My practice centers on representations of hyper-femininity and feminine sexualities. Shifting between fiber-based works and self-portraiture, I craft heightened versions of high-femme ideals to disrupt and reclaim archetypes of the sexualised feminine.
A Girl Resembles a Bunny takes its name from a 1967 Look magazine interview with Hugh Hefner in which Hefner laid out his manifesto of the Playboy woman: “A Girl Resembles a Bunny. Joyful, joking. Consider the kind of girl we made popular, the playmate of the month. She is never sophisticated, a girl you cannot really have. She is a young girl, simple girl-the girl next door. We are not interested in the mysterious difficult woman, the femme fatale who wears elegant underwear with lace, and she is sad and somehow mentally filthy. The Playboy girl has no lace, no underwear, she is naked, well-washed with soap and water, and she is happy.”
This quote from Hefner highlights his deep ingrained misogyny and double standards towards woman, to Hefner the women he featured in Playboy were there to serve as non-threatening, accessible vessels for the intended male consumer to project his fantasies onto. Yet, on re-analysis of Playboy there exist small glimpses of empowerment and a female gaze embedded within its pages. In a post-Hefner era of Playboy is it possible for is to pick up these pieces of empowerment, dust off that entertainment for men tagline and reclaim them as ours? With A Girl Resembles a Bunny I wanted to honour the countless women of Playboy, whose aesthetic labour and masterful performances of feminine sexualities are a constant source of inspiration for me. Embellished with over 10,000 rhinestones, my Playboy bunny stands proud and empowered.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Daisy McManaman (she/her, b. 1993, York, UK) is an interdisciplinary artist and researcher based in Glasgow, Scotland. She holds a BA (hons) in Fine Art Photography from the Glasgow School of Art and an MFA in Fiber and Material Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is a current PhD candidate working on a project on the representation of women in Playboy with University of York’s Centre for Women’s Studies.
© Daisy McManaman