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Playboy bunnies in Hugh Hefner’s clubs would have to follow a strict set of rules to follow, which even monitored their daily hygiene, ex-models have revealed.
Hefner, who died in 2017, founded Playboy Magazine in 1953, before the enterprise evolved into an empire consisting of models, nightclubs, and the infamous Playboy Mansion.
By the 1960s, the tycoon opened his first Playboy members club in Chicago, with parties attended by celebrities including the Beatles.
Spanning a number of floors, the club consisted of a jazz-fuelled bar, living room and VIP dining room.
Serving drinks and entertaining guests, Hefner’s infamous Playboy bunnies would swan around the venue on long shifts.
And in a new podcast, ‘Power: Hugh Hefner’, host Amy Rose Spiegel described how the early Playboy bunnies in these clubs had to do a lot more than simply look attractive for the paying attendees.
It was explained that the bunnies went through a rigorous training programme designed by Hugh’s brother Keith, which was spelled out in the Playboy Club Bunny Manual.
The manual stated that “the bunny’s hair, nails, shoes, make-up and costume must be bunny perfect”.
Reading from the manual, Amy continued: “Good grooming starts with a daily bath and good deodorant. Regular use of body lotion will keep your skin soft and pretty.”
Despite the modern reputation for sordid parties where bunnies interact raucously with guests, the initial manual prohibited bunnies from dancing with the club’s guests in “close physical contact”.
Developing the bunnies’ distinctive image from an early stage, the podcast also related that Hefner formed strict dress code standards from the very beginning.
Jackie Nett, who worked in one of the clubs during the 1960s, recalled: “You’re hired for your looks, you make your tip off your looks – if your service is bad, you become very ugly very quickly.
“You had to be able to walk around in a corset and three inch heels for eight hours. You don’t take your shoes off. Because if you take your shoes off and your foot swells, you can’t get your shoes back on.”
But, despite having to work had to meet these high standards, Jackie looked back on her time at the club with fond memories.
She remembered: “I was a happy bunny. We used to dance. Carrying your tray and dancing, or dancing on the piano bar."
However, other ex-Playboy bunnies haven't been so positive about their experiences working with Hefner. The tycoon's ex-girlfriend Holly Madison has remembered "cultish rules" and "disturbing orgies" being a part of her life in the icoic property.
And, another ex-bunny Jenna Bentley has remembered entering the mansion as an 18 year-old, only to be met with a giant orgy taking place.
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