German newspaper Bild to drop topless front-page photos
posted at 2:43 pm on March 9, 2012 by Howard Portnoy
After a run of 5,000 front page photos of females baring their topmost assets, the German newspaper Bild is leaving the cheesecake market behind, New York’s Daily News reports. The practice of featuring the image of a topless female, which dates back to 1984, will end today—Friday, March 9—to coincide with International Women’s Day. (To further mark the occasion, female staffers were given the day off on Thursday.)
The paper, the name of which translates appropriately to “picture” or “photo” and is pronounced—again appropriately—“built,” is Germany’s largest-selling. A spokesperson for the paper is quoted as saying that the move is “perhaps a small step from women’s point of view—but it’s a big step for Bild and all men in Germany.” (Not to mention the non-German reading men of other nations who now wish they had known sooner that a Bild speaks a thousand words.)
The semi-naked pictures have appeared on the vast majority of Bild front pages throughout the years, though there have been exceptions. One, noted by the Daily News, was the day after German Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected as Pope Benedict XVI.
Not all male staffers are happy about today’s change. A writer named Franz Josef Wagner (who I think was two German composers in previous lives) expressed his dissatisfaction in his Friday column, writing:
Bild doesn’t want to print any more girls on page 1 because it doesn’t correspond with the woman of today. I think the editor-in-chief of Bild is crazy. How can he banish the dream girl?
Wagner’s fit of pique may be premature. The newspaper’s management has dropped hints that the Bild Girl may not be totally a thing of the past, noting that it “wants to be sexy in future too—but in a more modern way, and better-wrapped, inside the paper.”
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