Culture Oct 2, 2021 7:30 PM EST

Playboy promotes bunny costume sale in campaign featuring transvestite models

The costume features a tight black, strapless leotard with a sweetheart neckline and bunny ears and was modeled by BLM activist Gerrell Hankton.

Playboy promotes bunny costume sale in campaign featuring transvestite models
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Playboy launched their new ad campaign to promote the come-back of their Playboy Bunny costume, only instead of a traditional "bunny," the costume is modeled on men.

Playboy noted the "huge deal" of featuring a man on the cover of the iconic gentleman's magazine. "For Playboy to have a male on the cover is a huge deal for the LGBT community," they tweeted, quoting model Bretman Rock, who also promotes a line of Crocs. "It's all so surreal," he wrote.

The costume features a tight black, strapless leotard with a sweetheart neckline and bunny ears. The costume was modeled as well by BLM activist Gerrell Hankton. Hankton can be seen in a number of poses, front and back. Hankton sports a BLM logo in his Twitter profile.

He shared more images of the photo shoot on his Instagram page, saying "I teamed up with @playboy to bring a new edge to the iconic Bunny Suit. This look has graced magazine covers and the silver screen and has historically been associated with a particular body type but Playboy has always evolved with the times, often being at the forefront of movements of equality and inclusivity. I'm honored to take part in continuing to push against the grain, giving every 'body' the freedom to step out as their best selves, feeling sexy in the skin they are in, in whatever costume they s choose to wear."

Hankton features photos of himself modeling women's clothes and looks.

Rock also features photos of himself in women's clothes.

Playboy is only the latest women's-wear company to feature male models in women's clothes. Pop star Rihanna's Savage x Fenty line routinely showcases trans models in women's lingerie.

Victoria's Secret also took the plunge, adding Brazillian model Valentina Sampaio to their line-up. Sampaio was also a cover model for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.

Victoria's Secret had come under fire for not promoting trans identified, queer, and plus-sized models as part of their ad campaigns, but the company traded-in that exec for wokeness and has since become a champion of non-traditional lingerie models.

Lingerie companies have formed with the sole intention of providing undergarments for trans identified persons. Some of these are specifically to help users "tuck" their genitals. Other lingerie or undergarment brands for trans identified persons target young people, such as the swimsuit line for trans girls.

The Playboy Bunny was created with the launch of Hugh Hefner's Playboy Magazine in 1953, and the choice of the rabbit, Hefner said, was "because of the humorous sexual connotation." The tuxedo was meant "to add to the idea of sophistication." High-profile and well-regarded authors were published in Playboy's pages, along side nude, or often bunny costume-clad models.

That costume made its way to the Playboy Club, the first of which was opened in Chicago in 1960. Waitresses wore the costume while serving drinks to patrons. The women were known as the "Bunnies."

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