If you’re hitting the slopes this winter, you may hear fellow skiers and snowboarders referring to “snow bunnies.” But what exactly does this term mean, and where did it come from? This in-depth article will answer all your questions about the origins and modern usage of the slang term “snow bunnies.”

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Snow bunnies is a slang term that originally referred to female skiers and snowboarders, especially those who wear skimpy outfits on the slopes. Over time, the meaning has expanded to also include inexperienced skiers of both genders.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll trace the history of “snow bunnies” from its roots in the 1970s to how it’s used today. We’ll analyze the changing gender and skill connotations of the term. You’ll also learn why some consider it offensive while others embrace it.

By the end, you’ll be an expert on the meaning and controversies around calling someone a “snow bunny.”

The Origins of “Snow Bunnies” in 1970s Ski Culture

The term “snow bunnies” originated in the vibrant ski culture of the 1970s. It was coined as a playful way to refer to female skiers who embraced the snowy slopes with enthusiasm and style. The term quickly gained popularity and became ingrained in the skiing community, representing a sense of adventure, charm, and grace.

Coined to Refer to Female Skiers

The term “snow bunnies” was specifically used to describe female skiers who not only possessed excellent skiing skills but also exuded a certain allure and femininity on the slopes. These women were admired for their ability to navigate the challenging terrain with grace and style, capturing the attention of fellow skiers and onlookers alike.

As the ski culture evolved and more women began participating in the sport, the term “snow bunnies” became a way to celebrate and empower female skiers. It represented a form of expression and camaraderie among women who shared a love for skiing and the mountain lifestyle.

Shift from a Term for Expert Skiers to Beginners

Over time, the meaning of “snow bunnies” has evolved. Initially, it was associated with experienced and skilled female skiers who could confidently navigate the slopes. However, as skiing became more accessible to beginners and recreational skiers, the term expanded to include women of all skill levels.

Today, “snow bunnies” can refer to any woman who enjoys skiing or snowboarding, regardless of her level of experience. It has become a term of endearment and celebration for women who embrace the winter sports and all the joy and adventure they bring.

Whether she is a seasoned pro or just starting out, a “snow bunny” embodies the spirit of fun, enthusiasm, and love for the mountains.

To learn more about the history and evolution of skiing culture, you can visit www.skimag.com.

Modern Usage as a Term for Inexperienced Skiers

The term “snow bunnies” has evolved over the years and is now commonly used to describe inexperienced skiers, regardless of gender. Originally, the term was used to refer to women who enjoyed skiing as a recreational activity.

However, in recent times, it has expanded to include both men and women who are new to the sport.

Applies to Both Men and Women Today

Gone are the days when “snow bunnies” exclusively referred to women skiers. In today’s skiing culture, the term applies to both genders. It is used to describe individuals who may be new to the sport or lack experience in skiing.

These skiers are often seen on the slopes, braving the cold weather and learning the ropes of skiing.

While “snow bunnies” originally had a gender-specific connotation, it has now become a more inclusive term that recognizes the diversity of skiers on the mountains.

Sometimes Used in a Derogatory Fashion

However, it is important to note that the term “snow bunnies” is sometimes used in a derogatory fashion. Some people may use it to belittle or mock inexperienced skiers, implying that they lack skill or are not serious about the sport.

It is crucial to remember that everyone starts somewhere, and being a beginner skier should be seen as a positive step towards improvement and enjoyment. Instead of using derogatory terms, the skiing community should embrace and support those who are new to the sport, encouraging them to develop their skills and passion for skiing.

The Sexualization of “Snow Bunnies”

The term “snow bunnies” has evolved over time and taken on various meanings. One aspect of this evolution is the sexualization of the term. Snow bunnies are often associated with revealing outfits on the slopes, adding a touch of glamour and sensuality to the winter sports scene.

Association with Revealing Outfits on the Slopes

Snow bunnies are known for their fashionable attire on the slopes, which often includes form-fitting ski suits, stylish goggles, and accessories that accentuate their curves. While comfort and protection from the cold are essential, some snow bunnies embrace a more provocative style, choosing outfits that showcase their physical attributes.

This association with revealing outfits has contributed to the sexualization of snow bunnies in popular culture.

While it’s important to note that not all individuals who identify as snow bunnies dress in a revealing manner, the media often amplifies this aspect, perpetuating the sexualized image associated with the term.

This portrayal can create stereotypes and misconceptions about snow bunnies, overshadowing their love for winter sports and athleticism.

Links to Promiscuity and the Playboy Bunny Image

Another aspect of the sexualization of snow bunnies is the association with promiscuity and the Playboy Bunny image. The term “bunny” has long been linked to the Playboy brand, which is known for its glamorous and seductive portrayal of women.

This connection has influenced the perception of snow bunnies, often implying a flirtatious and sexually liberated persona.

It is essential to recognize that the sexualization of snow bunnies is not representative of all individuals who identify with the term. Many snow enthusiasts simply use the term to describe their love for skiing or snowboarding, without any sexual connotations.

However, the sexualized image of snow bunnies persists in popular culture, fueled by media portrayals and societal expectations.

It is important to approach the term “snow bunnies” with an understanding of its historical context and the various interpretations it has acquired. Recognizing the diversity within the snow bunny community and challenging stereotypes can help promote a more inclusive and nuanced understanding of the term.

Ongoing Controversy and Reclaiming the Term

Arguments That It’s Sexist and Demeaning

The term “snow bunnies” has been the subject of ongoing controversy, with many arguing that it is sexist and demeaning towards women. Critics argue that the term objectifies women by reducing them to mere objects of male desire in the context of winter sports, particularly skiing and snowboarding.

They argue that the term reinforces gender stereotypes and perpetuates a culture of objectification, where women are valued primarily for their physical appearance rather than their skills or abilities in winter sports.

This can create an environment that is unwelcoming and discouraging for women who wish to participate in these activities.

Furthermore, critics point out that the term “snow bunnies” not only trivializes women’s participation in winter sports but also undermines their achievements and contributions to the sport. It suggests that their presence on the slopes is solely for the purpose of attracting male attention, rather than their genuine passion and skill for the sport.

These arguments highlight the need for a more inclusive and respectful language when discussing women’s involvement in winter sports, one that recognizes their abilities and contributions without reducing them to mere objects.

Attempts to Redefine It Positively

Despite the controversy surrounding the term, there have been attempts to reclaim and redefine “snow bunnies” in a more positive light. Advocates argue that the term can be used to celebrate women who are passionate about winter sports and actively participate in them.

They argue that being a “snow bunny” should be seen as a term of empowerment, one that recognizes and embraces women’s love for the slopes and their dedication to mastering winter sports. By redefining the term, they hope to shift the narrative from objectification to celebration of women’s achievements in these activities.

Advocates also emphasize the importance of creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for women in winter sports. They believe that by reclaiming the term and promoting a more positive image of “snow bunnies,” it can encourage more women to participate in these activities and help bridge the gender gap in the sport.

While the debate on the term “snow bunnies” continues, it is crucial to listen to the voices of those who find it offensive and demeaning. By promoting respectful and inclusive language, we can foster a more supportive and empowering community for women in winter sports.

Regional Differences in Snow Bunnies Meaning

The term “snow bunnies” has different connotations depending on the region and cultural context. While it is a popular term used in both the United States and Europe, there are notable differences in its usage and interpretation.

More Common in U.S. Than Europe

Snow bunnies are more commonly referred to in the United States than in Europe. In the U.S., the term is often used to describe individuals, typically women, who enjoy participating in winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding, and sledding.

These individuals are often seen hitting the slopes with enthusiasm and embracing the winter wonderland. The term “snow bunny” in this context carries a positive and playful connotation, highlighting the enjoyment and excitement associated with winter activities.

However, in Europe, the term “snow bunny” is not as widely used or recognized. Instead, other terms like “snow enthusiasts” or “winter sport enthusiasts” are more commonly employed to describe individuals who engage in similar activities.

The cultural differences between the U.S. and Europe contribute to this variation in terminology.

Variations Across North America

Even within North America, there are variations in how the term “snow bunnies” is understood and used. In regions with heavy snowfall and a strong winter sports culture, such as the Rocky Mountains or the Northeastern United States, the term may refer to both men and women who actively participate in winter sports.

On the other hand, in regions with milder winters or less emphasis on winter sports, the term may take on a different meaning. In these areas, “snow bunnies” might be used to describe individuals who prefer to stay indoors and enjoy the coziness of winter, rather than actively engaging in outdoor winter activities.

These individuals may be more focused on hot chocolate, warm blankets, and binge-watching their favorite shows during snowstorms.

It’s important to note that regional variations in the definition of “snow bunnies” can evolve over time and may be influenced by cultural trends and societal changes. The term may also be subject to different interpretations among different age groups or social circles.

For more information on winter sports and activities, you can visit websites such as snow.com or skimag.com.


Whether you love it, hate it, or never think twice about it, “snow bunnies” has become an enduring part of ski culture terminology. This look at its origins and evolution shows how slang terms can change over time, taking on new meanings and associations.

While some embrace “snow bunny” as a playful label, others argue it promotes negative stereotypes. But the debate over the term shows no signs of dying down as new generations of skiers and snowboarders hit the slopes each winter.

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