herald

Friday 17 August 2018

Melanie Morris: Good luck Louise - bring on the bunny girls, says this feminist

WHOO! The bunnies are back! Since the recent reopening of the Playboy Club in London, it seems those sexy symbols of Hugh Hefner's empire have bounced into the 21st century without as much as a disapproving glance or a burnt bra.

And the charge to London is being led by Irish model Louise Kavanagh, a woman who's donning her fluffy ears with pride and not taking any sort of guff from the worthy wing. And she's right.

The bunnies were always the acceptable face of Playboy. They were the glamourous cocktail girls who topped their sexy waitressing uniform with ears, collars, cuffs and a cute cotton tail. Stories of intense training and supernova standards surrounded these girls, something Louise claims still holds true.

Bunnies are selected from 'auditions', and taught at length about good service. They performed the 'Bunny Dip' -- a sort of bob-come-courtesy -- when serving drinks; they could identify over 140 brands of alcohol and garnish over 20 different cocktails; they were fitted in to bespoke costumes to make the most of their enviable figures; they could serve and entertain members at the Playboy club but they could only date the top-ranking ones. They were basically western Geishas.

And they always seemed so exotic. I remember years ago, being shown the 'Bunny Club' in St James by my parents when they brought me to London. In the same trip, we went to search for Wombles on Wimbledon Common and visited the Crown Jewels in the Tower of London, but of course my fascination remained with what went on inside the big, tall building.

Naturally, my parents didn't go into a huge amount of detail, but even now I'm older and have a better grip on the job spec, those girls still hold some allure. And in the intervening time, I've seen the Bunny logo become so universally accepted, it even appears on pencil cases and school bags.

Bunnies such as Louise rank in my mind like air hostesses from 'back in the day'; the ultimate in glamorous female professions. While I mightn't want to be one personally, I have a grudging respect for any girl so self-disciplined and aesthetically pleasing to be able to do so, and we should be proud of Louise Kavanagh for ticking all of these boxes.

And though many exotic females have entered the club scene in the intervening years, Bunnies are still a cut above the rest. You wouldn't find a bunny spinning around a pole in Spearmint Rhino.

Bunnies are old-school. They light cigarettes, they're servile, they possibly giggle a lot as they wiggle inside their redesigned Roberto Cavalli uniforms.

No, they're not leading the way for women's lib, but now that we're all so emancipated and into the 'third wave' of feminism -- where liking Barbie is acceptable because our fore sisters have made it so -- I feel liberated enough to profess my Bunny love.

And I'm not alone. Wander around Temple Bar any Friday or Saturday night and you'll see dozens of Bridget Joneses, all collared and cuffed with pink ears as they celebrate a hen night or some other random girlie rite of passage.

Louise, then, can feel proud, that she's actually a positive, fun role model for women as well as an object of mens' desire.

Bunnies are so completely non-threatening because they're a relic of times gone by. They're neither fashionable nor have they the risque, provocative image of their big sisters, the Playmate. No, these little creates are more like the perfect, non-threatening retro treat.

So I say go for it Louise, In a world where political correctness is taking way too much fun out of modern life, it's these sexy little balls of bunny fluff that are tickling our collective fancy.

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