Photographer Robyn Twomey photographed former Playboy bunnies during a recent reunion convention in Las Vegas.

Some of the bunnies are shown in their own homes, while others sat for Twomey against a gray backdrop.

One bunny, in her home, sits reluctant to be photographed between her son and dog.

Other photos show women who are utterly confident with themselves.

“They’re complex characters who are proud and empowered by their beauty and sexuality, at the same time stricken by the fleeting nature of it," explains Twomey.

A bunny gives the camera a withering stare.

Gloria Steinem even makes an appearance--after all, she did pose as a Playboy girl for an article in the late 1960s.

Contrary to how people tend to think of Playboy bunnies and models in general, most of Twomey’s subjects seem proud of their past.

Many maintain contact with old friends and co-workers, and there is a vibrant online community that organizes reunions.

The photographs are poignant, showing us an image of humans without any airbrushing or digital post-production.

They are, in Twomey’s words, "strong, beautiful, fragile, provocative, and everything in between."

Co.Design

11 Portraits Of Life As A Post-Playboy Bunny

Photographer Robyn Twomey attended a Playboy reunion in Las Vegas, where she invited dozens of former bunnies to sit for portraits.

With the advent of the Internet--and the myriad sub-genres and viewing options that come with it--reading Playboy is a bit of an anachronism. But at one time, the magazine constituted something of a cultural battleground, leaving first- and second-wave feminists divided. Yet many former bunnies (and Playboy Club employees) remain proud of their work for the company, maintaining a vibrant online community that plans reunions and events (“Long live the Cottontail Queens!”).

Photographer Robyn Twomey became fascinated by the legacy of former Bunnies when she attended one of their annual reunions, in Las Vegas, in 2004. She invited some of the attendees to sit for portraits, shooting them head-on without airbrushing or post-production. “They’re complex characters,” the young photographer says, “who are proud and empowered by their beauty and sexuality, at the same time stricken by the fleeting nature of it.”

The resulting series is a powerful study of how we project ourselves as we age. Some of Twomey’s subjects strike sexy poses, facsimiles of the '60s and '70s, in the doorways of their suburban homes. Others are stoic and thoughtful. All of them look proud. “The body language suggests even more about who these women are: strong, beautiful, fragile, provocative, and everything in between,” Twomey writes.

If you look closely, you’ll see that Gloria Steinem even sat for the series. Steinem took a job as a Bunny in the early '60s, on assignment for a story about the Playboy empire. She would later write a famous take-down of the experience (“A woman reading Playboy feels a little like a Jew reading a Nazi manual”), to which an embarrassed Hugh Hefner would respond, “I think militant feminists want to be men.”

See the full series on Twomey’s website.

[H/t Flavorwire]

Add New Comment

10 Comments

  • Aziggy

    It says a lot about us as a culture. I am referring to the picture with the woman, dog and son. The son is pointing a gun at the photographer. Yikes!

  • Fudley Bezuidenhout

    Two things:
    I'm amazed to see there are no regrets.

    and

    They may look confident, strong, etc., but truth be told check out their eyes, they don't look happy. Maybe its the unhappy girls who end up as PB bunnies, thinking the exposure would lead to happiniess. Not so.

  • smart3r

    Curious if all these women lived a party lifestyle versus a healthy lifestyle? Might be interesting to see how beauty holds up over time in each scenario.

  • Hm

    While certainly interesting in their own light, this series of photos would benefit from showing the 'before' photos as well, so you could really see the journey from A to B. But still an interesting set.

  • Christina

    I love these photos. Thanks for this article. I grew up sneaking peeks at my father's Playboy magazines and nice to see how these women have (I think) aged well and confidently. 

  • fred hart

    It'd be fascinating/scary to see a playboy edition with these models in it now. The concept of fleeting beauty is an inevitable and often unsettling one. This work really puts things in perspective.