A Page Three girl is a woman who models for topless photographs published in UK tabloids, specifically page three of The Sun.
The Page Three girl was introduced in 1969 when Rupert Murdoch relaunched The Sun after buying it. The page three girl was topless for the first time on November 17, 1970, when editor Larry Lamb unveiled the change while Murdoch was out of the country. The first topless model was Stephanie Rahn . The change was credited for a subsequent increase in sales, which rose 40% to 2.1 million copies within a year.
Page Three is considered sexist, demeaning and exploititive by many, and Clare Short, the MP from Birmingham Ladywood, led a failed campaign against Page Three girls in 1986. Others, including many Page Three girls, dismiss it as harmless.
The writing that accompanies the page three girl picture usually explains the model's name, age, where she 'hails from', and some brief details of her personality. The models are usually shorter than fashion models, typically under 1.67 m (5'6") tall, which some say accentuates the size of the model's breasts.
Recently, articles accompanying the photos attempt to tie in with the news, perhaps for humorous effect, with the models being given a chance to comment on topical items.
One side-effect of the Page Three girl feature is that it has limited distribution of some British tabloids in North America, due in part to the fact that in Britain it is legal for women as young as 16 to pose topless, which is considered underage in the United States and Canada.
Models in other newspapers
In the 1970s The Daily Mirror also had topless models, but these were dropped as sexist in the 1980s. In some German newspapers, such as Bild, the equivalent is found on page one, and is thus called Seite-eins-Mädchen. In 1976 the Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet introduced topless models on page nine, referred to as Side 9 Pigen. The Daily Star, which is often seen as a slavish imitation of The Sun, naturally has its own topless models as well, known as Starbirds. Topless models in tabloids were taken to their logical conclusion by the Sunday Sport, which later added a daily edition and strayed into pornography, owned as it is by a company which publishes top-shelf titles .
A Canadian news paper, the Toronto Sun, features a daily "sunshine girl". The full-page, full-colour photo is of a woman in tight, revealing clothing, except on Sundays when she is more covered.
The American tabloid Weekly World News regularly features a bikini-clad "Page 5" girl.
Well-known Page Three girls