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Sunday, June 5, 2011

Don’t play, play with this Bunny


WHEN the Playboy Club Sands Macau staged a “Bunny Hunt” for its soon-to-be-opened establishment last year, 600 Bunny hopefuls from around the world turned up to be auditioned. Only 16 made the cut, one of whom was Malaysian model Felixia Yeap. And she did not even have to go through the audition; she was hand-picked by the Macau Club manager.
Following her stint as a Bunny, Yeap says she has received a string of indecent proposals. One man even posted a private message on her Facebook, offering her RM22,000 for sex, she says.
The former kindergarten teacher, who has become immune to such nonsense, reacted by publicly shaming these people she posted their remarks on the wall for everyone to see.
“That is not the way to talk to a girl,” states the attractive 1.73m tall lass with a toss of her gold-bleached, waist-length hair.
Dressed in a sexy navy low-cut top with the words “99% myself” emblazoned on the front, black tights and flats, Yeap, 24, made heads turn when she arrived for this interview at a Subang eatery.
“There is a misconception that Bunnies are scandalous, but a Bunny is essentially a hostess/waitress at the Playboy Club,” she asserts.
It may seem unbelievable but Yeap says she has never opened aPlayboy magazine. She also insists she will never pose nude because of her upbringing.
“It would go against my principles and I wouldn't want to disappoint my fans,” she adds.
But since working as a Bunny, her popularity has certainly risen, if the number of her Facebook fans is an indicator. At last count, Yeap has almost 29,000 fans on her fan page.
But there are no airs about this down-to-earth Ipoh-born model who has made KL her base.
“I'm not a celebrity,” she says with a laugh.
Feminists may say the Playboy Bunny gig exploits and objectifies women, but the articulate Yeap begs to differ.
“We were treated more like princesses, but people are entitled to their opinions,” she says, adding that her mother supported her venture as well.
The Bunny costume is essentially a custom-made corset complete with satin bunny ears, cotton tails, fishnets and matching high-heels, she describes. The costumes are very exclusive and have to be returned after the six-hour work shift, she adds.
“The first rule is to never let anyone touch us, not even the tail' or ears'. Customers who do so will be thrown out,” relates Yeap, who saw a fellow Bunny being “harassed” but counts herself lucky not to have gone through a similar experience.
“Working as a Bunny is a tough job that requires a lot of mental strength. Bunnies also have to follow a lot of protocol,” she says, taking the Bunny Dip as an example. The Bunny Dip refers to a manoeuvre where one leans backwards while bending at the knees with the left knee lifted and tucked behind the right leg. It's a tough but important stance, and it has to be done carefully so that nothing spills out, she explains while pointing at her chest.
There's also the Bunny Perch the way Bunnies sit on the back of a chair, sofa, or railing when they want to rest.
Yeap says that even the women patrons at the Macau Club were excited by the presence of the Bunnies and many wanted to know how they could become one.
Yeap was in Macau for the launch of the club and was one of five Bunnies featured in the club's promotions.
“It was a good opportunity and I gained some experience,” she says, adding that she was offered a six-month contract but declined as she did not want a lengthy break from her modelling career.
Altogether, she was a Bunny for one month from November to December last year.
Yeap certainly knows what she wants. In 2009, she pulled out of the Miss Malaysia-World pageants because of contractual disagreements that, she says, would have disrupted her earnings.
“I'm not a diva. I just have my own principles,” says Yeap who sees Brazilian Gisele Bundchen as her role model.
Yeap describes herself as homely, spends a lot of time on Facebook, dislikes partying and doesn't smoke or drink.
“I'm actually a very boring person.”
She likes reading fiction and is now in the midst of Norwegian Wood by Japanese author Haruki Murakami.
She also likes cars and, she says, used to fight with her brother over toy cars when they were much younger. She drives a Satria Neo. Her dream car is a Lamborghini Gallardo but she does not believe in purchasing one even if she can afford it.
“I would rather buy a house for my mum in Ipoh or give money to charity. I'm happy with my third-hand car now,” she declares.
Yeap says she has gone through hard times, earning less than RM1,000 while working at a kindergarten during a break from modelling several years ago.
Back then, she recalls, she could only afford to rent a RM100 storeroom that was barely large enough for her to stretch her legs. The width of the room was just two arms length and could only fit a narrow foldable bed, with space left for her luggage and laptop.
“It made me grow up and realise that life is not easy,” she shares.
Although Yeap enjoyed working with kids at the kindergarten, she found the pay too low, and thus returned to modelling.
FHM magazine spotted Yeap in her comeback bid, featured her on the cover and the rest, as they say, is history.
“You have to keep believing in yourself and work hard. If you are passionate about what you do, you will succeed,” says Yeap who describes her mum as her best friend and inspiration.
Realising that modelling has a short shelf-life, Yeap, who has a diploma in fashion design, hopes to branch out to singing and acting. She also dreams of opening a day-care or a car modification centre.
She is currently unattached and admits that she is not actively looking for a life partner.
While modelling has taken her to various countries, Yeap says she still loves Malaysia best and doesn't like to be away from home for long.
“The best thing about Malaysia is our many cultures,” says Yeap who listens to songs by Siti Nurhaliza and Ning Baizura, among others, and enjoys Yasmin Ahmad's Sepet.
She says she is fed up with the race-based rhetoric propagated by certain politicians and is sad that people are becoming more polarised, especially youngsters.
“Why should we be identified by Chinese, Indian or Malay. We are Malaysians. Americans identify themselves by their nationality and not their ethnicity. Why can't we do the same?” - theStarOnline

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