Claudia Conway Blamed The Media For Her Decision To Become A Playboy Bunny

Claudia Conway, daughter of former Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway and political attorney George Conway, famously made headlines as the rebellious child of her conservative parents. While past controversies include Claudia expressing personal anti-Trump sentiments and accusing her parents of trying to silence her social media accounts, she's more recently grabbed media attention with her decision to become a Playboy Bunny.

The move was announced on Playboy's Instagram page in May 2023, with the former magazine brand posting a picture of the 18-year-old in a nude-colored slip dress with a shoutout to her exclusive content in the caption. While many people might view Claudia's decision to become a Playboy Bunny as an act of rebellion against the conservative values of her parents, the internet figure actually attributes the choice to the media's portrayal of her.

As a response to these previous depictions, Claudia asserts that this career move is a way for her to take back her once-exploited image and gain control of her own narrative.

Claudia explains she's taking control of her image

Following Playboy's announcement that Claudia Conway would be joining its catalog of models, the former "American Idol" contestant took to Twitter to provide insight into her decision. She tweets, "When I was 15-16, I was exploited by the media, preyed upon, and was forced into portraying myself as something I wasn't. My body was taken from me."

While she doesn't specify what she means by this, there are arguably many moments from her teenagerhood that she could be referring to. Not only did she face constant sexualization as a popular TikTok figure, with one of her underage nudes even being leaked via her mother's Twitter, but she was often used as a pawn in her parents' political narratives. Critics specifically point out her "American Idol" audition and arc as exploitative, which depicted her and her parents shortly after Claudia had made accusations of abuse via TikTok.

"Now, as a young adult, I am aiming to reclaim my womanhood and femininity in a way that is truly mine. I am putting myself out there in a way that is MY OWN and no one else's. I have full control of my body and my voice," Conway continues via Twitter. "I believe in writing your own narrative like I've said in the past, and taking back what was once unjustly taken from you."

The feminist framing of Claudia's decision is controversial

Since becoming a Playboy Bunny, Claudia Conway's feminist framing of her choice has been called into question, dipping into a longtime debate on women's issues. While Conway has clearly stated that she sees the move as taking control of her public persona, critics have argued that the decision mistakes nakedness for empowerment and plays into the media's previous depictions of her.

Conway replied to one such critic on Twitter, responding to their assertion that she was giving the media exactly what they wanted by writing, "And who owns the content, making money off of it, and has full control over what is out there now? Me."

Other naysayers, including TikToker @daatdarling, criticize her decision to join the ranks of Playboy, pointing out the allegations of abuse against the late Hugh Hefner, the brand's founder, and the exploitive history of the magazine. With these criticisms in mind, all we can do is wish Conway the best through this new chapter in her life.