I might be a little bit late writing about this, but the fact that the Sun has now completely disposed of one of its most patronizing concepts, ‘News In Briefs’ (NIB), is fantastic news.
Although most will think that taking away only a small part of Page Three (‘News in Briefs’ was the notorious box at the side of the topless woman that puts words in the models’ mouths and ridicules them, no expense spared) is only a hamster-shuffle on the big journey to getting rid of the page entirely, it is a huge statement that we should be making more of.
News In Briefs was so sickeningly patronizing because it existed to emphasize the fact that the Page Three woman is, in her submissive state, without voice and unable to represent herself in full capacity. It pushed the message that the woman was yours, a product so pretty and perfect and wow, she could also talk about football and politics too.
Shelly, 29, would be bare-breasted and gaping-mouthed while also talking about the Comprehensive Spending Review or the Iraq War. ‘News In Briefs’ sometimes gave her a childish voice, or the model would deliver an obscure quote from Aristotle, emphasizing the idea that women are voiceless puppets to contort.
It also made lots of people laugh, because they thought Shelly wouldn’t be able to talk about grown-up things like the Comprehensive Spending Review or even quote Aristotle in real-life, because she was too pretty and had her boobs out.
So three cheers to the end of ‘News In Briefs’, and what I think is one small, but hugely significant step in the right direction towards fair representation of women in the media. It shows that campaigns like Lucy Holmes’s ‘No More Page Three’ project are working. Hip hip!
(Please do sign the petition to urge Dominic Mohan to take the bare boobs out of the Sun).