Abi Green is a 22-year-old model based in Bristol. She offered me her views on the Page 3 debate.
What are you views on Page 3 – do you think it should be banned?
Page three is a selling tool for tabloid newspapers, I think it’s stereotypical and sexist, we shouldn’t be using naked pictures for the publications that appeal to the wide general public. I’m not against nude modelling, but it should be used in artistic ways if it’s for mass consumption and save the more debase modelling for private publications.
It sends out the wrong message to children and gives them a very weird set of aspirations. I think the proliferation of glamour shoots that have surpassed the tabloids have made kids think that to fast track to fame and fortune they need to get naked and have a body and image that is only viable through surgery or Photoshop. I think that its needs a conscience effort from models to develop their image and how they portray themselves as they are role models to the next generation. If it moves in a more artistic and natural way there is nothing wrong with being photographed well. So I don’t think it should be banned, I just think there should be tighter regulations on how women are portrayed and maybe move the balance to including guys as well, otherwise it appears old fashioned and stuffy.
Critics of page 3 have said that it exploits women, but as a paid professional model, do you think it’s possible to feel exploited?
It’s possible to feel exploited in any industry, paid or unpaid. Modelling is one of the industries where exploitation is very prevalent. As a rule, models are very young and can be quite naive and not very streetwise. The people in control and behind the scenes tend to be older and able to manipulate younger people to do things that they wouldn’t necessarily do if they weren’t placed under this pressure. The higher up the industry you go the less likely this is to happen. Now I’m an agency represented model I feel a lot more confident that the shoots I’m attending are legit and have everybody’s interest at heart, but when you’re starting out and building a portfolio it can be very daunting and you do feel like you can be exploited very easily. This isn’t saying that everybody is like this and you can build up very good professional relationships through these networks, but there is always the risk.
Do you think glamour modelling should be confined to designated publications – or is it OK to be in a newspaper?
Yes I believe that glamour modelling should be confined to designated publications, but it’s like Pandoras box has been opened and it would be impossible to go backwards. Glamour modelling has seeped into popular culture and is used everywhere nowadays.
How do you think page 3 images effect the wider perception of women in Britain?
I think all modelling affects the way women are viewed, this is more so the case of how women look at other women and how they perceive themselves. It seems that women are first judged on how they look, before they are judged as people. A lot of the images we are fed are unobtainable in everyday life without the use of surgery to try and recreate the photoshoped images we try to replicate. I think that this is one of the most negative parts of westernised society (not just Britain).
Negative side effects such as bullying and depression come from the very vain society we have created, this could all be changed with a different direction and responsible modelling, photographing and choosing who we put on pedestals. If we could get modelling to focus on the more natural beauties we have. Even as a natural model I feel pressure because I’m not tall enough, therefore I’m not cast on ability but turned away because I’m not two inches taller. As a society we do shed ourselves in a bad light, but as there are so many girls that aspire to work in this industry, there is always somebody else willing to do the job you won’t do on moral grounds.
Are these images that different to the sexualised images used in fashion shoots and advertising?
No as I’ve stated earlier, glamour modelling has seeped into mainstream culture. Fortunately many of the perfume adverts are from haute couture houses and therefore have a much more sophisticated view on modelling and the concepts they use to sell their products. They hire think tanks, concept artists and great photographers before they even get to casting models. These are the companies that are keeping their standards high, have integrity and the companies I look to for inspiration.
Abi is represented by Gingersnap modelling agency.