Former Playboy Bunny Says Girls Underwent ‘Humiliating’ Monthly Weigh-Ins Under Hugh Hefner

(Photo by Rachel Murray/Getty Images for Playboy)

Katie Jerkovich Entertainment Reporter
Font Size:

Former Playboy Bunny PJ Masten said that staff at the famed Playboy Clubs underwent “humiliating” monthly weigh-ins when the late Hugh Hefner was in charge.

“I think that was part of it — to humiliate these girls,” Masten, who worked for Hefner from 1972-1982, shared during A&E’s new documentary “Secrets of Playboy.” The comments were noted by People magazine in a piece published Tuesday.

“If you didn’t get [your weight] down for next month, you were suspended until you got your weight down,” she added, claiming that each girl’s weight was posted on a chart for all to see. (RELATED: Celebrate Hugh Hefner’s Birthday With 36 Photos That Prove He Was The Biggest Baller Of All-Time)

“A lot of girls had kidney infections ’cause you were cinched in,” Masten continued. “We used to go into the ladies room and take our shoes off, which were encrusted with blood, and stick them in the toilet bowl and keep flushing it with, like, a whirlpool to get the swelling down, hoping that your shoes could fit back on.” (RELATED: ‘Girl Next Door’ Star Opens Up About Life At The Playboy Mansion)

Former Playboy Bunny Susanne Singer, who worked at the Playboy Club in California from 1972 until 1984, talked about the challenge of fitting into Hefner’s iconic Bunny outfits.

The outfits consisted of a form-fitted satin leotard, fishnet stockings, tuxedo-style wrist cuffs and choker neckpieces, stilettos, rabbit ears and a fluffy bunny tail.

“If you gained weight, you were going to have a really bad problem,” Singer claimed. “Because they weren’t going to let that costume out for you.”

“Sitting here in 2021, I can see where many people would have thought that this was not how to treat women by saying, ‘Well, if your image changes, you’re outta here’ — and I understand that,” she added. “But at the time, the way we were raised and the times that we were raised in, we didn’t think anything about it because we didn’t know any different. And that’s kind of sad.”

“The costume has 18 metal stays in, so it took two people to put it on — you would have to hold it in the front and someone would zip it up the back,” Suzanne Charneski, a Bunny at the Playboy Club in New Jersey from 1979 until 1982, added. “If you gained five pounds [with] those 18 metal stays, you couldn’t breathe. Literally.”

As Bunny mother, Masten talked about how she would have to screen the new hires for things like, “crepe-y skin, sagging breasts, bags under their eyes, crooked teeth, some really nasty descriptions.”

She admitted it was “heartbreaking” and would rebel against the guidelines.

“I didn’t check off if they had crepe-y skin, or if they had saggy breasts, you couldn’t tell anyhow, I don’t want to fire somebody for image — that stays with you for the rest of your life, that’s a terrible thing,” Masten explained.