2011 a Great Year for Pantyhose


Robin Maryland, president, ActSensuous

If the “bear” legs movement won the decade of the new millennium, pantyhose certainly got their legs back in 2011.

(NOTE: I’m putting quotes around “bear” just once and then running with it as-is. Seasoned readers get my play on words, which have their origin in one of my earlier posts: “Why Bears Don’t Wear Pantyhose.”)

No, I’m not proclaiming that everything’s back to normal; far from it. But I think greater strides were made in 2011 than at any time from 2000 on.

I do think 2011 gave us much for which to be thankful, and optimism for years to come. While things looked pretty bleak from 2000 through 2010, I am thrilled by the number of new and seasoned celebrities we saw wearing pantyhose in 2011.

In movies, on TV shows, in TV commercials, on singers/performers taking the stage, on game shows, across fashion runways, in magazines, and practically everywhere we looked in the community, we saw more pantyhose in 2011 than I think we saw in the previous 10 years. And if you want to see beautiful women in pantyhose, just do a google search, and you’ll find that pantyhose are indeed alive and well.

Pantyhose took us by storm in the late-1960s, absolutely ruled in the ‘70s and ‘80s, and enjoyed a good run through most of the ‘90s before “Sex and the City” reared its ugly head in 1998.

In the role that made her famous, actress Catherine Bach as Daisy Duke on the TV show, “The Dukes of Hazzard,” made sheer pantyhose famous.

And, in the ’70s, no one did more for pantyhose than actress Catherine Bach in her role as Daisy Duke on the TV show, “The Dukes of Hazzard.”  Bach took sheer pantyhose to icon status, wearing them with her signature short-shorts and heels on the show.

It’s difficult to imagine how and why so many women in the world would try so hard to distance themselves from the look made famous by Bach.

Looking at this picture of Catherine Bach, I can’t see how anyone could believe that pantyhose are old-fashioned and irrelevant in society today.  A look of sheer beauty and the truest sense of femininity is never irrelevant, and it never goes out of style.

I honestly didn’t believe the bear legs culture would catch on, and I never dreamed it would flourish, almost to the demise of pantyhose.

It has taken a great deal longer than I imagined, but women have begun coming to their senses again. That was clear in 2010, and never more evident than during 2011.

Still, through the darkest times of the 2000 decade, I was so pleased and encouraged by the vast number of men throughout the world voicing their displeasure over the bear legs movement. There are thousands of pantyhose forums, websites and blogs about the love and devotion that (at least) men feel for pantyhose.

I still can’t believe that so many women don’t seem to care that seemingly 99 percent of the male population loves them in pantyhose. The fact that women almost universally reject the beauty, femininity, class, elegance, and sensual characteristics inherent in pantyhose remains a complete mystery to me.

I should acknowledge that, along the way, there have been many women who never bought into the bear legs culture.  Occasionally, I read on an online forum about a woman or two who, like me, just don’t get the hostility other women have toward pantyhose.  It is so heartwarming and encouraging to read the words of some women who say they love pantyhose, and the attention and appreciation they get from wearing pantyhose for men who love it so much.  We can’t know about these everyday women on a large scale, so unfortunately, I cannot give them the praise they deserve. Still, we know they’re out there, so if you’re reading, thank you for remaining professional at the office, classy about town and always feminine in all situations.

Similarly, I’ve been delighted and encouraged by all the support from readers of The ActSensuous Blog this year. I greatly appreciate all your comments, compliments and well wishes.  So, in addition to my usual ranting and raving about celebs and the state of the pantyhose industry, in this year-in-review post, I want to share with you some things you might find interesting – the stuff you guys contribute.

Your comments

You guys write some well-conceived and thought-provoking comments.  You have a real understanding of what’s going on in the world of pantyhose.  You know the celebs who are devoted wearers, and you know the ones who aren’t.   In many of your comments, you attach links to pictures, videos and online articles about pantyhose.

I love it when you write about a colleague at work who routinely wears, or doesn’t.  I love when you write about your most memorable pantyhose experiences and the affects they had on you.

And, of course, I appreciate all the nice things you write about my different posts.  I couldn’t do this if I didn’t think you cared and appreciated it.  So thank you for all your support.

In case you ever wondered, most of those who comment on my blog are not ActSensuous customers.   Sometimes, it’s a bit embarrassing when a customer writes a comment and closes with how much he loves our products and our customer service.  I’m not asking for that, but it’s always nice to read the positive feedback, and I am sure it’s good for business.  So, to those customers/readers, I’ll say this:  That’s not what the blog is about, you don’t have to endorse us in your comments, but I know it comes from the heart, and I do appreciate very much your good intentions.

One reader complimented me a long time ago for keeping the blog separate from the business.  I never expected anyone to notice or care about that, but I always appreciated that this guy got it and pointed it out.  In fact, of the 48 (before this one) posts I’ve written since May 2009, only one was blatantly about ActSensuous – the one on April 25, 2011, called “Return of Pantyhose TV ads a Good Sign.”  In it, I shared my vision (OK, fantasy) of having a celebrity become the official spokesmodel for ActSensuous.  I wrote about the celebs I’d choose if I could.  That post was pretty popular and got some good comments, but I really thought it would get more response from you, telling me which celeb you thought would be perfect to represent ActSensuous.

And that leads me to this:

The polls

I thought polls would be a good way to be heard for those who don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on a blog post.  What could be more anonymous than that?  Even I don’t know who clicks an answer on a poll on my blog. Yet, the response numbers seem low to me.

To those who have voted on my various polls, I thank you.  Your answers to the poll questions – your voice – give me an insight as to what you think about the state of pantyhose in society today.  To demonstrate that point, I’ll share with you the results of some of those polls, starting with:

  • “Which celebrity would be perfect to represent ActSensuous?”
Following her breakout role in the movie, “The Devil Wears Prada,” Anne Hathaway has maintained a classy and feminine look, including wearing pantyhose for all the right occasions and venues.

Of the 50 votes this poll generated, Anne Hathaway garnered 14 (30%).  To put that in perspective, the next highest vote-getter was Milla Jovovich with 9 (20%).

They beat out the likes of Sandra Bullock, Bai Ling, Nicole Kidman, and four write-in names: Zhang Ziyi, Gong Li, Christie Brinkley and Morena Baccarin.

I was not surprised you chose Anne Hathaway.  I love that, even though she is so young, she gets it. While probably every celeb has her days when she just isn’t going to wear for any occasion, Anne is pretty consistent.  She has the maturity, the class and sense of femininity to wear for all the right reasons and at the right venues.  I believe Anne has a bright future as a Hollywood star, and I’d be proud to have her represent ActSensuous.

Of course I love Milla Jovovich.  She is beautiful, extremely professional, ultra classy and just plain cool.  She is a great actress, and if the truth were known, I’d choose her if I could.

Of the others, I love Bai Ling, Nicole Kidman, Zhang Ziyi and Gong Li, and I would be thrilled if any of them would even consider being the face (legs) of a pantyhose campaign, but that seems rather remote to me.

Christie Brinkley

Now, Christie Brinkley as the official spokesmodel for ActSensuous ….. that seems pretty realistic and very appealing to me.  I’ve always liked Christie.  She’s always been extremely professional, very classy and ultra feminine.

Those are some incredible legs, and she certainly understands the appeal of sheer pantyhose.

I would have thought the same thing about Morena Baccarin, but even though she can always be counted on to wear sheer pantyhose with her outfits in TV series (“The Visitors” and “Homeland”), I’ve never seen her wear during visits on late night talk shows.  I find that so frustrating because it kills my image of her.  I want to believe she is what I see in her TV roles, but have to face the reality that when she’s on her own time, she chooses not to wear.   That amazes me because she looks 100 times better in pantyhose.  Then again, isn’t that true of all of them?

  • Which Celebrity do you most want to see in pantyhose?”
Sandra Bullock performs a scene in her new movie, “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” in Brooklyn.

This poll generated 91 votes, of which Sandra Bullock took 34 (37%).

She overwhelmed the likes of Jessica Alba with 22 votes (24%), Kate Beckinsale, Nicole Kidman, Bai Ling, and seven write-in answers, including Fran Drescher, Michelle Yeoh, Lucy Liu, Bette Middler, and Jenna Fisher.

Good for Sandra Bullock to win that poll.

It goes to show the popularity of the veteran action, dramatic and comedic actress among the ranks of pantyhose lovers.

Why not?  Sandra always has had the professionalism and class to wear pantyhose for the right occasions.

I would have liked to see Michelle Yeoh, Bai Ling and Lucy Liu score higher, but they do in the next poll.

  • Which Asian actress do you most want to see wearing pantyhose?”
The lovely and multi-talented Asian-American actress Lucy Liu sometimes wears pantyhose during public appearances, and when she does, she looks fabulous.

Out of 34 total votes (only 34 – what’s wrong with you people?), Lucy Liu won with 13 votes (38%).

Very impressive, as she beat out whom I think is the world’s most gorgeous woman, Zhang Ziyi, who came in second with 8 votes (24%).

This poll was won because of the popularity/familiarity of Lucy Liu.  I mean who doesn’t love her?

Ironically, from what I’ve observed, Ziyi is a much more prolific wearer of pantyhose than Lucy will ever be.

In fact, as much as I adore Lucy Liu, she breaks my heart by doing the bear legs thing much more often than wearing pantyhose.

Further, it seems the rare occasion on which we see Lucy Liu in pantyhose, she’s wearing the thick, black ones.  Yet, to behold her in sheer nude pantyhose is a breathtakingly beautiful sight. At least the black pantyhose she’s wearing in this photo are fairly sheer.

Zhang Ziyi (“Memoirs of a Geisha,” “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” Rush Hour 2”) is only just becoming known to Western audiences, and since she lives in China, she’s not quite the household name Lucy Liu is.

Classy Chinese movie star Zhang Ziyi almost always wears pantyhose during public appearances.

But Ziyi is the Asian actress I most want to see in pantyhose.  To me, she is total perfection.

Other vote-getters in this poll were Tia Carrere, Michelle Yeoh, Devon Aoki, Bai Ling, Gong Li, Maggie Q, Karen Mok and Brenda Song.

Besides Zhang Ziyi, I next most want to see Michelle Yeoh in pantyhose.  I still love her more than any other Asian actress, and she is simply awesome in pantyhose, although, sadly, that’s a rare sight these days.

It’s so frustrating that Maggie Q doesn’t wear pantyhose on her hit show, “Nikita,” (or any other thing I’ve ever seen her in.)  There was a time (early 1990s) when Tia Carrere (“Wayne’s World,” “High School High,” “True Lies”) was the most beautiful thing that pantyhose ever happened to, but those days appear to be long gone.  I would guess most of you have no clue as to who Karen Mok is (“Black Mask” and “So Close”), but someday I’ll do a whole post about her.

Young model/actress Devon Aoki (“Debs” is my favorite movie of hers) is a frequent pantyhose wearer and looks amazing in them.   I haven’t seen enough of Brenda Song, but it’s neat that someone voted for her.

I love Gong Li, Maggie Cheung and Karen Mok, and they all look fabulous in pantyhose, but to me, there is just something truly remarkable about seeing Bai Ling in pantyhose. Maybe that’s because it’s so unexpected.

Bai Ling dressed beautifully, complete with brown pantyhose, during an appearance at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre on Nov. 4, 2011, in Hollywood, Calif.

Bai Ling is an enigma.

She is extremely intelligent and has great talent.  She is incredibly beautiful.  But she fits in perfectly within the Hollyweird culture. I don’t really get her, but I can’t help but love her.

She is known for wearing the skimpiest and strangest outfits, and looking awesome in them.

But when she wears pantyhose, it is so heartwarming to me.  She kills me in a good way.

  • Pantyhose – To Wear or Not to Wear (ladies only please)

This was not the poll that saw the widest margin of victory, but the winning answer got 19 of the 24 votes (79%). The winner, I’m happy to say, is this answer:

“I choose to because I believe in and wholeheartedly support the concepts of beauty, glamour, class and sexiness inherent in pantyhose.” Coming in second was the answer:  “I am not on one side or the other and would wear or not wear pantyhose based on the appropriateness of the situation/environment.” That answer got 3 votes (13%).

I wrote (ladies only please) at the end of the poll question because I knew what answer men would give, and I really wanted to see what women would say. I always wondered if the votes were indeed by women only. I don’t know, but there were 2 votes (8%) for the answer: “I choose not to on my own personal volition because I think pantyhose are uncomfortable, impractical and/or unnecessary.”  We know women cast that vote.

But here’s the real news: Not a single vote came in for the answers: “I choose not to because I believe in and completely support the cause for the bare legs movement … period;” or for: “I choose not to because the excuse now exists thanks to the bare legs movement.”

Hey, I’ll take our minor victories anywhere I can get them.

  • Today’s “Bear Legs culture:

This is the poll, attached to the post “Why Bears don’t wear Pantyhose,” that launched my whole “bear” legs terminology.  The answer that won this poll was: “Can’t die a horrible death soon enough.”  Still, it got only 60 votes out of 110 (55%).  Taking second place with 26 votes (24%) was the answer:  “Is to punish men (for being men).”  Sorry about that, guys.

OK, are you wondering what poll got the most activity and won by the very widest margin?  This won’t come as a surprise to most of you. It was attached to my first (and arguably best) post of 2011 (Jan. 9), titled “Why Not Pantyhose and Open-Toe High Heels?”  This post still gets comments and generates discussions, remaining one of the most popular on this blog.

  • Pantyhose with open-toe high heels?

This poll generated 160 votes – by far, the most activity of all the other polls.  The winner was the answer: “Absolutely! Yes, please!”  You gave that answer 151 votes (94%).  I’m so proud.  Getting only 7 votes (4%) was the answer: “No way! No How! Never!”  And just 2 voters (1%) selected the answer: “Who cares?”

Professional singer/dancer and TV personality Paula Abdul always wears sheer pantyhose during public events, and looks perfect in open-toe heels.

More than any of my other posts, “Why Not Pantyhose with Open-Toe High Heels?” struck a huge chord with you.  This was the post in which I first bashed all the so-called “fashion experts” for making up hard and fast rules that dictate what they say is acceptable or not for you to wear.  That anyone listens to these people is unfathomable to me.

I had no idea when I wrote it that this post would generate so many comments and poll votes.  I am so glad you overwhelmingly support the wearing of pantyhose with dress sandals.

Even more, I love it when celebs (by far the greatest influencers of fashion) completely disregard the advice of the “experts” and always wear pantyhose with open-toe heels.

Looking at the picture of Paula Abdul, I can’t imagine how there could be even a few people out there who still think this look is wrong.

 

Wrap-up

As much as I love my self-appointed mission of being the voice of hope and reason for the return of pantyhose to favor in all aspects of society, I couldn’t write this blog without your participation.  I try to make my posts compelling and entertaining, hoping to generate comments and discussion among you.  And I throw in polls to give you another avenue to express your views about pantyhose.

Sometimes, when more time than usual goes by between posts, I’m struggling to stay motivated or to come up with something I think you’ll care about.  The point is I do this for you.  I hope you will continue to contribute, and I hope more of you will get involved.

Finally, I could say this (and probably will) until I turn blue, but we owe our thanks to so many wonderful celebrities all over the world who turned out in droves wearing pantyhose this year. There’s not enough space to acknowledge all of them, but let me recognize a few we couldn’t have done without this year.

Ann Curry: She is beautiful, classy and professional. We owe her so much gratitude for keeping the bar high in TV journalism.

Carly Foulkes, the beloved T-Mobile Girl:  Now we know it wasn’t a fluke. I don’t know how many commercials she’s made now, but she’s always in one of those famous pink dresses, with awesome pumps and sheer nude pantyhose.  She’s a young hottie who potentially can influence an entire generation to dress more femininely.

Julianna Margulies is one the most professional Hollywood actress, always dressing professionally, especially wearing elegant outfits with sheer pantyhose everywhere she goes.

Julianna Margulies:  She has always been professional and classy, and now, as the star of “The Good Wife,” she can do no wrong.

She’s a great actor on arguably the best show on TV, and so, in her we have a highly visible celeb who wouldn’t be caught dead not wearing pantyhose.

Hopefully, Julianna will influence those career women who don’t think there’s anything wrong with showing up for work with bear legs.

What I like most about Julianna is that not only does she always wear pantyhose on the job, but also out in public and on late night talk shows.  She’s truly a devoted wearer.

Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Rihanna, Selena Gomez and other young professional entertainers are doing the right thing.

Perry and Gaga, and Paula Abdul are practically pantyhose ambassadors because they wear not only on stage, but also out in the public eye.

These women are priceless contributors to our cause.

Kate Middleton: Obviously, much has been made of her commitment to wearing pantyhose, and rightfully so.  She clearly is all about class and elegance and doing the right thing.  In all fairness, she may be the one woman who singlehandedly changes the course of pantyhose’s fate in global fashion circles.

Yes, 2011 was a great year for pantyhose. We’ve made up so much ground, and I am looking forward to more of the same in 2012 and beyond.

Wishing you and yours a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!