Trending News: This Is What It’s Really Like To Audition For Playboy
Long Story Short
A New York-based writer auditioned to be a Playboy Bunny. And, her experience was… enlightening.
Have you heard? The Playboy Club is returning to New York City — and it’s hiring.
If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to work as a signature “bunny” for the iconic nightclub chain — which at one stage boasted 30 clubs across the globe — you should probably look into Gloria Steinem’s famous expose from the 1960s.
But Emily Shugerman, a writer based in New York City, has written a very different, more modern tale. In a fascinating piece for The Independent, Shugerman details going through an American Idol-style elimination process to apply for a job at Playboy’s new NYC club. What she found was a former giant of the publishing world trying to pivot itself into the modern age.
It’s a great read, pulling together the history of the Playboy Clubs, which once hosted icons such as Frank Sinatra, Woody Allen and Bill Cosby (yeah, those two), and asking: how is its renaissance relevant in the post #metoo era?
Much of the story is a play-by-play, with Shugerman going undercover to visit the new club’s west-midtown digs and quietly reporting on who was doing the hiring, who was looking to get hired, and why. But the subtle elimination process is fascinating and slightly unnerving, and the climax of the story — a set of test photos — particularly uncomfortable.
Throughout the story, Shugerman juxtaposes the Playboy brand’s original role in the sexual revolution with its place in the new fight against harassment and discrimination. It’s fair to say the author isn’t convinced it scrubs up particularly well.
The reopening of the Playboy Club in New York City is the latest pivot for a brand that ditched the nudes in 2015, reinstated them in 2017, and is now selling a relatively meager 500,000 magazines per issue.
Against this background, to say we’re interested in how the club’s relaunch goes would be an understatement.
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Ask The Big Question
The new Playboy Club is pitched at the “one percent”. But will anyone come?
Drop This Fact
Playboy Magazine’s circulation peaked at 5.6 million in 1975.