|Columnist Mike Strobel wants the Toronto Sun to do you a favour and make the SUNshine Girl topless. A recent scientific study shows looking at naked women makes you smarter. (QMI Agency files)
It’s high time the SUNshine Girl went topless.
I say this not for prurient reasons or to make the circulation manager hysterical or to curry favour with my naturalist friends.
No, this is a public service. A boon to mental health. Yours.
I’m happy to report what I’ve always suspected is true. The SUNshine Girl makes you smarter. It’s now a scientific fact.
And a topless SUNshine Girl would have you knocking on the door of the Mensa Society.
You guffaw? I, too, might have scoffed, before reader Ian of Sparrow Lake alerted me to a story this week in Britain’s biggest newspaper The Sun, which runs topless models on Page 3.
Looking At Page 3 Makes You Brainy, the headline proclaims.
“Scientists (have) discovered that looking at pics of the likes of Lacey, Keeley and Rhian makes the brain react quicker,” the paper says.
This raises several questions. Such as: “Don’t people name their girls Martha, Dinah or Lois anymore?” Sorry, no. Only in the Bible.
And: How can gazing upon underclad women possibly boost your brainpower? Doesn’t that usually make men stupid?
Leave it to the fun-loving Finns to figure it out.
Researchers at the University of Tampere and Aalto University showed volunteer men and women photos of models in varying stages of undress.
Before all you women in sensible shoes cry “sexist pig!”, I hasten to add the models also were male and female.
The volunteers’ electrical brain activity was monitored.
Results appear in the current edition of the science journal PLoS One.
They make me proud to work for this newspaper, to share space with such brain food as the SUNshine Girl.
Professor Jari Hietanen reports the less clothes the models wore, the quicker each volunteer’s grey matter kicked into action.
This may have roots in how our cave-man ancestor identified a potential mate. It was easier if they were naked.
“In less than 0.2 seconds, the brain processes pictures of nude bodies more efficiently than clothed bodies,” Professor Hietanen says.
“Responses were the strongest when the participants looked at (nudes), the second strongest to bodies in swimsuits, and the weakest to fully clothed bodies.”
Ergo, looking at our SUNshine Girl, who is usually bikini-clad, is healthy since it jump-starts the brain into processing other images faster, too.
Imagine how quick-witted you’d be if the SUNshine Girl was topless like the Page 3 Girls of our British namesake.
Editor Wallace fell down giggling when I suggested it to him just now. When he saw I was serious, he blanched and urged me to read Germaine Greer’s The Female Eunuch or watch Thelma and Louise.
But topless SUNshine is not entirely a new idea around here.
In the ‘70s, at a precarious point in the Toronto Sun’s early life, founders Doug Creighton, Don Hunt and Peter Worthington decided the SUNshine Girl would go topless as a last resort.
“We figured we wouldn’t go down without a fight,” Peter tells me.
Instead, the Sun caught fire and the notion was dropped. The SUNshine Girl evolved from fully clothed girl-next-door to scantily clad girl-next-door.
When I was editor-in-chief, she did get tantalizingly close to topless. One memorable time, a pair of suspenders was the only difference. The corporate brass were unhappy with me.
But I recall our readers seemed especially smart that day.
On the other hand, in a jaw-dropping display of dementia, I later toned down the Girl and moved her to inside the back cover, claiming I wanted Page 3 for news. What a dope.
Time to make amends.
Time for the SUNshine Girl to doff her top.
It’s the least we can do in the name of mental health and readers’ IQ.
Boy, talk about a brain teaser.