Tabloid ditches topless models: Triumph for prudishness?

2015-01-20 19:37

Feminists are rejoicing at the disappearance of bare breasts from the British tabloid The Sun - though the newspaper is not saying whether the decision to ditch its "Page 3 girls" is permanent.

The Rupert Murdoch-owned tabloid has featured topless models on its third page for almost 45 years, but since Friday they have been replaced by models wearing bras or bikinis.

The Sun has declined to comment on the change, but the Murdoch-owned Times newspaper reported today that the feature had been dropped from the paper's print edition. It said the Sun website would continue to feature topless models.

Murdoch bought the struggling Sun in 1969 and turned it into Britain's best-selling newspaper, a mix of patriotic flag-waving, celebrity scandal, cheeky humour - and, critics say, sexism.

The Sun's circulation has been declining for years as people switch to digital media, though it still sells about 2 million copies a day.

Page 3 was long seen as integral to the brand, but Murdoch has recently indicated that might be changing. The Sun's Irish edition stopped using topless models in 2013. Last year Murdoch said he found Page 3 "old-fashioned, but readers seem to disagree".

A protest campaign led by young women under the slogan "No More Page 3" has helped put pressure on Murdoch's News Corp.

Campaigner Yas Necati said it was "about time" the newspaper dropped a feature that "gives the message that men make the news for what they do, and women for what they look like."

The Conservative-led government's education minister, Nicky Morgan, said the move was "a long-overdue decision and marks a small but significant step towards improving media portrayal of women and girls."

But former Page 3 models spoke up in defence of topless tradition.

"This isn't a triumph for feminism," model Laura Lacole told the BBC. "This is a triumph for prudishness."

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.