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The topless Page 3 girls aren't gone after all.

UPDATE:

In very disappointing and anger-provoking news, The Sun’s infamous Page 3 topless models has returned after a week’s absence. As it turns out, it was nothing more than a publicity stunt. Looks like we all just got played by Rupert Murdoch.

Today’s Page 3 showed a “clarifications and corrections” box next to a photo of a topless model. Underneath the photo, a quote appeared that said: “Further to recent reports in all other media outlets, we would like to clarify that this is Page 3 and this is a picture of Nicole, 22, from Bournemouth. We would like to apologise on behalf of the print and broadcast journalists who have spent the last two days talking and writing about us.”

Mamamia previously wrote… 

For years, British women have rolled their eyes and skipped over Page 3 of UK newspaper The Sun in search of some actual news. (That is, of course, assuming that they actually bother to buy the tabloid newspaper in the first place.)

Yep, the space between page 2 and page 4 of the paper has been used to publish photographs of topless women ever since Rupert Murdoch took over the paper in 1970, much to the disdain of women’s rights campaigners the world over.

The space between page 2 and page 4 of the paper has been used to publish photographs of topless women for decades.

But now, for the first time in four decades, The Sun has gone to print without a topless model on Page 3.

Yep, while the paper is yet to make a public announcement regarding the fate of it’s controversial feature, there were no nipples to been seen in either Monday or Tuesday’s edition.

But before we all clap, cheer, pat each other on the back, declaring the move a win for feminism, there’s one important thing to note.

Yep, while the paper is yet to make a public announcement regarding the fate of it’s controversial feature, there were no nipples to been seen in either Monday or Tuesday’s edition.

Women haven’t disappeared from Page 3. In fact, the models are still there. And they’re still baring all. Except now, they’re wearing BIKINIS.

On Monday, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley starred on the page, while on Tuesday, Jennifer Metcalfe and Gemma Merna from popular UK soap opera Hollyoaks, were pictured running along a beach in Dubai. (In their bikinis, of course.)

page 3 girls in the sun
Page 3 of the newspaper as it looks now. (Image via: The Sun)
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What’s more, loyal followers of Page 3 will still be able to get their daily serve of boobs – they just need to switch from the print edition of The Sun to the online version instead.

As The Independent reports, a note at the bottom of today’s page three directs readers onto the paper’s website — which smugly reads: “Our stable of stunning Page 3 girls hasn’t gone anywhere – all your favourites are here every day online. All 13 of our models feature in exclusive bonus content at thesun.co.uk/page3, from video chats to sexy shoots.”

(Because everyone knows newspapers should be all abour “sexy shoots”, amIright?)

“Our stable of stunning Page 3 girls hasn’t gone anywhere,” the website boasts.

As TIME Magazine has pointed out, women get a pretty raw deal in newspapers: only 24% of people portrayed in the news are women, and when they do manage to make the news, most women are more often than not depicted as victims or as objects for objectification.

What’s more, of those women who make the news for positive reasons, most will find themselves subjected to photoshopping or air-bushing so that viewers don’t have to see them in their natural glory. (Ugh.)

So let it be said: Switching from topless models to bikini clad models is not enough. Women are still being objectified in one of the UK’s highest selling newspapers and now, in its online edition.

So while removing topless women from its third page is one very small step from The Sun, but we’re looking for one giant leap for womankind.