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Well i have never ever thought about the  playboy bunny outfit.....i like it!!!!!!! ......and i like any outfit enhancing female parts why ......well because i am a pig defence  from me .....i love near makedness or  nakedness .....but always thought the heff was  amazing genius .......... a  jewish pimp  who wore a housecoat all his life  .....i mean  fuck my old boots .........what a fucking  amazing icon.....and all he did was  fuck hot babes all his life  .....he will be missed ........RIP heff.......

In this article:
  • Hugh Hefner
    Hugh Hefner
    American businessman and magazine publisher (1926-2017)
  • David Becker
    American musician
Should you be a Playboy Bunny for Halloween? This iconic costume has a long history. (Photo: David Becker/Getty Images for Playboy Enterprises)
Should you be a Playboy Bunny for Halloween? This iconic costume has a long history. (Photo: David Becker/Getty Images for Playboy Enterprises)

Take a peek around your next Halloween party, and you’re bound to find at least one person sporting a Playboy Bunny costume. The uniform of the waitresses at the Playboy Club, the chain of nightclubs founded by Hugh Hefner that began with the Chicago club in 1960, has become a staple of the Halloween scene. And stars like Kylie Jenner and Bella Thorne have sported the look in recent years — even as Playboy, and the late Hefner, have come under intense scrutiny.

Playboy actually sells an official version of the costume, which consists of a black polyester-spandex bodice, bunny ears and a fluffy tail — but you don’t have to purchase the official $125 (Halloween sale price) version in order to get the look. Homemade versions of the costume are ubiquitous, even in pop culture, such as when Regina George (Rachel McAdams) dressed up like a Playboy-esque rabbit for the famous Halloween party in Mean Girls where she seduced Aaron Samuels (Jonathan Bennett).

The history


The original design for the Playboy Bunny costume is credited to Playmate Ilse Taurins. She was dating promotions director, Victor Lownes, and suggested to him that the waitresses look like the Playboy rabbit, which had a bow-tie. Zelda Barbour Wynn Valdes is credited with creating the first Playboy Bunny outfits, which would go on to be worn to Halloween parties around the world.

And as Regina George knew well, the Playboy Bunny costume evokes sexiness — but it is based on a real work uniform, and it was constructed with some practical implications in mind. Kevin L. Jones, the curator at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles, explains that at first, the uniform at the Playboy Club was supposed to look very different.

“Initially, Hugh Hefner wanted the waitresses to look like the old Ziegfeld Follies…in these very elaborate outfits,” he tells Yahoo Life. “But it was impractical to serve food and such. These were supper clubs, they weren’t burlesque or strip clubs. They were very expensive, high-class supper clubs.”

(Original Caption) Bunny Bonnie (light outfit), and Bunny Kelly (in red), pose at the Chicago Playboy Club.
Bunnies pose at the Chicago Playboy Club in an undated photo. (Photo: Getty Images)

In fact, Jones says, Hefner originally thought the outfits looked a bit too much like bathing suits of the ’60s to really be as sexy as intended. Hefner changed the design to make the look a bit more revealing — but, as Jones points out, only the top of the Bunny is really exposed, thanks to the outfit’s nude pantyhose and dyed matching shoes.

There were major standards for the uniform, Jones says, which included making sure the details were on point. The identical Bunny uniforms were part of the Playboy Club fantasy.

“Each individual Bunny was responsible for her hair, her makeup, her nails, and that the cuff and the collar were absolutely starched and pristine white,” he says. “Everything else was taken care of for you. And if something got damaged, there was always somebody there to repair your outfits.”

Deirdre Clemente, an associate professor of history at the University of Nevada, explains to Yahoo Life that unlike the spandex and polyester blends of today’s costume, the original Playboy Bunny uniforms were not so forgiving. They were cut individually to each Bunny — and each had to make sure they fit into the costume if they wanted to keep working. Bunnies were selected for their figures, and the cut-off age was about 25.

“It was a very heavy screening process,” she explains. “You had to fit certain characteristics. Your weight was monitored — as a part of their job … To wear this costume, you were subjecting yourself to whether or not your manager thinks your butt looks a little big today … it really is a culturally heavy garment. This was a regulated, elite costume.”

Gloria Steinem Wearing Playboy Bunny Costume

Physically, it was a challenging uniform to move in — and sitting wasn’t exactly an option. The term “the Bunny dip” referred to a certain maneuver in which the Bunny would lean backwards while bending at the knees in order to serve drinks without coming out of her costume.

“If you were on your break, you would perch on a tall stool because you couldn't sit down comfortably,” Jones says. “So you had the bunny perch, the Bunny dip — you know, all these kind of things that these women had to practice in order to make perfect. And, of course, all of this was done with a smile.”

While the Bunnies job was to aid in creating a fantasy in this high-end supper club, there were also measures in place to make sure that Bunnies were being taken care of. The clubs had “Bunny Mothers,” who oversaw the club and made sure there were no problems. Bunnies, according to Jones, were forbidden from being touched by patrons — and doing so would have them escorted out of the club.

In fact, it was often quite lucrative to be a Bunny, Jones says, calling the money “phenomenal” during the club’s height in the ’60s and ’70s.

“You can make up to, like, $300 a night,” he notes. “A lot of the women that we're working at the club were also going to school at the same time — it helped them to pay the tuition.”

The controversy

The chain of Playboy Clubs became history in 1988, when the last outpost, in Michigan, officially closed its doors. Since then, other clubs have opened using the name (including one that opened for a brief time in New York City in 2018 before shutting down the following year), but the era of the supper club and its Bunnies has long since ended. Many of the women went on to appear in the Playboy magazine, while others hung up their ears and moved on.

Playboy, the company, has long contended with different views on its identity. Is Playboy empowering women by allowing them to make money off their bodies by posing nude in magazines, or working as a scantily-clad waitress? Or, is Playboy merely commodifying the objectification of women — a viewpoint Gloria Steinem elaborated on in her famous 1963 essay, "A Bunny's Tale," about going undercover on the job?

The Bunny costume remains a cultural relic — one that has some complicated ties. While many women may have loved their experiences in the club, it can be challenging to separate the Playboy Bunny uniform from the company’s recent allegations. In fact, The Independent just listed the Playboy Bunny costume as one of the more problematic costumes you could wear this Halloween season — right alongside that of Jeffrey Dahmer. It's a feeling that's been resonating with social media users.

The recent A&E documentary series Secrets of Playboy included accusations of rape against Hefner, who died in 2017, as well as allegations that women who came to the mansion were passed around as sexual favors for the men who came to parties at the Playboy Mansion. Other allegations that are the subject of a lawsuit against the company include forced drug use and being coerced into having sex on camera.

But does wearing a Playboy Bunny costume on Halloween mean giving Playboy, the company, a pass for its allegedly bad behavior? Bridget Marquardt, former star of reality series The Girls Next Door and one of Hefner’s former “main girlfriends,” has spoken out about her complicated relationship with Playboy and the expectations of living in the Playboy Mansion with Hefner. Yet she thinks that the costume should not embody all that Playboy is.

“The Playboy bunny costume is iconic,” she tells Yahoo Life. “I wanted one for so, so long until I finally got mine, and I still love it. I don't think there's anything wrong with people who still wear it. I feel like it has a vintage retro coolness to it that can stand alone, as far as iconicness. It does not have to represent Hef, the mansion or any of the stories that go on there. Playboy, the brand, is different from Hef and the mansion.”


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