Dubbed the end of an era by the lads and misogynists of Britain, the Sun seemed to have ended their 44-year topless tradition on Page 3.
Yesterday the feature re-appeared, so it is unclear what is happening.
Opposition to retraction of Page 3 claims it is a step backwards for gender equality because it is empowering for women to express their sexuality. However I believe it is a giant leap forward for the fight for gender equality and mental health in Northern Ireland.
As a young person, I am tired of the media portraying women’s sole contribution to society being their appearance. I would encourage editors to decide if advertising passive sexualised women is actually a reflection of the contribution women make to modern society.
Though women should have the right to express their sexuality as they please, toplessness in a family newspaper purely for titillation is not empowerment for younger generations, nor is it the time and place.
The responsibility of the newspaper is to report on current affairs and therefore should be featuring news articles of the successes and trials of women equally as they do for men not promoting obscene images that have been proven to be damaging to teenagers.
The image of topless women alongside fully clothed successful men in the daily news leads to the normalisation of media sexism, continues objectification of women, and provokes low self-worth in young girls.
When 20 per cent of young people in the UK are suffering “significant mental health problems” the overt sexualisation of women in the media should be scorned upon as the message to young girls that their purpose is to be beautiful is damaging for all young people.
I hope the editor will permanently remove the feature as a step forward in abolishing the commercialisation of women’s bodies.
I can only hope this small change sparks the beginning of many greater ones.
Freyja Bourke, age 17