Page 3  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Page 3 was a feature most commonly associated with the British tabloid newspaper The Sun for over 44 years, from November 1970 until January 2015. It consisted of a large photograph of a topless female glamour model, often known as a "Page 3 girl," usually published on the third page of the print edition.

When The Sun became a tabloid on 17 November 1969, it began intermittently publishing images of clothed glamour models on its third page. The editors introduced nudity on 17 November 1970 when they printed an image of 22-year-old model Stephanie Khan in her "birthday suit" to celebrate the newspaper's first anniversary as a tabloid. Topless Page 3 girls soon became a regular feature in The Sun and are credited with helping to boost the newspaper's circulation significantly in the 1970s and 1980s. Some Page 3 girls became household names. Samantha Fox, who appeared on Page 3 from 1983 to 1986, became one of the most photographed British women of the 1980s, and famously earned more than then-prime minister Margaret Thatcher while still in her teens. Britain's other "red top" tabloids introduced competing features under different names. The Daily Star called its topless models "Starbirds." The Daily Mirror also experimented with topless models, although it scrapped the feature in the 1980s.

Page 3 generated considerable controversy throughout its run. Critics often argued that Page 3 objectified and demeaned women. Others believed that images of topless glamour models were inappropriate for a generally circulated national newspaper. Campaigners regularly advocated for legislation to ban Page 3 or tried to convince newspaper owners and editors to voluntarily eliminate the feature or modify it so that models no longer appeared topless. Campaigns against Page 3 proved fruitless for many years, with The Sun often branding opponents of the feature, such as Labour MP Clare Short, as killjoys. However, pressure increasingly mounted on the publication to end the feature after activists launched a No More Page 3 campaign in 2012.

The Republic of Ireland edition of The Sun ceased publishing topless Page 3 models in August 2013, citing cultural differences between Ireland and Great Britain. The decision was subsequently taken to drop Page 3 from the UK edition as well. On 19 January 2015, another News UK title, The Times, reported that it "understands that Friday's edition of [The Sun] was the last that will carry an image of a glamour model with bare breasts on that page." However, after several days of publishing images of clothed glamour models, The Sun on 22 January 2015 stated on its front page that "We've had a mammary lapse" and featured a topless photograph of 22-year-old Nicole Neal on Page 3. This seeming intent to restore topless models caused a media and social media backlash, after which no further Page 3 images appeared in the print edition. The Sun continued the feature online via its Page3.com website until March 2017, at which point it ceased to update the website with new content. As of September 2018, the Page3.com website has been removed. The Daily Star continued to print topless models on Page 3 until April 2019.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Page 3" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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