“At first, it was such a gigantic mistake from a career point of view that I really regretted it. I’d just begun to be taken seriously as a freelance writer, but after the Playboy article, I mostly got requests to go underground in some other semi-sexual way. It was so bad that I returned an advance to turn the Playboy article into a paperback, even though I had to borrow the money. Even now, people ask why I was a Bunny, right-wingers still describe me only as a former Bunny, and you’re still asking me about it — almost a half-century later. But feminism did make me realize that I was glad I did it — because I identified with all the women who ended up an underpaid waitress in too-high heels and a costume that was too tight to breathe in. Most were just trying to make a living and had no other way of doing it. I’d made up a background as a secretary, and the woman who interviewed me asked, ‘Honey, if you can type, why would you want to work here?’ In the sense that we’re all identified too much by our outsides instead of our insides and are mostly in underpaid service jobs, I realized we’re all Bunnies — so yes, I’m glad I did it.”
—Gloria Steinem, 77, reminisces to Maria Shriver in Interview about her famous exposé on the Playboy Bunny Club. In 1963, Steinem went undercover as a Bunny for Show magazine and reported firsthand how the Bunnies were badly treated. (This was during the “Mad Men” era, you have to remember, when job listings were segregated as “Help Wanted: Male” and “Help Wanted: Female.”) The article helped Gloria become a household name and further inspired people to join the women’s movement of the 1960s.
After the jump, Steinem talks about her reputation as the “pretty feminist.” Keep reading »
Perhaps is not such exciting news now that we live in an era when 8th graders go to Hooters on a field trip, but a new Playboy Club opened this weekend in Mayfair, London. Hugh Hefner first brought a Playboy Club to London in 1966, but it closed after 15 years. The new Playboy Club in London features “bunnies” ages 19 to 40 who’ll work in either the cocktail lounge or the casino while they wear Playboy’s iconic bunny costumes. And if men’s enthusiasm to visit the Playboy Club in any way rivals women’s enthusiasm to work for it, Hef won’t have to worry: 3,000 women competed for 80 positions to don a Playboy Bunny tail!
Alas, not everyone is so happy about the new Playboy Club. Keep reading »
It seems that the Playboy Club is enjoying something of a renaissance. First, there’s the sure-to-be-a-hit NBC show, “The Playboy Club,” debuting this fall, which takes place in the swinging ’60s. And now, the design team Marchesa has revamped the bunny costume for the club’s London location in the form of a delicious feather and sequins concoction. Designers Keren Craig and Georgina Chapman (seen here flanking the costume) only made one — which they say is a celebration of the female form, not a totem of objectification.
“What is wrong with celebrating women? I think it celebrates the female form. The women in here are pretty empowered. Take Debbie Harry, a former Playboy Bunny, she’s an incredible woman and an icon, and she’s had a fabulous career … It would be more repressive to tell women they can’t dress a certain way and the can’t do certain things,” said the pair of their creation. The one-off costume will be auctioned off in October to raise money for breast cancer awareness. [Telegraph UK] Keep reading »
There’s a period of time in high school that I’m not particularly proud of and, remarkably, it’s not the time I wore sparkly blue nail polish to prom: it’s when I wore my Playboy Bunny T-shirt. I’d half-forgotten about that thing until I read Playboy is selling official “Playboy Bunny costumes” in honor of their 50th anniversary. My knee-jerk reaction was to laugh. I mean, what a ridiculous costume. Do women actually feel sexy dressed up in a corset, cottontail and bunny ears?
Then I remembered I used to wear a T-shirt emblazoned with the Playboy Bunny logo. Keep reading »
“To talk about the impact of fashion is really interesting. I think so much of it is tied into feminism. I am a post-baby boomer who has been handed a sort of Spice Girls‘ version of feminism. We’re supposed to be wearing half-shirts and jumping around. And, you know, maybe that’s not panning out. But you can tell different generations of women by whether or not they wear that Hillary Clinton blue power suit or the reappropriated Playboy-symbol necklace worn ironically. I think women dress for other women to let them know what their deal is. Because if women were only dressing for men, there would be nothing but Victoria’s Secret. There would be no Dior.”
— Tina Fey gets all Women’s Studies-y talking about clothes [Vogue] Keep reading »