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Playboy Bunny Markéta Jánská at the Karma Foundation Inaugural Gala hosted at the Playboy Mansion, October 2005

A Playboy Bunny is a waitress at the Playboy Club. The Playboy Clubs were originally open from 1960 to 1988. The Club re-opened in one location in The Palms Hotel in Las Vegas in 2006.[1] Bunnies wore a costume called a "bunny suit" inspired by the tuxedo-wearing Playboy rabbit mascot, consisting of a corset, bunny ears, a collar, cuffs and a fluffy cottontail.

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Behavior and training

The Playboy Bunnies were waitresses who served drinks at Playboy Clubs. There were different types of Bunnies, including the Door Bunny, Cigarette Bunny, Floor Bunny, Playmate Bunny and the Jet Bunnies (waitresses that served on the Playboy Jet). To become a Bunny women were first carefully chosen and selected from auditions. Then they undergo thorough and strict training before officially becoming a Bunny. Bunnies were required to be able to identify 143 brands of liquor and know how to garnish 20 cocktail variations. Dating or mingling with customers was strictly forbidden. Customers were also not allowed to touch the Bunnies, and demerits were given if a Bunny's appearance was not properly organized. Only the C1, most important "Keyholders" (members of the Playboy Club), were allowed to date a Bunny.

A Bunny also had to master the required maneuvers to work. These included the "Bunny Stance", a posture that was required in front of patrons. The Bunny must stand with legs together, back arched and hips tucked under. When the Bunny is resting or while waiting to be of service, she must do the "Bunny Perch". She must sit on the back of a chair, sofa, or railing without sitting too close to a patron. The most famous maneuver of all, the "Bunny Dip", was invented by Kelly Collins, once renowned for being the "Perfect Bunny"; to do the "Bunny Dip" the Bunny gracefully leans backwards while bending at the knees with the left knee lifted and tuck behind the right leg. This maneuver allowed Bunny to serve drinks while keeping her low-cut costume in place. Strict regulations were enforced by special workers in the guise of patrons.

Criticism

The treatment of Playboy Bunnies was exposed in a piece written by Gloria Steinem and reprinted in her 1983 book Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions.[2] Clive James wrote of the 'callous fatuity of the selection process' and observed that, "to make it as a Bunny, a girl need[ed] more than just looks. She need[ed] idiocy, too." [3]

Bunny costumes

The Playboy Bunny outfit was the first service uniform registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (U.S. trademark registration number 0762884). The costume was made from rayon-satin constructed on a merry widow corset. Satin bunny ears, cotton tails, collars with bow ties cuffs with cuff links, black mesh pantyhose and matching high-heeled shoes completed the outfit. A name tag on a satin rosette was pinned over the right hip bone.

The uniforms were custom made for each Bunny at the club they worked in. Whenever the club was open there was a full time seamstress on duty. The costumes were stocked in two pieces, the front part being pre-sewn in different bra cup sizes such as B or C cup. The seamstress would match the Bunnies' figure to the correct fitting front and back pieces. Then the two pieces were sewn together to fit each person perfectly.

There was a woman in charge of the Bunnies in each club, called the "Bunny Mother". This was a human resources type of function and a management position. The Bunny Mother was in charge of scheduling work shifts, hiring, firing and training. The Club Manager had only two responsibilities for the Bunnies – floor service and weigh in. Before every shift the Manager would weigh each Bunny. Bunnies could not gain or lose more than one pound (exceptions being made for water retention). Playboy Enterprises required all employees to turn in their costumes at the end of employment and Playboy has some costumes in storage. Occasionally costumes are offered for sale on the Playboy Auction site or eBay.[4] Some of the costumes on eBay may be counterfeit or damaged in some way. Genuine Bunny costumes in good condition have sold for over $10,000.[citation needed] The only two on public display are in the collections of The Smithsonian[5] and the Chicago History Museum.[6]

International icon

The Bunny suit is also very popular in Japan, where it has lost much of its association with Playboy. In fact it has become associated with sexiness in general; they are referred to as bunny girls (or bunnygirls) and have an association with the female human/animal hybrids common in anime and manga known as kemonomimi. Bunnies should not be confused with Playboy Playmates, women who appear in the centerfold pictorials of Playboy magazine, although a few bunnies went on to become Playmates (see below).

In Brazil, there are no Playboy Clubs, but the magazine has Bunnies who attend its events. The official Bunnies are currently three, and they were also Playmates - both separatedly, and together in the cover pictorial for the December 2008 edition.

Return of the Bunnies

In 2006 The Palms Hotel-Casino in Las Vegas opened the first new Playboy club in over a quarter-century, located on the 52nd floor of the Fantasy Tower. Italian fashion designer Roberto Cavalli was chosen to re-imagine the original Bunny Suit.

Notable Bunnies

Many women who later became famous worked as Playboy Bunnies early in their careers, including:

Bunnies who became Playmates

References

  1. ^ RYAN NAKASHIMA (10-01-2006). "New Playboy club opens in Vegas". Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/01/AR2006100100291.html. 
  2. ^ Steinem, Gloria. Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions, pg. 29-69. Plume Books, New York City: 1983.
  3. ^ Visions Before Midnight ISBN 0-330-26464-8
  4. ^ explayboybunny.com FAQ'S
  5. ^ HistoryWired: A few of our favorite things
  6. ^ [1]
  • Scott, Kathryn Leigh. The Bunny Years. Los Angeles: Pomegranate Press, 1998. ISBN 9780938817437.

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