Why that Bear still won’t Wear — the Grizzly Awards

Robin Maryland, president, ActSensuous

It was one of my first ever (and still favorite) posts.  It was Oct. 9, 2009.

Originally, it was called “Why women don’t wear pantyhose” but when I added a poll at the end, which I accidentally titled:  Today’s “Bear Legs Culture,” the name stuck, and I renamed the post “Why bears don’t wear pantyhose.”

In that post, I debunked the dumb reasons women give for not wearing pantyhose, and I proposed that we refer to those women from now on as having “bear” legs instead of bare legs.

Many of you picked up on that, and in your comments or letters, you refer to women going bear-legged.  Thanks for playing along.  I love that.

Since 2009, thankfully, we’ve seen quite an increase in the number of women wearing pantyhose.  We see it on TV, in TV commercials, in movies, in magazines, on the runway, and on stage.  That is great.

Yet, the majority of stories on Internet-based magazines, features and blogs about pantyhose remain negative, if not hostile.  And women still are giving dumb reasons for why they hate and won’t wear pantyhose.

So, like in October 2009, I feel it is my duty to set these bear-legged women straight.  Here’s their lame excuses for not wearing pantyhose, my response, and the logic behind my thinking:

Bears:  Pantyhose are hot. (Read that with a whiney tone).         

Robin:  Wrong, bimbo!   It’s that you’d look HOT if you were to wear pantyhose.                                                                                                    

Logic:   I’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating.  You work in an office.  It’s air-conditioned.  In fact, you drive to work with the AC blasting in your vehicle.  And if pantyhose really were too hot, why then during the winter, do you complain it’s too cold to wear pantyhose?  Sorry, hater.  You gotta do better than that.

Bears:  Pantyhose are uncomfortable.

Robin:  What?  Pantyhose are soft and silky.  They’re the most delicate, decidedly feminine thing a woman could ever wear.  Pantyhose don’t weigh a pound soaking wet.  How could they be uncomfortable?

Logic:   If you wear control top or the super support kind that are made with too much Spandex, yes, pantyhose could be too tight and uncomfortable.   But instead of just swearing off pantyhose altogether, you should try 100 percent nylon pantyhose that are ultra soft and silky.  Then, if you still say that pantyhose are uncomfortable, you’re just looking for a reason to  hate on things that are feminine and that men want you to wear.

Logic II:  I know for a fact that pantyhose are not uncomfortable because it was not one of the correct answers to a question on Family Feud.   The question was “Name something women wear that hurts.”  A lovely Korean family correctly guessed 1.) Bra, 2.) Girdle, 3.) High Heels.   But when one of the family members guessed pantyhose, he got an “X” and the other family got a chance to steal the points.   They correctly guessed:  4.) Thong.   And that family won the game.

The lovely girls in the Korean family were wearing pantyhose and looked very beautiful, and I was sorry that they lost.   But, I think we can all agree now that pantyhose are not uncomfortable!

Bears:  Pantyhose are old-fashioned.

Robin:   Really?  Try telling that to Kate Middleton, Anne Hathaway, Milla Jovovich, Sandra Bullock, Nicole Kidman, Julianna Margulies.  Not convinced?  Tell that to Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Beyonce’.

Logic:   This has got to be the dumbest excuse women give for not wearing pantyhose.  Consider this:  Undergarments were invented in the 13th century.  Pantyhose were invented in the late 1960s (stockings during the 1950s).  High heels were invented sometime around the 15th century, and the first shoes were said to have been invented between 1600 and 1200 BC.  So should we all stop wearing shoes and undies now because they’re even more old-fashioned than pantyhose?  Come on, haters!

Bears:  Pantyhose are not necessary because my legs are tan enough, and pantyhose are irrelevant today because of relaxed dress code standards, even at the office.

 Robin:  Big mistake!  Sure, for informal occasions, bear legs look fine, but tan as they may be, they’re still no match for how much nicer they’d look in pantyhose.  Don’t kid yourself.  Unless you’re Zhang Ziyi (and even she wears pantyhose more than the average bear), those bear legs of your’s still have flaws.  Between uneven skin tone, blemishes, etc., your legs are less attractive without pantyhose.

Now, if you’re shopping at the supermarket on a day off, by all means, go bear-legged.  But, if you’re going to a wedding, a funeral, a fancy restaurant or any formal venue and you don’t wear pantyhose, you have no class.  If you work at a McDonald’s or Taco Bell, you don’t need to wear pantyhose.  If you work in a business office and don’t wear pantyhose, you are completely unprofessional.  Period!

Logic:   We’ve dumbed down enough in society.  Do we have to dress down, too?  The everyday people in almost every civilized nation in the world have more class, more grace and more elegance than us.  And they all dress better than we do.  It’s beyond time we improve in these areas.

When you break it down, the reasons women give for not wearing pantyhose have little or no merit.  They are giving very lame excuses.  Pantyhose were the standard of elegance throughout the 1960s, 70s, 80s and most of the 90s.  Women wouldn’t think of being seen in public without makeup or pantyhose.  And pantyhose were the standard for professionalism in the business world.

But during the 2000s, an excuse was created for not wearing pantyhose, and millions of women jumped on the bandwagon and have been trying to justify going bear-legged ever since.

As you know, in this blog, I’ve recognized and praised professional entertainers who are devoted pantyhose wearers in my series: Credit ‘Wear’ Credit is Due.  And while we’ve seen more and more entertainers wearing lately, there still are far too many women going bear-legged.

So, I am starting a new series.  This one will recognize those celebrities who never or almost never wear pantyhose.

Introducing …

That’s right, the Grizzly Awards will “honor” those celebrities who contribute to the bear legs cause by never wearing pantyhose on their TV shows, in movies, awards events, appearances on late night talk shows, and whenever they are in the public eye in general.

And the first celeb to receive this “honor” has to be:

Sarah Jessica Parker

You know the story.  SJP is “credited” with creating the bear legs movement because her character and others on the TV show and movies, ‘Sex and the City,” ditched the pantyhose with their fancy dresses and sexy shoes as they gallivanted through New York City — the fashion capital of the world.

That started it all.  Hollywood always has influenced fashion, and what SJP’s charaters did was set a bad example for women everywhere.

For the first time, pantyhose were seen as being out of style.  Then, as more and more celebrities followed suit, and everyday women in droves jumped on the bandwagon, pantyhose were practically run out of existence.

Worse, the anti-pantyhose sentiment that resulted from SJP’s show grew into outright hatred for pantyhose, which became villified among women on a global scale.

In fairness to SJP, when I searched for a photo of her for this post, I found as many pics of her wearing pantyhose as not.  That really surprised me.

Here’s what I want to know:  When SJP looks as awesome in pantyhose as she does in this picture at right, why wouldn’t she want to be seen this way all the time, or at least much more often?

As I’ve written before, I have no way of knowing whether it was SJP or the costume designer for “Sex and the City” who ultimately made the decision to feature her character without pantyhose.

Is it possible that SJP doesn’t really have an agenda against pantyhose?  Is it time for us to forgive and forget?  I’d like to say yes, but the bear legs movement that was created as a result of her character on “Sex and the City” persists today in way-too-high numbers.

And she is bear-legged in her TV commercials for Garnier, so it doesn’t seem as if she’s trying too hard to distance herself from the bear legs movement.

Fair or not, the bear legs culture has a figurehead, and the pantyhose industry has an arch enemy.  Every good story needs a villain.  Whether truly earned or not, that person will always be Sarah Jessica Parker — our first honorary recipient of the Grizzly Awards.

Stay tuned.  There’ll be more recipients in future blog posts here.

NOTE:   My thanks to Bridget Brown, owner of Solarity Design, a professional graphic arts design company, and an ActSensuous customer, for her clever artwork featuring bears and our pantyhose.

43 thoughts on “Why that Bear still won’t Wear — the Grizzly Awards

  • The bear needs to have a talk with SJP. She is promoting a new line of black dresses for Bloomingdale’s in “bear” legs. Yuk! Looks really bad. I thought she was going to change her ways. Maybe she should go back on the bear’s client list. Love your blog. Finally found someone who agrees with me that “bear” legs are ugly. I have finally got my wife to return to wearing pantyhose again. She looks great.

    • Hi Mike,

      Thank you for your comment, and welcome to The ActSensuous Blog.

      Well, that’s not good news about SJP. I feel betrayed. 😦

      Very good news about your wife though. Congratulations.

  • Hi again Robin . I live in Pittsburgh PA and I went downtown into the city which happens to be about ten miles from a here I live.This was a little bit after lunch.Anyway as I was down there I walked by several office buildings and I saw a lot of females wearing skirts and dresses with heels but no pantyhose.As I walked downtown I didn’t see one woman in pantyhose.I’m sure not all I f them were at work.In the nineties this would of been unheard of.Nothing but bear legs.I wonder if skirts and dresses will soon be a thing of the past.

    • Hi Steve,

      OK, well, that’s depressing. Nevertheless, I believe more and more every day that pantyhose are making a comeback. Keep observing. You’ll see the signs soon enough. Thanks for checking in, Steve.

      • Another thing to consider is that since it’s still summer, the weather is warm and hot, so there is not going to be much women wearing hose around this time of the year. There will be a few ladies wearing, but not that many. But come fall, when the weather starts to cool down, you will start to see most ladies wearing hose again, and only a few stuck with the “bear” legs. Stay positve and keep the faith as always

        • Nice comment Brian W. Thanks for that.

          Yesterday, I saw a young lady in a dress and pantyhose at the supermarket. It’s the first time I’ve seen someone besides me wearing anywhere during the month of August in Florida.

          Besides being shocked and appreciative, I was a tiny bit annoyed, as I am supposed to be the only girl who wears every day here. 🙂

          • Hi Robin and all,
            I too was happily surprised today, as I got on the elevator of the building I live in, there was a middle aged attractive woman wearing full fashioned stockings. They weren’t pantyhose but, none the less, she was wearing a two piece pink skirt suit and very nice stockings with a re-enforced heel and seems up the back. It was a sight to see! Especially, because of the heat wave going on in ATL. There is hope! We will continue to see few women wearing for the next month and a half or so. But, let’s all keep the faith!

  • I Had An Incident In A Grocery Store Where A womam Was Wearing A Rather Short Dress And
    There Was A Woman Wearing A Little Black
    Dress With Suntan Pantyhose. She Must
    Have Been In Her Forties And She Had A
    Daughter Who Couldnt Have Been More Than
    Ten. This Was About Ten Years Ago And I Was
    In My Twenties. A Breeze Came And Blew
    The Woman’s Dress Up. I Enjoyed The View. Her Daughter
    Saw This And Gave Me A Dirty Look. About 20
    Minutes Later I Got To The Car With My
    Groceries And The Daughter Goes Mom Theres
    The Perv Who Was Looking. She Told Her
    Daughter To Shut Up Before She Winked At
    Me Then Got In The Car And Drove Off.

    • OK, so there’s one more reason “Why that Bear still won’t Wear!” Ha Ha.

      Interesting comment, steve. Nothing wrong with enjoying a good view as long as you’re discreet. The poor daughter, though, is probably a “bear” for life now. Oh well …

      Thanks for your comment, steve.

  • Hello Robin,
    I am not a fan of Sarah Jessica Parker nor have I ever been a fan of hers and I agree with you that her and the rest of the cast and crew of Sex and the City are responsible for this dreaded “Bear” leg movement that has been killing me for the past 10+ years.

    However, that being said I just did a Google search for celebrities wearing pantyhose and she was in the first top 10 photos for wearing some $250 Chanel pantyhose…


    Yes that’s right $250 pantyhose! I don’t even need to get started on how absurdly insane the people at Chanel are. But back on subject… Although she may have been part of the cause of the much hated bear-legs movement, at least she is not still adhering to this ridiculous “fashion” trend that just can’t die quickly enough.

    • Hi Tim,

      Great comment. And your timing is incredible, as I’ve been concocting in my brain the idea for a new post specifically about SJP and this subject (and probably not along the lines that anyone would ever imagine my writing). I’ve a few more timely posts to write, but soon, you’ll see a new post about SJP and my friend, the Grizzly.

      For now, let me say that you’re right … while she will always get the blame for helping to instigate the ugly “bear”-legs movement, she might not be the ultimate bad guy we think she is, after all. And while her choice to pay $250 for a pair of pantyhose (maybe I’m charging too little for ActSensuous) seems irresponsible at best, ya gotta give her props just for wearing, which she does rather frequently.

      Nice job, Tim.


  • Hey Robin,
    Well this finally does confirm your belief that Sex and the City no doubt propel the “Bear” legs movement in the mainstream.

    Here is an old Entertainment Weekly article where Sex and the City actress Cynthia Nixon was interviewed about getting rid of pantyhose.

    “We did a lot to get rid of panty hose. And God bless, because other than a cold day, why would anyone want to wear panty hose? They’re really ugly. They’re not the color of your legs. I feel like that’s a nice thing.”


    • Hi, Brian W. Thanks for your comment. Well, as I’ve written, I never watched a complete episode of “SATC,” and don’t know anything about Cynthia Nixon. But after reading your quote of her comments (the link to that article didn’t deliver), I can say that I certainly don’t want to know anything about her.

      Again, not being able to see that article, but assuming your quote is accurate, Nixon clearly has no class. For her to say pantyhose are ugly is incredibly stupid. Even more stupid is that a woman writes the word pantyhose as two words.

      What a total loser. Maybe I will investigate her a bit. Sounds like a great candidate for “The Grizzly Awards.”

      • Sorry about providing that link. The article did appear when I googled it but it must have been removed since it was three years old. If you are able to google “Sex and the City An Oral History,” the article that includes Ms.Nixon quote should appear.

        I was looking for pictures of Ms. Nixon wearing hose but she does not wear them much, except for opaque tights. Out of the four women from the show, Ms. Nixon is a devout follower of the “Bear” legs movement much like her character, Miranda Hobbs. Her comments in the Entertainment Weekly article does tell you how much she thinks about pantyhose.

  • Hey Robin,
    There is an upcoming TV series called The Carrie Diaries, a prequel to Sex and the City that is expect to air on the CW in January. The show takes place in the 1980’s and stars AnnaSophia Robb as the young Carrie Bradshaw. In some of the scenes, Carrie is wearing (GET THIS!!) pantyhose long before the bare legs movement took place.


    I wondered what made Carrie stop wearing pantyhose altogether between her previous youth on The Carrie Diaries and her present time on Sex and the City. Her young character looks very nice in hose than her older character with the bare legs.

    • Hi, Brian W.

      Great comment. Thank you for this alert. I had never heard of this actress, and had not heard about the show, but it sounds like good news for our cause. Like the late 1960s and 1970s, the decade of the 1980s was great for pantyhose, and based on the pics you attached, it appears that the show will accurately depict the fashion of that fabulous era.

      Thanks for sharing this with us, Brian W.

      • The Carrie Diaries premiered on the CW last Tuesday. I didn’t watch the show but read one of the reviews where they mention that Carrie fell on on the ground and ripped her pantyhose on her way to her father’s law firm to work as an intern. Carrie was later forced by her snobby boss to buy a new pair of pantyhose at a store called Century 21 where she met a fashion stylist who would dramatically change Carrie’s image forever. The review also mentioned that Carrie’s ripped pantyhose, and image makeover could possibly be the backbone of the bare legs movement long before the internet and relaxed dress codes in the workplace ruled the next decade.

        Here is the video for the trailer of the first episode.

        AnnaSophia Robb also made an appearance on Live with Kelly and Michael to promote The Carrie Diaries. Kelly even complimented AnnaSophia on the hosiery she wore even though Kelly does not wear them much but made a smart aleck comment to Michael about the hosiery calling them underpittings or something since she couldn’t say the word due to her hatred towards pantyhose. Like I said, Kelly is pushing herself towards being a Grizzly Award recipient.

        Here is the video

        • Another great comment. Thanks, Brian W.

          And, thank you for including the clips. OK, first, I haven’t seen “The Carrie Diaries,” but props must go to AnnaSophia Robb for the lovely and classy way she dressed for her appearance on “Live with Kelly & Michael” show. Love that she has the smarts to wear sheer pantyhose with that gorgeous dress and those sexy shoes.

          Second, Kelly is a complete bimbo. And, Michael Strahan, while a great ex-NFL superstar and good pitchman, is NOT a talk show host.

          Third, it is strange that the bimbo complimented AnnaSophia on her outfit, including her pantyhose. But why Strahan questioned her: “What did you call them, hosiery?” makes no sense to me. What would he have called them?

          And Bimbo’s response was “underpinnings.” I didn’t see any malice there, but you and many others have nominated her for a Grizzly Award. I haven’t pulled the trigger on that (yet) because (1.) She’s such a bimbo, I figure no one would care that she hates pantyhose; (2.) It seems that, at least a few times on the show, she does wear pantyhose. (I don’t really know since I never watch the show, but from time to time I do see photos of her from that show.)

          Anyway, the clips were good. I still don’t have any interest in ever watching either of these Carrie-themed shows, but if this is not a fluke, I think AnnaSophia Robb is a class act and another in the growing ranks of young entertainers who have the sense, the professionalism and class to wear pantyhose today.

          And Brian, after watching the clips you attached, I also viewed the one of Victoria’s Secret model Miranda Kerr appearing on “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.” Wow. Not only is she a total knockout, she has so much class and elegance, wearing a beautiful dress with sheer nude pantyhose. (And Craig Ferguson is hillarious.) Here’s the link to the clip, and her segment starts at about 27.07

          So, once again, nice comment, Brian W. Thanks for always contributing in a great way to this blog.


          • Hi Robin,
            Just watched the Carrie Diaries online, and the fashion stylist that Carrie met at the Century 21 department store is the one that told her not to wear pantyhose as they made her look like a maid. When Carrie returned to work, her boss told her that she did not buy the pantyhose that was required for her to work at the law firm. Carrie’s ripped pantyhose, and the stylist telling her to not to wear hose seems to be connected to the bare legs movement as I mentioned in my last post..

            You are absolutely right about Michael Strahan. He is more of an NFL analyst, not a talk show host. I don’t know why they chose him as Kelly’s co-host. Kelly Ripa seems to be playing Jekyll and Hyde when it comes to hosiery. First she compliments AnnaSophia Robb about the hosiery she wore on the show, and starts wearing hose herself. Then she starts bashing hose and stops wearing them completely. Ms. Ripa needs to make up her mind wheither or not she wants to wear hose instead of waffling on the issue.

            You posted the wrong video though. The last one had Don Johnson and Brad Goreski from the 12/18/12 episode of the Late Late Show, while Miranda appears on the 12/3/12 episode but it does not look like that she is wearing hose as her legs looked bare and tanned. Here is the video where her segment starts at about 27:13.

            • Hey, Brian W. Thank you for your comment, and for posting the video of Miranda Kerr on the “Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.”

              OK, now we have to fight: I still say Miranda is wearing pantyhose. In fact, this time I looked even more closely since you thought otherwise, and I see a difference between the look of her legs and her arms and hands. The shade is different, there’s a distinct smoothness and a little sheen at her knees.

              Maybe other readers will weigh in on this debate now, and then I won’t have to give you a beatdown. 🙂

              As for Kelly Ripa, I just don’t think she’s worth any attention (from this blog) one way or another. Also, I’ve tried watching “The Carrie Diaries,” but I just can’t. Afraid it’ll dumb me down even more than I am now.

              Thanks again for your comment, Brian W.

    • Hopefully those scenes will not be edited out. Given that this series is obviously aimed more at the female viewing audience, let’s hope it has some sort of impact, assuming as I said that the scenes you lined to are not edited out of the show.

  • I wasn’t sure where to post this, but I have a good candidate for the Bear Legs award. She may have been mentioned before, if so it will be a good reminder of it to some.

    Sarah Michelle Gellar

    Why her? In the movie Scooby Doo she played Daphne and wasn’t wearing pantyhose (I’ve never actually watched the movie, and from what I hear from other fans of the original cartoon I didn’t miss anything). This wouldn’t be a big deal for Hollywood nowadays except for one thing, anyone who was fan of the cartoon knows that Daphne always wore pink pantyhose. That she wasn’t wearing them can’t be an accident. So the Bear Award for her, and Supporting Bear Award for whoever the customer designer was.

    • A good suggestion. She has been on my radar for the Grizzly Award because I never see her in pantyhose in anything she does lately. I thought she was a frequent wearer as Buffy, but I guess she’s become brainwashed like so many other bears out there.

  • It’s just sad how in today’s society there are so many excuses to not wearing pantyhose. There was a time (within the past 40+ years) when women loved pantyhose and couldn’t wait to wear them when they dressed up let alone buying pantyhose from a store and rushing home just to try them on or maybe in their car.Young girls couldn’t wait to get older so they can graduate from wearing tights to wearing sheer pantyhose like their mother or older sister wore. Nowadays it’s all about excuses, no matter what the occasion is or how hot or cold it is, it’s always some excuse to not wearing pantyhose. If it hurts to wear Size A pantyhose, there’s size B and so forth. If support pantyhose are too tight or those fragile ultra sheers run very easily, there’s Actsensuous pantyhose which are all 100% nylon that are sheer to the waist and are ultra soft (which are like the ones from the 60s and 70s and to me are considered the most “perfect” pantyhose around). Bare legs are so unclassy. R.M.

  • Hey Robin,
    Great seeing you hand the first Grizzly Award to SJP. Her character, Carrie Bradshaw, and her friends Samantha, Miranda, and Charlotte were no doubt the ones that started the bare legs culture. However, I found this article that would be a great interest to you.


    It is about Candace Bushnell, the author and brainchild of Sex and the City. Towards the end of the article, Ms. Bushnell mentions that she wears bare legs for most of the year after hearing a New York fashion designer decry that women should not wear pantyhose, especially in the winter, and that they are not sexy. That is how the origins of the bare legs movement got started, and was passed to the characters on Sex and the City which would later be adopted by the fashionistas, and media with negative comments and silly excuses that pantyhose is out of style, old fashioned, hot, itchy, and uncomfortable. They would pass this message to celebrities and women in general where they would later buy into this myth about hose being out of fashion and follow this awful bare legs movement. Sure bare legs may be nice at an informal setting such a supermarket or beach, but at formal settings such as weddings, funerals, galas, balls, and business settings, wearing hose is elegant and professional. Bare legs at formal settings is skanky and unprofessional.

    Whoever this New York designer is, that person deserves a whack in the head . Would you call seeing women with bare legs that are white, pasty, blotchy, veiny, and toes that are out of shape and imperfect SEXY?? That designer may be entitled to their opinion, but they don’t know what sexy really .

    At least in real life, SJP does wear pantyhose. At least it looks better than her veiny bare legs and feet.


    • Hi Brian,

      Thank you for your comment. You practically wrote a blog post here. I didn’t know any of that behind-the-scenes stuff about “Sex and the City.” Thanks for sharing it with us.

      Robin 🙂

  • Can I ask a question though. If you have Grizzly Awards for someone such as SJP? (well deserved btw) could you promote a worthy winner who is anti-Bear or pro hosiery in maybe a future blog or two. Could I suggest we call it the Robin Award?

    • Well, thanks for the suggestion, but the opposite of the Grizzly Awards, is my Credit ‘Wear’ Credit is Due series.

      BTW, I am open to your suggestions for candidates who fit either category.

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