Playboy Bunnies Are Scary
Would you like to be a Playboy Bunny this Halloween? The Bunny is a popular costume, and you may have some fun. But one real, live ex-Bunny paints a bleaker picture.
Lili Bee had once worked at the New York City Playboy Club. One day when a Bunny/Playmate emerged from the shower Lili was “struck by how absolutely human she looked.”
Curious about the Playmate’s spread, Lili flipped through the stacks of Playboys that sat in the Club’s employee lounge:
In front of me was sprawled virtual perfection, not a flaw in sight, her skin pore-less, tawny, with the texture of velvet. Her eyes were sparkling and bright. Her lips perfectly moist, parted ever so slightly to show off her perfect, non-rejecting smile.
Her body was portrayed in much the same way: All good features were highlighted to the extreme, and the less than perfect were ‘corrected,’ which is to say, rendered invisible.
Yes, the centerfolds were pretty. But so were her aunt, her boyfriend’s sister, and the woman who had handed her the New York Times that morning. In fact,
Most women were attractive if you could just see them outside of the narrow rules, and yet it seemed that Playboy had extolled some illusory woman as the absolute gold standard for perfection.
That presents a scary perspective for your average women. A fear that she can never live up to an ideal. She might undergo scary surgeries or diets to try to achieve that “perfection.” Or wear tortuous outfits to create an unreal shape. In fact, the Bunny costume is kind of scary.
In its shape-shifting, Lili’s outfit was painful and the boning left marks around her ribs. When feminist, Gloria Steinem, worked undercover as a Bunny, she had to wrap gauze around herself to keep the boning from rubbing her raw. And the stuffing the breasts sit on to make “anyone” look large-breasted was sweltering and tight. In fact, the costume was “so tight it would give a man cleavage,” Steinem recalled. Even the modified outfits that actresses wore for last year’s cancelled Playboy TV series were described as, “tight,” “constricting,” and, “Child, you cannot breathe.” All this pain to create the illusion of an “ideal” female figure that does not exist in reality.
Today Lili is leery of all that Playboy has created: Unattainable ideals that will hurt American women for the next 40 years, and counting…
So women can feel they don’t match up. And men can feel deprived, never finding the idealized perfection.
A little scary.
Posted on October 31, 2012, in body image, feminism, objectification, psychology, sexism, women and tagged body image, feminism, objectification, psychology, sexism, women. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.