[…]

FHM have surpassed themselves by printing a topless photograph of a 14-year-old girl.

The Press Complaints Commission said the photograph, included in a gallery of mobile phone snapshots, was a “serious intrusion” into the girl’s privacy and had a “significant effect” on her emotionally and at school.

FHM said it received around 1,200 photos of women either topless or wearing lingerie for publication each week. It added that it was “extremely surprised” to learn that the girl was 14 “as she certainly appeared to be older”, the PCC reported in its ruling today.

So if she’d been over 14, it would have been fine!

“The magazine had been informed that the complainants’ daughter was in a cohabiting relationship with the person who submitted the photograph and, in those circumstances, no further enquiries about the image were made,” said the PCC.

So if you let your boyfriend take topless snaps of you and he then submits them to FHM for publication without your consent, that’s ok. And furthermore, if he tells the publication that they have your consent, they will take his word for it.

FHM print galleries of topless photographs without obtaining the permission of the subjects. This case is particularly loathsome because of the subject’s age, but what is just as loathsome is the fact that, had she been over 16, this issue wouldn’t have made headlines at all.