His most defining attribute, to my young self, is that he would buy Kinder Eggs like you would normal eggs - by the dozen. He was living with his parents at the time and working a good job so I guess he had cash to splash. I was there a lot, naturally, after school or on days off - just helping to eat all that chocolate and make plastic toys. Eventually there was a whole bin-liner full of Kinder toys, imagine that.
Anyway, you would not guess what his newspaper of choice was? . . . That's right! It was The Sun. (For those of you that don't know The Sun - it' a family newspaper that always has a picture of a topless girl on page three) I used to peruse The Sun whilst consuming delicious chocolate shells in fast-forward -om-nom-nom-om-nom-nom. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this newspaper wasn't impenetrable like others, it was easy reading, I could easily educate myself about affairs of the world. I developed a clever knack of flipping the pages so I could casually skip Page Three, or I'd work backwards from Dear Deidre (hilarious) and skip over looking at 'the boobs'. Then when no-one was around I'd have a good look at 'the boobs', read the caption and absorb the overall ambience of the page: the smiling girl in the news.
What did this education give me? A horrendous, stomach-grinding fear. Sometimes I would lay awake, feeling sick with worry that my boobs wouldn't turn out alright. Maybe one would be bigger than the other or they would hang like cushion covers missing their glorious plump. It was terrifying. I won't ask you to imagine the feeling because you know it exactly - it's the feeling of things being out of your control. It's that long shallow breath you take when you don't know if the money will come through in time to pay the bills. It was a fear I couldn't quantify and that I knew I could only resolve years down the line, when the anticipated tits would appear. This is a worry any pre-teen can conjure up but the presence of The Sun cemented it in my mind, it was how I knew that tits were important. I could almost cry just thinking about it - that I was so deeply worried.
Of course I could see boobs other places if I put my mind to it, if I searched them out: which I did. And bums. And willies. And fannies. And my friend did quite a satisfactory re-enactment of Ken and Barbie on their honeymoon. The Sun was different though because I didn't seek it out, I didn't tip-toe into adult territory for a stealthy glance: it was presented to me. I felt the weight of expectation - my chest suddenly was of such gravitas, it had social standing independent of me - it had more social standing than me. It was a make-or-break area. Shit-a-brick . . .
The reason I'm telling you this is because I'm 25 now and I want Page Three gone by the time I have children. It is quite obviously backward and embarrassing. There is a brilliant petition (sign it if you agree) and campaign happening now. I'm behind all the actions completely and I'm going to chase the cause until change happens. Shall we do it together? Maybe you could help? - Make a blogpost or Tweet or do a mucky Facebook all over your friends.
What do you think?
What do you think?