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Do topless photos belong up front in newspapers?

The Local · 9 Mar 2012, 13:01

Published: 09 Mar 2012 13:01 GMT+01:00

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Populist newspapers have been running pictures of glamour models for the best part of 40 years, with Bild putting theirs on the front page.

The decision to put them inside is unlikely to have been a moral move in the wake of Thursday’s International Women’s Day - as Bild claimed - but a carefully calculated commercial one.

The paper’s notorious columnist Franz Josef Wagner protested, saying the page-one girl was a bit of light relief in a world full of bad news - a respite from the real world, so to speak.

“You were my ray of sunshine,” he wrote.

Those less in favour argue that the use of naked women to sell newspapers simply contributes to the objectification of women in society.

So is printing naked pictures on newspaper front pages a bit of fun to brighten up the morning? Or would they be better suited to the inside pages where at least a conscious decision has to be made to look at them? Or are they part of society’s objectification of women?

Have your say below.

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Your comments about this article

17:58 March 9, 2012 by marynoel
Yes. Topless photographs certainly belong on the front page of newspapers and magazines. As long as they just cover up her face and any other body parts that may interfere with the purchaser viewing her plastic boobs. The more we can dehumanize any women the better society will be right?
18:18 March 9, 2012 by Beachrider
How about we just get rid of the print, instead?
18:59 March 9, 2012 by strahlungsamt
Oh Please!

Are Germans getting all prudish now all of a sudden? Topless and bottomless pics on magazine covers have been part of German popular culture since forever. It's a basic human right. Why is this an issue now all of a sudden?

If anything, the world needs MORE topless and bottomless pics on newspaper and magazine covers, not less. No they don't objectify women, they glorify them. Get used to it.

Guess the ugly women are just jealous.
22:13 March 9, 2012 by charlenej
Put hot, shirtless guys on the cover and make it equal opportunity, then I may give it a glance.

But honestly, I would never take any publication with nudie shots, on page 1 or page 21, to be a serious journalistic publication.

I would also mention that having a woman on the cover of a "newspaper" showing off her tatas and licking her lips does not send a fabulous message to our children, daughters in particular, but I know the crowd I'm dealing with here, so let's not even get into that.
22:37 March 9, 2012 by Baal
I've always found it hard to understand that a man would buy a newspaper on account of the topless photos. Surely men that way inclined would have a stack of pornography under their beds.
22:58 March 9, 2012 by ovalle3.14
Porn stash under the bed? But the laptop gets all dusty under the bed!
23:11 March 9, 2012 by bartschaff
@Baal, "would have a stack of pornography under their beds".

So what? This comment seems to imply pornography is bad, but what is bad about it isn't intrinsic: you can find porn that doesn't objectify women. It's obviously not the most common type, but it's there. And then I ask you: doesn't mainstream media also objectify women quite often?

Pornography is also criticized for not being realistic, but are Star Wars or Lethal Weapon realistic?

Porn is entertainment, not educational material (that's why it's not suitable for children - not for dealing with sex). That porn often ends up being a main source of information about sex for our teenagers is bad thing, and the result of a society that has a really unhealthy relationship with sex; where people have a really bad time trying to deal with their own bodies and urges.

About the intial topic (boobs on covers), of course they belong there. Sad there is not enough interest as to justify having men as well, as have already been mentioned.
23:22 March 9, 2012 by bwjijsdtd
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
00:40 March 10, 2012 by bartschaff
Well said, bwjijsdtd!
01:04 March 10, 2012 by marimay
That's a dude.
06:22 March 10, 2012 by Bigfoot76
"Do topless photos belong up front in newspapers?" Some certainly do. Others...they should be taken out completely.
08:56 March 10, 2012 by strahlungsamt
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
12:35 March 10, 2012 by iseedaftpeople

>Guess the ugly women are just jealous.


I have yet to hear any convincing argument whatsoever that this isn't what it boils down to.

Why does nobody ask the women who have their picture taken for the topless segments if they feel exploited or objectified... it stands to argue that surely, those topless models have enough of a mind of their own to decide if they want to be in a tabloid bare-bosomed.

Why is it that feminists on the one hand demand (rightly) that women be free to express their sexuality... but when some choose to do it this way, all of a sudden, it's "exploitation"?
13:10 March 10, 2012 by JenDigs
I'm all for equality in this argument- a hot, non-gay/non-metrosexual guy now and then would be nice... please, no "The Rock" eyebrows, no manicured & polished nails, completely hairless bodies, etc... just a naturally handsome, in-shape fellow... ;-) Also, the girl in the photo used in this article is grotesque. Those breasts are hideous and look painful! (Are they going to pop?!) The fake hair extensions? The glaring white teeth in a smile that does not extend to her eyes? Yuck. I totally appreciate a really naturally beautiful girl (though they are becoming rare in this world!) I personally think there is a difference between showing photos of natural beauties vs the plastic barbie dolls- one is a celebration of beauty, the other more like objectification.

But honestly- a cute guy now and then isn't too much to ask for is it?? ;-)
16:06 March 10, 2012 by schneebeck
The above photo really knocks me down!

I guess that's why the Local picked it.

Are those real?
20:21 March 10, 2012 by Sayer
Store-bought artificial boobs, for the semi-illiterate boobs who buy that rag? Is this how far the Noble German People have sunk?
23:03 March 10, 2012 by bwjijsdtd
Hey JenDigs,

I'm nothing great ... just some 65 year old who is willing to pose for the first average guy without a shirt on photograph ... Who knows, I might just be Germany's next Top Model ...
07:57 March 11, 2012 by strahlungsamt
Let me explain it to you this way:

Ugly people naked = art

Ugly people having group sex = art

Men naked = art

Hardcore gay porn = art

Pretty girls naked = porn

Hardcore straight porn = porn

Any questions?
08:21 March 11, 2012 by Bigfoot76
See above....
09:51 March 11, 2012 by ovalle3.14
In a world with free, widely available porn all over the internet, I see this more as a publicity stunt.
03:26 March 12, 2012 by Aasvogel
If one truly wants a censorship free press then this survey is superfluous. Any paper should be at liberty to put any photo on any page. There is no compulsion to look at, read or buy the paper. That is freedom and long may it continue without criticism from this or any other corner.

@stahlungsamt#19: brilliant comment!
10:01 March 12, 2012 by LecteurX
@ Strahlungsamt: are you aware that Bild decided to do away with the cover girl of their own accord? that nobody (no feminist, no ugly woman, no gay man) and no "movement" forced them to do so? So why do you demand a "movement" to shut down places you say you don't like?

By the way I've never heard of Brunos or of that LSD thing, yet I've been living in Germany for 4 years. But I'm very much more aware of all these "Erotika" places in my area and they don't seem to cater to the gay crowd.

Your post #19 is funny but unsubstantiated and wrong.

Maybe there's something you're not telling us (or telling yourself) about you.

Goodday sir.
10:23 March 12, 2012 by MaKo
Goodness gracious. I hope those things have a 'deflate' setting, too... it hurts to look at her!
12:03 March 12, 2012 by euan.dykes
Everyone subconsciously wants what they can not have. So stick a girl with plastic boobies and fake tan on the cover of your mag, then everyone who is subconsciously programmed to want this knowing they can't have it (women to want to be like that and men to want to have sex with that), will at least want to buy the mag. Solution: Just avoid newspaper outlets and mag shops, stop watching TV and daydreaming at bill boards. After a while the programming will fade and then when one see these women on the covers one will have a quiet laugh to ones self, for now one sees the true message of the image.
12:10 March 12, 2012 by jg.
Such pictures do help in distinguishing between newspapers that actually contain news from tabloids that are full of fiction and celebrity fluff.

"Anglo Saxon" countries that have fairly prudish attitudes and laws concerning nudity have noticeably higher teenage pregnancy rates than the naughty continental Europeans, where more relaxed attitudes prevail.
03:35 March 14, 2012 by bmw331
Nudes are cool but grossly inflated body parts as in the photo are not art or nude just ugly I would rather see twiggy nude.
18:29 March 20, 2012 by franconia
What???? No more Boobs after some 50Years in Mags and Papers in Germany?
01:56 March 22, 2012 by janreg58
What good would it do? Really. Whether it's boobs a shirtless, zipper undone hunk, what good would it do?! There are other more important things in this world that we need to concentrate on. If you're that desperate to see boobs or a naked guy, get a girlfriend/boyfriend!
17:45 March 24, 2012 by rwk
I don't think that any type of sexual imagery belongs on the front page of newspapers, clothed or not. Newspapers are supposed to be for news, not someone's idea of what sexy is supposed to look like. If you want to see boobies or whatever, there's the Internet for that.
06:29 March 25, 2012 by volvoman9
Oh hell ya!
21:04 April 1, 2012 by bebosa
think hitler taught you people about jewish psychopaths. they are ruining usa with press control, hitler had the cure for scum jew psychopaths, union boilermakers local 28 bayonne nj hate jew tricksters , who run oil refinery . trick you rig bid steal safe protection etc.
09:37 April 3, 2012 by blond blue-eyed non-swede
@ strahlungsamt

feminism = communism

any Qs?
15:14 April 5, 2012 by M.A.S
I don't know about you people, but I buy a newspaper for the NEWS and not for the naked pictures of women. Matter of fact, I buy newspapers with more text than pictures, which I am sure makes you realize that I do not buy the Bild newspaper.

I believe if you want to see naked pictures of women, go on the internet, buy a Playboy magazine, etc. but if you want (unbiased) news, but a decent newspaper like the Zeit or Süddeutsche.
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