Chevron Photo Getty Images Love him or hate him, Hugh Hefner, the libertine entertainment mogul who died yesterday at the age of 91, created one particularly enduring silhouette: the corset-clad, hourglass-shaped Playboy Bunny. Hefner often professed to have sparked the s sexual revolution—and later funded court cases challenging state bans on birth control and abortion—but the exaggerated Bunny dimensions may prove to be his most enduring legacy. Firstly, long and not overly plump legs were a prerequisite for all Bunnies. Table Bunnies, as they were called, toned legs by descending and ascending staircases, balancing trays full of drinks, and working double shifts to make up for low wages, all while wearing three-inch heels—and dodging wanton hands. Yet the athleticism required to work at the club routinely caused Bunnies to lose weight, and being too thin kept former Playmates from being selected for future photoshoots. Pure artifice aided other Bunny staples.

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To be able to show people that we are linked, not ranked. By , when she founded Ms magazine , she was known as a political activist and feminist organiser. Woman , her documentary series about violence against women, will air on Viceland UK on 8 March. She lives in New York. What is your greatest fear? Which living person do you most admire and why? Dr Denis Mukwege , because he is to sexualised violence against females what Mandela was to apartheid. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

Waiting until the last minute. What is the trait you most deplore in others? In my 30s, I was staring at a pair of expensive boots in a shop window when the photographer Gordon Parks came up behind me. He instantly understood, because he grew up even poorer than me; he made me buy them on my credit card.

What would your superpower be? What do you most dislike about your appearance? Also, it seems odd to be white in a world that mostly ranges from honey to sable, especially since this groups me with too many people who think whiteness has a superior meaning. Who would play you in the film of your life? As a child, Natalie Wood. I admire Marisa Tomei and Meryl Streep, who both play cross class. Of course, Streep could play anything, human or animal, and is a great political activist besides.

What is your most unappealing habit? Committing myself to more than I can do. My eyes are bigger than my stomach. What is your favourite smell? What is your favourite word? Seeing anybody rendered invisible. What book has changed your life? As a child, Little Women , because it was the first time I realised women could be a whole human world. That I was betraying someone or something I deeply cared about. What did you want to be when you were growing up?

First a horse rancher, then a dancer. What do you owe your parents? My father, for being OK with insecurity. I behaved badly with two old lovers. Years later, when I took one to lunch to apologise, it made it worse. What does love feel like? What was the best kiss of your life? Late one summer night in Manhattan, walking from east and west on the same street until we finally met in the middle. Which living person do you most despise, and why?

It has to do not just with dislike, but power to hurt, so right now, there is no one who can surpass Donald Trump; not even Putin or Prime Minister Modi, who are right up there. What has been your biggest disappointment?

Seeing the future die, from Bobby Kennedy to dear friends. If you could edit your past, what would you change? How do you relax? Having dinner with friends, walking around the city, reading with my cat on my lap. After 70 or so, all those brain cells that were devoted to sex are available for other things.

What do you consider your greatest achievement? How would you like to be remembered? As someone who left the world around me a little kinder and less hierarchical. What is the most important lesson life has taught you? To behave as if everything you do matters, because you have no idea which thing might.


Inside Gloria Steinem’s Month as an Undercover Playboy Bunny

Clearly, he did his homework. As an emerging voice in feminism and politics, Steinem struggled to be taken seriously because of her beauty. We want a writer. Which was better than several sizes, as one doctor cheerfully told her to expect with this kind of work. Immobile, the costumes were merely painful, but after five-hour shifts of serving customers, they revealed themselves as torture devices.


That time Gloria Steinem went undercover as a Playboy Bunny

To be able to show people that we are linked, not ranked. By , when she founded Ms magazine , she was known as a political activist and feminist organiser. Woman , her documentary series about violence against women, will air on Viceland UK on 8 March. She lives in New York.


Gloria Steinem

Her mother was Presbyterian , mostly of German including Prussian and some Scottish descent. But I must say, I never felt that. I used to sit and try and figure out how old the child would be, trying to make myself feel guilty. But I never could! Speaking for myself, I knew it was the first time I had taken responsibility for my own life.



Share via Email Gloria Steinem in her Playboy bunny costume in the early s and a more recent photo. At the time Steinem was a decade away from gaining fame as the co-founder of Ms magazine, but her personal account of going undercover to work as a bunny at the Playboy Club riveted readers, giving them insight into a male bastion that few knew firsthand. In taking on Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner and his Playboy Clubs, Steinem showed she could more than hold her own against an opponent with his own media empire. Hefner, who had started Playboy in , was at the height of his influence, and not content with making himself rich. He had in begun penning monthly essays that he insisted would be "the Emancipation Proclamation of the sexual revolution". Steinem was unimpressed. She went after him where he was most vulnerable, showing readers what it actually meant to work at a Playboy Club.

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