Girl Guide calls for page 3 topless model ban
A GIRL Guide has slammed the negative impact page 3 has on body image in the wake of The Co-op’s ban on lads’ mags which are not covered up.
Bijal Rama, aged 23, spoke at a major European Guiding conference about how body image is affecting girls and young women at the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts’ (WAGGGS) Conference last month.
During her speech Miss Rama, from Great Lever, talked about the media’s role in defining women by the way they look — and in particular, the negative impact which seeing page 3 models had on her own development.
The criticism comes after The Co-op proposed a ban of lads’ mags from their shelves unless they are covered up with “modesty bags” — a move that glamour model Rhian Sugden said was “censorship crazy”.
Miss Sugden said: “I find it insane that the Co-op is going to ban lads’ magazines from display, but they’re okay with the women’s gossip magazines showing girls in bikinis, calling celebs fat or anorexic, nit picking and circling women’s flaws.
“They’re also okay with newspapers that have the words ‘rape’ and ‘paedos’ scrawled across the front, but lads magazines with a girl in a bikini covering herself needs to be hidden away? Obviously it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but if you don’t like it, don’t look at it, simple as that.
“The world is going censorship crazy.”
But Miss Rama, a member of Girlguiding’s Advocate group, which discusses important issues surrounding young women and seeks change, asked Guides aged between 16 and 25 if they wanted to join the No More Page 3 campaign — with members voting overwhelmingly in favour.
Miss Rama, a former Turton Sixth Form College student, told the conference how the Advocate panel had written to the editor of The Sun, calling on the newspaper to promote positive role models to inspire girls and young women, as well as Prime Minister David Cameron.
In her speech, she said: “Many delegates thanked me for coming and sharing my experiences on the issue of body image as it was also close to their hearts. Being an advocate allows me to make a difference on the issues that affect me and my peers.
“In the case of body image this includes a large percentage of older and younger women.”
She added that 38 per cent of girls aged between 11 and 21 are unhappy with their appearance and two thirds of girls believe they are still judged more on looks than ability.
Meanwhile one in three girls would consider surgery to change their appearance.
These findings came to light in the Girls’ Attitudes Survey, an annual survey conducted by Girlguiding into girls’ opinions.
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