Visible thongs are BACK but Rhian Sugden and Nicola McLean ask do we really want them?

BRACE yourselves ladies – the visible thong is back.

The trend was made popular by Noughties icons including socialite Paris Hilton and pop sensation Britney Spears but soon fell out of fashion.

Is it any wonder when the late strip club king Peter Stringfellow started wearing them out in public in his fifties?

But now celebs are bringing back the whale tail, with influencer Kim Kardashian flashing her very stringy red undies under a Givenchy dress and pop’s Dua Lipa exposing her thong above a pair of low-slung jeans.

But public support for the unlikely underwear fad seems split down the middle – with telly favourite Emma Willis saying just last week that she only likes wearing big pants.

She explained: “It’s all about comfort, isn’t it? You can’t jump around in a G-string at the age of 44.”

As part of the debate, we asked two former Page 3 legends to give their view – with no if or butts . . .

NO says Rhian Sugden

I WASN’T enamoured with the whale tail trend the first time round.

I could never wrap my head around why someone would want to look like they have just been given a huge wedgie. Where I come from that’s not exactly a chic look.

So imagine my surprise that the fashion elite have deemed the exposed thong worthy for round two.

You can’t deny that Kim Kardashian, Dua Lipa and Bella Hadid look fantastic in whatever they wear.

But for me, the idea of pulling your thong so high up your butt makes me wince.

I’m never going to be one to say cover up, but I do think with lingerie sometimes more is more.

For me, the 50s pin-up trend of high-waisted knickers creates such a sexy silhouette.

A stringy piece of material hitched up your bum crack somehow just doesn’t create the same intrigue and mystery.

Wearing a thong out to dinner or down the High Street might turn heads — but purely as a novelty.

What would be a million times sexier, and makes more of a statement, is showing off your bum cleavage without the g-string.

Don’t get me wrong, the thong does have its place in our wardrobes. If I’m wearing leggings or a pair of figure-hugging trousers, I’ll wear one to hide the dreaded VPL.

That’s what it was invented for, after all. That’s why showing off your knickers was a real girl power statement the first time round.

It was advertising that women can be in control of their own sexuality and not afraid to show it.

But 20 years on it has been done to death and is hardly breaking the mould.

What I think is groundbreaking is paving your own way and not being a fashion victim to a rehashed trend.

YES says Nicola McLean

WHEN I can finally get back on the red carpet, this is a look I’m going to wear with pride. And no one will stop me.

Not only does a peekaboo thong look cheeky, sexy and iconic, it’s also an unapologetic message of female empowerment.

If I want to show a thong it’s my right as a woman to do it — and I don’t care what anybody thinks.

And who better to bring the thong back into the mainstream than Kim Kardashian?

Some might say she is only a reality star with a sex tape, but she is so much more than that.

Kim is a shrewd businesswoman and a powerful victims’ rights advocate and trainee lawyer to boot.

She is a smart cookie, who knows that baring a Givenchy thong on Instagram means she can get her other exploits in the spotlight too.

I hate it when critics say that getting your flesh out means you are being manipulated by men.

Saying you should cover up is just so sexist and patronising. Trendsetters like Kim and Dua are powerful women who know how to lead the pack, rather than pandering to the status quo.

When I was a Page 3 girl I used to cut the top off my jeans to make them outrageously low rise.

Then we would go out to parties with our thongs on show — with that much flesh exposed it’s a wonder I never got arrested.

But I loved it, and it was my way of saying to the world that I was comfortable, sexy and really confident in my own skin.

I even wore a whale tail to meet my husband Tom’s family for the first time.

I turned up in a cream, cropped, Karen Millen cardigan and a matching cream thong.

Tom obviously loved it — we’ve been together 15 years now — but his family must have thought I was bonkers!

But that is who I am, and like Kim K, you can either take me or leave me.

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