If you have never read gloria Steinem’s “A Bunny’s Tale”, you need to. NOW. While Steinem certainly has her flaws as a Major Feminist Thinker, the piece she wrote about working at the Playboy Club in New York City is equal parts hilarious and heartbreaking. While Playboy touted the high pay and glamorous lifestyle of the Bunnies, the truth was that Bunnies spent long hours working for very little pay, were constantly harassed by customers, and subject ot archaic rules and regulations (Bunnies were not allowed to date anyone they met at the club, and had to be tested for syphillis before they were hired). Steinem described her bunny costume as unbearably uncomfortable: the fabric was made out of “gym suit material”, incredibly high cut, and so tight that she got welts and blisters on her waist. She also developed life-long foot problems after spending long hours wearing ridiculously high heels (Bunnies were required to wear heels at least 3 inches tall–anything lower would result in demerits).
Sounds couture as fuck, right?
I’m totally confused by this revival of bunny culture–in both the revival of Playboy Clubs, the upcoming NBC show about Hefner’s life in the 60’s, and even more so by Marchesa’s “couture” take on the Bunny Costume. So, let’s make an already impractical waitresses outfit, and make it even more impractical by adding lots and lots of delicate beading?
Here’s what the bunny outfit looked like in 1963:
Here’s the Marchesa version:
Both may look pretty, but would be difficult to wear while doing the tasks that a waitress does. If my favorite waitress at IHOP gets exhausted after a day workin in a polo, slacks, and black sneakers, I don’t even want to think about how a waitress at the Playboy club would feel.
Hugh Hefner has become a parody of himself. Can we please stop glamorizing the sexist kitsch he has sold for over 50 years?