How the Playboy Bunnies Do It – Hugh Hefner and Me

by Ann Moses on August 11, 2017

If you’ve read my book or any of the “back in the day” pieces on my website, you know I’ve had some wildly serendipitous connections during my days in Hollywood. The majority of those connections centered around teen idols of the day, their managers, Tiger Beat or New Musical Express.

By 1968 and 1969, I had learned a lot about marketing and entrepreneurial pursuits because marketing was the cornerstone of Tiger Beat’s success. You might say, I learned it from ‘the master,’ Chuck Laufer.

Up to this point in my life, I had never been to a Playboy Club, but a group of friends invited me along (one of the guys was a member) on an evening out at the Los Angeles Playboy Club. It was surreal to say the least – being served by busty women/girls in their scanty Bunny “uniforms.” The evening of dining, drinking and entertainment was the antithesis of my evening outings at hippie places like The Fillmore, and mini-skirt clad cage dancers at The Whisky. But I was mesmerized by those differences, soaking in the “old school” playboy atmosphere. We even enjoyed a hypnotist who had people from the audience up on the stage and had them squawking like chickens and barking like a dogs.

When I got home, it was like a light bulb moment. I imagined my first best selling book titled “How the Bunnies Do It.” It was a play on words, but my book was going to be about how the Playboy Bunnies kept their svelte figures. As resourceful Annie Moses, I contacted the Playboy business offices and snagged an appointment with the Bunny Mother, the woman who was the “manager” of the Bunnies, and whose job it was to make sure they met every Bunny standard. She kept a keen eye out to guarantee they all followed the Bunny Manual down to every last detail dictated by Hugh Hefner.

I honestly can’t remember her name, but our business meeting was so lovely. I explained how it would be a great “how-to” book. I requested to interview various Bunnies and share how they ate to keep their bodies fitting into their teeny costumes, and what kind of exercises they did for the same purpose. Bunny Mom thought it was a fabulous idea, but, of course, she had to get the okay from HH.

I only had to wait a few weeks to hear back, and Bunny Mom told me it had been approved by HH and she was willing to set up interviews as soon as I’d like to get started.  

I’d like to tell you what it was like to carry out those interviews, hang with the Bunnies and tell what “their world” was really like, focusing primarily on their eating/exercise habits to share with young women everywhere. But that’s not what happened. Again, my memory fails me on why I did not even start the book, probably TB and NME responsibilities. It’s disappointing today to know I passed up what might have been a fascinating look inside the Playboy empire, even if it was one little part of that empire.

Pondering the woulda, coulda, shoulda sentiments from so many years ago, I’m inclined to mention Doris Day’s song from 1956 “Que Sera, Sera.” She had it right, whatever will be, will be.

Hugh Hefner with his girlfriend Barbie Benton, surrounded by Playboy Bunnies.

Ohhhhh, one more connection – however distant – when we moved the TB offices from Highland Avenue to Hollywood Boulevard, I began working out at a very “in” work-out studio in the building next door. I’d go to their hour aerobic classes during my lunch hour and many times I would work out next to Barbie Benton. She was always quick to say “hi,” and was just totally down-to-earth and she seemed to me to be the opposite of the “artificial beauty” of Playboy models.

Here’s a link to the Playboy Club Bunny Manual 1968 – a fascinating look at an empire and how they manage their assets. Which things do you find weird – the merit/demerit system? the personal hygiene suggestions? the first sentence of the Bunny Costume description “Your costume is the world famous symbol of the glamourous (sic) Playboy Bunny. . .wear it proudly and prettily.” 



{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: