The Lib Dems aren’t planning on banning Page 3 but they do want greater regulation on glamour modelling. Well when I say that obviously I don’t mean all Lib Dems do because I don’t. Helen Lovejoy wants us to all ‘think of the children’ but I prefer to have faith that children are not as influenced by magazines and Page 3 as some will have you believe.
I was drawn on to this topic following having read Kelly-Marie Blundell’s post on it behind that link. She was inspired to blog about it following reading Andrew Emmerson’s post on it which you’ll find behind that link. But to sum up both believe that for the sake of the children these magazines or newspapers should be moved on to a higher shelf at your local newsagents.
Thinking about it I’m a pretty regular 28 year-old and I had a pretty typical upbringing. I was never influenced by pictures of naked women or semi-naked women that I saw in a magazine or a newspaper growing up. I didn’t buy The Sun and if I was reading a free copy on the train or in the Chinese whilst waiting for my take-away I certainly wouldn’t be looking at Page 3 – even today this is true. So I think nothing of it. A woman with her breasts out or wearing near to nothing at all is empowered and is doing so because they want to. I don’t think there is much debate about this (or is there?) so the question is clearly about what type of censorship or regulation needs to be placed on topless models or glamour magazines for the sake of the children.
Well you know what glamour mags and page 3 girls have been around for a while. Children are in general pretty interested in finding out all about the opposite sex (or same sex if they are that way inclined) at a fairly early age. Kids these days pretty much all have access to the internet. If they want to look at naked pictures of women or men then they can. Even if they don’t have the internet at home or their parents monitor their usage of the internet they’ll have a friend whose mum and dad don’t. Heck most young people have smart phones so have the internet on the go to use to look up pornographic pictures should they so like.
Does this and this alone lead to humans seeing other humans solely as sexual objects? No. No it doesn’t. Does it play a part? Well that is clearly up for debate a fair bit more but personally I just don’t see it and even if it did then how are you going to regulate it so no-one say under the age of 14 can see a picture of a woman’s breasts? You aren’t and any attempt to do so would infringe on those who want to look and those who want to sell their looks. It is a two-way street.
If there was regulation that curtailed the amount of people who could buy these newspapers or magazines then the money would go down for the models. Some may argue that is fair enough to save the innocent minds of the young but it won’t. The internet wins on this one and let’s be honest here no-one is that innocent even when they are young. Kids may not know it (some will) but they’ll have sexual fetishes and desires even from a young age.
It is normal and healthy for young people to explore themselves and explore the depths of their minds as they grow up. Part of this is dealing with feelings towards the opposite sex (or again same sex if they are so inclined). It is part of the growing up process and is perfectly normal. Seeing a picture of a woman in a skimpy dress or a oiled up man in a magazine is healthy.
There are other people involved in the growing up process to keep a child in the know as to what is right and wrong with how they deal with other people – and that includes teaching your children how to deal with people they want fancy. I am very much a nurture over nature guy and believe a parent should be able to teach their children how to deal with other people. I think by cocooning them it will only repress them and make them struggle once they get older.
Exposing children to the realities of adulthood is not a bad thing. Yes some people don’t treat people right but that isn’t because of magazines or Page 3 girls it is because they weren’t taught to treat people right. In this day and age of the internet and mobile internet you cannot cocoon children from the real world. It does scare me that children face sexual questions earlier and earlier in life but there isn’t anything we can do about that. Society has already gone that way.
The best way to deal with this issue is to be open with children. The cat is out of the bag so we have to deal with it in the most mature way possible and that is to put our faith in parenting and put faith in the children themselves. The more you push it away the more they’ll want.
Women (nor men) are sex objects. They are human beings. The best way to teach children this is by talking to them and treating everyone with respect. Children take the lead from their parents and not from magazines. I am sure of this and just keeping nude and sexy pictures away from their eye-line in newsagents with does nothing.
So I can’t support this even though I see it has good intentions. I just believe that children are not as stupid/influenced as some of us think. A few nude pictures do not change a person’s attitude and if it does then that says everything about the way that the kid was brought up.
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