BERLIN -- Sure, we knew that changes were afoot at Axel Springer, the Berlin-based publisher that also produces Die Welt. But we couldnt have imagined it would all end like this, with Eva from Poland and then nothing. No more bare-breasted cover girls. Just boring old headlines.
In 2010, Axel Springer announced that its Opportunities: Equal! project aimed within five to eight years to double the number of women in management positions, which was 16% at the time of the announcement. Two years later the company is moving right along. Springers management is now 25% female. Praiseworthy indeed.
Nevertheless, the news that broke March 8, International Womens Day, washed over Germany like a bucket of cold water: Bild, the Springer flagship paper, was going to bury its famous Page-One models somewhere deep within the inner pages of the paper. A first victim of the quota, much regretted in many quarters. Another reason to wrangle with the European Union!
In Great Britain, the Sun started featuring its Page 3 Girl girls whose impressive breasts provided the mother of all melon metaphors -- in 1970. Fourteen years later, in 1984, Bild took things a step further, putting Miss Vienna on the bottom half of its front page. And now, some 5,000 Page-1 girls and innumerable fruit & vegetable comparisons later, its all over?
Banishing the 'dream girl'
We still cant believe that whole last issue: it was surreal, a bad dream, with Eva from Polands picture accompanied by the words Ich bin die Letzte (I am the last one) right there along with soccer news and coverage of President Christian Wulffs final day in Schloss Bellevue, the presidential residence, after he was forced to resign.
All those Ginas, and Brittas and Lisas over the years for convenience sake referred to as Mieze (the chick) by Bild editors. Even senior Springer columnist Franz Josef Wagner wrote: I think the editor-in-chief of Bild is crazy. How can he banish the dream girl?
Are we really in for just plain old Bild headlines now? Things like Man in Cemetery Killed with Grave Lantern or Dog Found Cooked? On its website, Bild promises more hot erotica in the future. No doubt theyre lying. Who believes Bild, anyway? The paper says it wants to remain sexy, that it will continue to run Mieze imagery. Only now the pictures will be more modern, and better packaged -- and worst of all, not on Page One.
Read the original article in German