in Bulgaria – Telegraph – has been publishing a picture of a topless girl on page 3 since 2006, obviously taking the idea from The Sun. The girl expresses "her" thoughts about the leading article on the page in a bubble. The pictures are being taken exclusively for the paper, mostly of amateur enthusiasts, and on few occasions even of a page designer working for the newspaper.

Also leading sports daily 7 dni sport has been publishing a nude girl on last page since 1996. Pictures for the latter are mostly copied from the Internet.


There is a similar concept on the last page of Croatian daily newspaper 24 sata.


In 1976 the Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet introduced topless models on page nine, referred to as Side 9 Pigen (the Page 9 Girl). The models were previously occasionally fully nude, but in 2006 a change in the newspaper's policy were made. This change required the girls to wear panties/knickers and made topless optional, which has caused quite a stir amongst the fans of Page 9. As partial compensation, "Ekstra Bladet" launched a website where the Page 9 Girls could choose to make a gallery for, and on this site (which is a pay-site) sometimes the models is fully nude, but it is rare.


In Finland, the daily Iltalehti features models known as "Iltatyttö" ("Evening Girls").[11] "Tähtityttö" ("Star Girl") is also published in the weekly 7 päivää.[12]


In some German newspapers, such as Bild-Zeitung, the equivalent is found on the lower part of page one (below the fold), and is thus called Seite-eins-Mädchen (Page One girl).


One of the main Italian weekly newsmagazines, Panorama, runs female nude models on its cover. However this tendency, strong in the Nineties, is now declining.


In Poland, the daily tabloid Fakt features topless models on the last page.


In Romania, the daily Libertatea features topless models at page 5, calling them 'Fata de la pagina 5' (meaning 'The girl from the fifth page'). When Averea was rebranded as tabloid Click!, the owner hired many people from Libertatea; this new concurrent got a very similar look to the original, including the topless girls, who are featured on page 3.



Australian tabloid newspapers have traditionally published a photo of a scantily dressed, but rarely topless, model on page 3, often in a bikini.

The now discontinued Sydney afternoon tabloid The Sun called its page 3 photo (never topless) The Weather Girl.


Popular Brazilian newspapers such as Meia Hora and Expresso features daily sections, respectively called "Gata da Hora" and "Glamourosa" featuring topless models.


Canadian tabloid newspapers in the Sun Media chain such as the Toronto Sun, Winnipeg Sun, Ottawa Sun, Calgary Sun, and Edmonton Sun feature a daily "Sunshine Girl", originally on page 3, although in the 1990s the Sun chain moved the feature to the sports section; while the Sunshine Girl is a daily feature, the Sunshine Boy feature only appears sporadically. The half-page, full-colour photo (some issues however use smaller and/or black-and-white photos) is of a woman in tight, revealing clothing, lingerie, or a swimsuit. Former Toronto Sun editor Peter Worthington has stated that the Sun will never run a topless Sunshine Girl. The Suns have occasionally run issues without Sunshine Girl features, usually resulting in complaints. Its website now features additional images of each model, plus video profiles. Sun Media publishes an annual Sunshine Girl Calendar featuring the more popular models. For years each Sun published primarily local models, with the occasional "import" from other cities; since the early 2000s the same Sunshine Girl feature appears nationwide.


The popular Chilean newspaper "La Cuarta" features every Friday a section named "La Bomba 4", in which a voluptuous girl appears topless.


The Indian newspaper Mid-Day features pictures of models (mostly in bikinis), known as Mid-Day Mates.


The Mexican newspaper Ovaciones features a topless model on Page 3. Other newspapers as La Prensa, El Metro, El Universal Grafico also include photographs of female glamour models, sometimes topless.

New Zealand

Tabloid newspaper New Zealand Truth regularly features topless or occasionally nude women on page 3 of their weekly publication.


The weekly magazine Caretas publishes a photo of a topless or nude woman on its penultimate page as part of a feature of "amusements" (Amenidades). In the 1970s and early 1980s this practice was imitated by the satirical bi-monthly newspaper Monos y Monadas, which featured an image of a topless model on its own next-to-last page, called "La Calata" (lit. "the naked woman"), and sometimes mockingly augmented this by featuring a calato "for the ladies".

Through the 1980s and 1990s tabloid newspaper Ojo regularly featured a centerfold of a topless or nude woman referred to as the "Ojo Girl" (Chica de Ojo). In the 2000s this practice was discontinued by the newspaper.

South Africa

The Afrikaans edition of the tabloid Die Son features page-three girls, although the English-language edition does not.

United States

The American supermarket tabloid Weekly World News regularly featured a bikini-clad "Page 5" girl. Yes! Weekly, a local on-line and print publication in Greensboro, North Carolina, features Page 3 talent sometimes featuring men as well as women. FOCUS weekly entertainment paper in Hickory, NC, began featuring a Page 3 girl decades ago. Founder John Tucker did this as an homage to the British tabloid, as well as in appreciation for women of all types, sizes and ages.

Jet magazine, a national weekly magazine founded in 1951 that focuses on African American news and culture, has had a full page 'Beauty of the Week' feature since the 1960's. 'The Beauty of the Week' feature includes a photograph of an African American woman in a swim suit (either one piece or bikini but never nude), and information about the model's name, city, profession, hobbies and interests. Many of the women are not professional models and directly submit their photos to the magazine for consideration. The purpose of the feature is to promote beautiful African American women.

Page 3 girls

See also Category:Page 3 girls

External links


  1. Page Three girls – the naked truth By Mary Braid (Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 September 2004) BBC News Online
  2. Brian MacArthur. "Charge of the online heavy brigade", 11 July 2003.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Jessica Hodgson. "Rupert's golden girl basks in glow of brighter Sun", 13 July 2003.
  4. Flirty not dirty at 30 Friday, 17 November 2000 – BBC News – UK
  5. Keeble, Richard (2009). Ethics for journalists, Media skills. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 0415430747. 
  6. Page 3 model 'commits suicide after argument with friends' Daily Mail, 16 September 2008 – Mail Online
  7. The Curse of Page 3 (2003) (TV) – Released Date:15 September 2003 (UK) –
  8. Assinder, Nick (12 May 2003). Profile of Clare Short, BBC News
  9. 9.0 9.1 Byrne, Ciar. "Sun turns on 'killjoy' Short in Page 3 row", The Guardian, 14 January 2004.
  10. Leonard, Tom. "Sun's first woman editor to keep Page 3 Girls", The Daily Telegraph, 14 January 2003.
  11. Iltatyttö: Liina , Iltatyttö. Retrieved on 28 April 2011.
  12. Tähtityttö – 7 päivää. (20 April 2011). Retrieved on 28 April 2011.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 13.6 The Sexiest Page 3 Girl Ever! (21 March 2008). Archived from the original on 21 March 2008. Retrieved on 28 April 2011.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.5 14.6 14.7 The Sexiest Page 3 Girl Ever!. Archived from the original on 4 May 2007. Retrieved on 28 April 2011.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 The Sexiest Page 3 Girl Ever! (10 July 2008). Archived from the original on 10 July 2008. Retrieved on 28 April 2011.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 The Sexiest Page 3 Girl Ever! (10 July 2008). Archived from the original on 10 July 2008. Retrieved on 28 April 2011.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.4 17.5 17.6 The Sexiest Page 3 Girl Ever!
  18. Mayfair 1979 scans. Retrieved on 2012-05-04.

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