Hugh Hefner may have selected the rabbit as his infamous Playboy icons for more reasons than we think. The Playboy Rabbit (the original male icon), was a "stand-in" for the male readers of the magazine, perceived to be less threatening than if a real human was in the photos with the women. The white Playboy Rabbit with the bow tie is perhaps one of the best known cultural symbols in America. But, it was not long until the rabbit gave way to the more commonly known Playboy Bunny, a female icon representing women's sexuality under the guise of a cute, cuddly, and innocent creature.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Monday, March 28, 2011
A commercial for Comcast High Speed Internet - featuring a rabbit-panther hybrid. Emphasizes the speed of the rabbit plus the strength of the panther to create a powerful creature, but what is the message? A rabbit is quick, but not strong? What happens when you combine predator and prey?
A common theme of male cartoon rabbit depictions is the goofy, somewhat dumb, cute, and highly anthropomorphized creature that is seen here in this Blue Bunny Ice Cream Commercial.
This Skittles commercial depicts rabbits as bizarre, annoying, and perhaps unusual; but most definitely nowhere near as good as a pack of Skittles candy. Why did Skittles choose a rabbit for this? Couldn't any animal have been used? More importantly, why would anyone want to send the message that a sweet treat is better than a living, sentient being?
Does he look like a duck? No. Does he swim like a duck? Definitely not. Does he quack like a duck? Well, yes. But we still shouldn't consider the possibility that he is a duck, should we? What if he brings us Easter eggs? The Cadbury Bunny is one of the traditional Easter icons that we all remember from childhood, a white bunny who brings us yummy (or at least sweet) eggs. But bunnies do not lay eggs. But, if they quack like the Cadbury Bunny, maybe they do?
Check out this Sony Bravia commercial. Bunnies emerging from everywhere, in every color; only to bleed into one giant rabbit and then trickle back down into their individual, color-filled personalities. What does this say to you about rabbits, if anything?
You might be thinking, rabbits in film, huh? What's there to know? Bugs Bunny, Roger Rabbit, Jessica Rabbit...they are all just cartoons. But the fact is that rabbit imagery is everywhere, and it is far more complex than most people think. Take the Playboy Bunny, for example; a symbol created by Hugh Hefner that still penetrates our society today. What fewer people know is that the Playboy Rabbit came first, a male symbol not only of virility but of success in relationships and careers; a man who has it all and knows how to get more of what he wants, all in the shape of a rabbit. The Playboy Bunny, the weaker and highly sexualized female symbol, came later. Rabbits are frequently used as stand-ins for humans in this way, but what are the repercussions of doing so? Is an image just an image, or does it have lasting effects on our impressions and perceptions? Look further, and you will find that there's the Trix Rabbit, the Energizer Bunny, Harvey, the Rabbit from Winnie the Pooh, the White Rabbit, the Easter Bunny, Brer Rabbit, John Updike's Rabbit Run, the Volkswagen rabbit, Blue Bunny ice cream, and the Cadbury Bunny. But more on all that later...the point is, rabbits are everywhere and it is fascinating that we, as humans, have chosen to have them represented in media so frequently. I do not believe that such representations are insignificant. So, this blog will be an initial investigation into the complex roles that rabbits play in our lives, both onscreen and off.
Posted by Christiana at 10:29 AM