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Model Marina Pepper who starred on Page 3 wants the tabloid tradition to end
Former Page 3 model Marina Pepper is now supporting a lobby group to stop the publication of topless women in newspapers
A former Sun Page 3 model has joined a growing campaign to end the tabloid tradition.
Marina Pepper does not regret her time as a tabloid pin-up, but said she cannot believe the “anachronistic” tradition of topless women continues.
She hopes newspaper managers will pull the feature from as early as the end of this year, as they come under increasing pressure from campaigners.
The 47-year-old former Telscombe mayor is part of No More Page Three, which was launched by Hove writer Lucy Holmes, who started a petition calling on The Sun to “drop the bare boobs” in September 2012.
Mrs Pepper, of Meridian Road, Lewes, was a Page Three girl from 1985 to 1987 and said she first got involved in the issue in November, when she was asked to participate in a debate at the University of Sussex.
She said: “I came to the conclusion that despite my earlier career, I was quite against it.
“I was quite surprised that they still had it. I thought feminism and equality had taken care of it.”
She said there had been some changes on Page 3 compared with her time when girls as young as 16 were used and a model’s career would end when girls reached their early 20s.
Mrs Pepper said: “By the time I was growing up it was common for men to cop a feel on the underground or in the classroom. I couldn’t have known any better.
“As a 15-year-old girl, I was a victim of the system.
“Some of the photographers were dirty old letches. It was basically the frontline of the sex industry.
“When you think about this day and age and these historic sex offences. At the same time that Rolf Harris was at the height of his fame, you had a 16-year-old Samantha Fox on Page 3.”
A petition has gained almost 200,000 signatures, while 54 MPs have signed a motion sponsored by Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas calling, among other things, to stop the Houses of Parliament stocking the tabloid until it agrees to remove the feature.
To sign the petition, visit tinyurl.com/mutcqwp or for more information on the campaign group, visit tinyurl.com/m9qkcxh.