Lucy Ann Holmes is an impressively busy woman, writer, actress and political activist! I am totally in awe of her and her campaign to end the page three anachronism (in case you don’t know a topless women in a provocative sexual pose features every single day in this national newspaper) that goes out in The Sun daily. I wanted to find out a bit more about what inspired her to start this campaign.
Jane: Lucy, in common with almost every woman I know I have long hated the images portrayed by page 3 of the Sun but beyond a bit of loud tutting, the odd condemnatory blog post and obviously refusing to have said paper within a mile radius of me and mine, I’ve not done a lot about it. You, on the other hand, have started a campaign which seems to have really caught the zeitgeist. How did this come about?
Lucy : Well, I bought a copy of The Sun during The Olympics, just after Jessica Ennis won her fantastic gold medal. I flicked open the paper in the shop and I didn’t see a Page 3 girl. I checked Page 5 just to be sure, I’m cunning like that! Anyway, I was sitting on the train reading all about Team GB and Jessica Ennis, and I turned to page 13 and there she was, this massive picture of a young woman in her pants. And it made me feel very sad. Hers was the largest female image in that paper. Larger than any of Jessica Ennis. It made me sad.
And it got me thinking. A lot. In fact I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I woke in the night a few times thinking about it. I found myself feeling so passionately that these pictures weren’t doing women any favours by being there. From whichever angle I came at them they were damaging. I wrote a letter to Dominic Mohan, the editor, but I knew that wouldn’t really do anything, I had to do something else with all this passion. My thinking was ‘if I’m feeling like this about them, surely I can’t be the only one’. So I thought I could offer a platform where people could agree with me if they chose.
Jane: It’s so wonderful to hear that passion and conviction in your voice and you certainly have offered a brilliant platform through the use of social media. What has been the most surprising thing about your campaign?
Lucy: Wow, everyday is a surprise. I say ‘angels keep appearing’. For instance, on the very first day. I had a message from a lady on Twitter, saying ‘I am totally behind you, I’m a journalist, can I write something about this?’ Of course, I said ‘yes’. She wrote an awesome piece that was published in The Huffington Post. She’s since done another one. That was the first angel, but they keep appearing.
Another lady wrote to me and said ‘I’ve been passionately against Page 3 for years, I’ve written letter after letter to MPs who’ve ignored me. You might want to see the letters to help with the work you’re doing.’ These were messages of support in the first few days, but there has been many, many more incidences like this.
Caitlin Moran tweeting her support was another terrific surprise. I am a massive Caitlin Moran fan. But I realised that as she writes for another Murdoch paper, The Times, it would be tricky for her to back us even if she wanted to. The fact she did was really, really great. I love her even more now.
Oh, so many surprises! I can’t stop answering this question!!! Sorry! I had been thinking that I wanted this campaign to be as fun and creative as it could be dealing with a serious issue. I had the thought ‘I’d love a song that highlighted the issue.’ Within hours of having that thought, an old friend I haven’t seen in probably 10 years messaged me on facebook ‘I’m really behind your campaign, Lucy, I’d like to write a song for it.’ He wrote it and it’s sooo beautiful. We’re recording it very soon.
And a really wonderful performance poet Sabrina Mahfouz wrote and performed a poem that says it all for me…PERFECTLY. It’s on youtube. (Here is the link) It makes me cry a little, it’s so perfect. People taking the message and using their passion and creativity to make something for the campaign. Well, I can’t really describe what that does for the campaign. It’s beautiful.
I also must mention my fabulous ‘support crew’ who help me manage the No More Page 3 campaign; I’m not doing this alone. There are so many wonderful people who are giving up their time and offering their skills to help. It’s just wonderful.
Ok, last one, I promise, the power of twitter has been one of the best surprises of all. It’s a fantastic way to quickly reach a lot of people. And the support of change.org has been brilliant and unexpected. If you want to see a change, go to change.org. They’ve been beyond great.
Jane: Do you think you will succeed (Oh how I hope you do succeed) and how will you celebrate?
Lucy: We will succeed I feel really sure. As for celebrating, wow, probably sleep.
Jane: Lucy, thank you, and on behalf of every women I know, I thank you and your team for giving all those of us who have loathed Page 3 and all it represents since it appeared an opportunity to voice that concern. Perhaps we’ll talk again when Page 3 is no more!
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