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I don't have a Page Three pin-up on the bedroom door any more

Thing is, I don't think I actually fancied Kate Bush.

I must have been 15 when she appeared with Wuthering Heights. Hormones would have been banging around my scrawny teenage body like Eric Joyce in the Strangers' Bar at the House of Commons. So you'd imagine Kate with her long hair, manga eyes and penchant for very tight-fitting leotards would have had me howling at the moon.

And yet I think, back then, I just liked her music. What was wrong with me?

Desire's a funny thing, though. The other night I was scrolling through a blog by a bloke who is much the same age as me and liked much the same music (1). But we seem to diverge on pin-ups. His list includes the aforementioned Kate, Chrissie Hynde and a lot of names – Carol Hawkins, Valerie Leon, Jenny Agutter – familiar to anyone who was a male adolescent in the 1970s. Like him. Like me.

My teenage crushes, as far as I remember them, were Jenny, Doctor Who's Mary Tamm, a Page Three girl (2) whose name I can't recall and Diana Rigg. Only Jenny ever made me catch my breath, though (3). Later I would add Nastassja Kinski and Kathleen Turner to that list. By then, of course, it was the 1980s. I was a student and au fait with feminist arguments about objectification. Biological imperative suddenly crashed into cultural orthodoxy.

We live in a culture that is very happy to sexualise women indiscriminately. It's appalling, so I don't have a Page Three pin-up on the bedroom door any more. I don't think J would put up with it anyway. Plus, it would be more than a bit unseemly at my age.

The problem with the objectification argument, though, is that it only applies to men (and teenage boys, I suppose) who don't live in the real world. I guess there are more than a few of them, but any man in a relationship that is in any way healthy has to recognise that relationship isn't predicated on how hot their partner is.

We all go to the toilet, fart and burp, sometimes have a headache, fall out, fall in, get sick. In short we're all human. Even at our prettiest we're a bit more than a pretty picture.

Knowing that, I don't feel guilty that there are still some women who, when they float in front of my eyes, make my heart briefly go pitter patter. It's just a time-out. Nothing more.

Yes, I still have a bit of a thing for Kathleen Turner. But in my defence that's the 21st-century Kathleen Turner. I suppose that means my pin-ups have got older as I got older. Is that a symptom of my emotional maturity?

Tell you what, though. Now that I come to think of it, Kate Bush is ageing well.

FOOTNOTES

[1] It's called Crying All The Way To The Chip Shop (londonlee.com).

[2] What can I tell you? We clearly weren't reading The Herald back then.

[3] I must have seen Walkabout at an impressionable age.

Twitter: @teddyjamieson

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