A different era. PJ Masten, who formerly worked as a Playboy bunny mother, explains her role and reveals the “heartbreaking” part of the job description in In Touch‘s exclusive sneak peek of A&E’s upcoming documentary series, Secrets of Playboy.
“I became a bunny mother in 1975, I guess it was. I was working as a bunny in Great Gorge and I went down a whole flight of concrete stairs and I broke my back,” Masten, who worked at Playboy clubs in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York from 1972 to 1982. “When I was ready to go back to work, I couldn’t do a bunny dip, so I transferred to the New York club as the assistant bunny mother, and that’s how I came into management.”
“We had to evaluate them on their appearance and we had a guideline that all bunny mothers were given: crepey skin, sagging breasts, bags under their eyes, crooked teeth. Some really nasty descriptions and it was heartbreaking to me and I just, I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t do it. I rebelled against it. I didn’t check off if they had crepey skin or if they had saggy breasts. You couldn’t tell anyhow. I didn’t want to fire somebody for image, that stays with you for the rest of your life. That’s a terrible thing.”
“Sitting here in 2021, I can see where many people would have thought that this was not how to treat women, by saying, ‘Well if your image changes, you’re out of here.’ And I understand that,” Susanne Singer, who worked as a bunny at the Century City club from 1972 to 1984. “But at the time, the way we were raised and the times that we were raised in, we didn’t think anything about it because we didn’t know any different. And that’s kind of sad.”
A&E’s upcoming documentary series, Secrets of Playboy, “unravels the glamourous mythology” behind the late Hugh Hefner‘s Playboy empire, according to a press release. The series, directed by Alexandra Dean, “explores how the Playboy machine was a powerful force that, at its worst, manipulated women in a toxic environment, silencing their voices, pitting them against one another, and opening the door to sexual predators.”
Also featured in the series are exclusive interviews with Hefner’s past girlfriends Holly Madison, Bridget Marquardt, and Sondra Theodore as well as former Playboy Playmates Rebekka Armstrong, Susie Krabacher, Dona Spier, Tylyn John and Cristy Thom and members of Hefner’s staff and inner circle.
Secrets of Playboy will premiere with back-to-back episodes on A&E Monday, January 24 at 9 p.m. ET.
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