Breasts, Page 3, Kate Middleton and the right to keep our bodies private

September 24, 2012

Last week mummy blogger Mamasaurus decided to publish a photo of herself, with the argument that the fuss about the Kate Middleton debate was out of proportion given they were, after all, just breasts.

Meanwhile Ellen Arnison has blogged about the latest efforts to get rid of Page 3, again with the argument that they are just breasts.

I’ve worked with a lot of glamour models over the years, and with maybe one exception, what I can tell you is that they stripped off for Page 3 or wherever else because they enjoyed both the money and fame. I’m NOT saying that’s right, I’m not justifying THEIR decision. What I’m saying is it IS their decision to make, because isn’t feminism about being able to make decisions for ourselves? You or I may not be able to understand why someone would take their clothes off for a camera, but it is UP TO THEM. (Sorry I got a little bit shouty there *cough*).

From an early age, one of the most important lessons we can teach our children is that their bodies are their own. They have the right to control who sees their bodies.

When we grow up, we should still have that right. If you want to breastfeed in public, that is your decision. If you want to sunbathe topless, that should be your decision (unless of course you’re on a beach in the US, in which case it will become a federal decision).

Kate Middleton did not do a striptease in front of her adoring fans, she didn’t WANT the world and its wife to see her breasts. That was HER DECISION. I’ve seen some arguments that say ‘well if she didn’t want photos taken she shouldn’t have sunbathed topless.’ What? Isn’t that just an extension of the short skirt argument – and therefore one that should be left behind in the decade in which it originated?

I also don’t subscribe to the theory that they are ‘just breasts’ and therefore what is the fuss about? They are not just breasts to Kate. They are HER breasts and she has the right to privacy. And I’ve said before, when she chose to sunbathe topless on holiday on private land, she had the right to privacy. Her breasts, her rules.

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  • Erica September 24, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    I don’t get the ‘they’re just boobs argument’ *confused look* – if they’re just boobs then why do people feel the need to get them out? If you need to breastfeed or whatever fine. I find there’s rarely other reasons to wap the boobs out in life. Am i missing something?

  • English Mum September 24, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    All I could think about was the HORROR of realising that your boobs are going to be splashed across a trashy magazine and ogled by millions of people. How utterlly appalling that must have been. Oh and I wish others would put theirs away, frankly…

  • Crystal Jigsaw September 24, 2012 at 11:13 am

    Agreed. Brilliantly worded as always. If someone told me I couldn’t drive a tractor because I’m a woman and that’s a man’s job, I’d probably clobber them. I’m sick of feminists and their petitions. If I want to sunbathe topless I will. Page 3 is a newspaper. My sister buys it every day. If my husband wants to sit and stare at boobs then I don’t have a problem with that. So long as he sits and stares at mine as well.

    Seriously though, leave women to make a living however they choose. Who the hell is it affecting anyway?

    And on Kate’s pictures, I do have mixed views but my main view swings to the side of her having a right to privacy. I hope the photographer gets a hefty fine. Or at least clobbered.

    CJ x