Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The day I met Linda Lusardi

As The Sun appears to have withdrawn the topless women from page 3, today seems like a good day to reminisce. I am, after all, an old man these days...

There was a time, when I was young, when I used to travel around London for fun. Hard to believe, I know, but there you are. I could tell you how to get from just about anywhere to anywhere else, in short, a bit of an anorak. So, when an event was organised that involved travelling the Tube network, getting a card stamped at various stations and perhaps winning something - most of the details of this story are pretty vague, I'm afraid - I wasn't going to miss out.

To make things more interesting, celebrities were promised, not that this was terribly important to me. And so, I found myself at a central London station, Piccadilly Circus if memory serves, where one of the celebrities was Linda Lusardi, one of the most famous Page 3 girls of her era. By this stage, I was being helpful, rather than competitive, and found myself trying to protect her from a rather over-eager audience.

It is perhaps a sign of the times that men were rather keen to get very close to her, and it became clear that the security was non-existent, and so I found myself attempting to get between her and the crowd. It was quite scary, and she was clearly distressed by the attempts to touch her. I have to admit that I felt rather sorry for her, as it couldn't have been nice to be crowded by a bunch of strangers. Luckily, rescue was soon at hand, and she was taken to a safe place.

I have always thought that it must be terrible to be a celebrity in some ways, with the sense of depersonalisation and and that you are, somehow, public property. It must be worse still, if all you are to some people is a naked body to be ogled.

The end of Page 3 in its current format is, therefore, probably a good thing, even if it is only a small drop in a vast ocean of objectification of men and women. But, perhaps, by taking it out of the mainstream, it might make some people think a little harder about the issue in future...

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