Longtime readers here know when it comes to the subject of pantyhose, I am always right. About everything really.
When ActSensuous was born in 2001, it was I who — on our first website — coined the phrases “bare-legs movement” and “bare-legs culture.” (Of course, in 2009 when this blog launched, I changed the bare to “bear” and you all know why.)
Also on our first website, I blamed actress Sarah Jessica Parker in her role as Carrie Bradshaw in the “Sex and the City” TV series (and later, movies) for starting the whole bear-legs movement.
Ever since, she has stood as the bear legs villain of all time.
Besides on our website, I’ve also vilified SJP in this blog.
Then, one of our longtime readers and most prolific commenters, Brian W., in August 2013, made this comment:
You are amazing! (Alright, alright, I added that part. Here’s Brian W.’s real comment:)
I mentioned in one of my previous comments about Candace Bushnell, the newspaper columnist and author of the novel “Sex and the City” that would later be adapted into a TV and movie series. Candace goes bare legged for all seasons after receiving advice from a gay fashion expert telling her that “No woman should wear pantyhose, especially in the winter.” That is why the Carrie Bradshaw character is based on Ms. Bushnell’s personal experiences, and going bare-legged is one of them.
That comment got me thinking that, perhaps, I was wrong (this one time only) and Sarah Jessica Parker wasn’t the real bad guy in the bear-legs movement.
Then, I thought Naaaaaah, SJP has to be the villain, as she always has been the face (OK, the legs, actually) of the very bear-legs culture itself.
Still, in addition to Brian W.’s comment in 2013, I had been noticing more and more pictures of SJP wearing pantyhose in movies, at movie premieres, media appearances, publicity events, and often, even when she’s out and about.
What? How could this be?
After seeing so many pics of SJP in pantyhose, coupled with the facts from Brian W.’s comment about Bushnell, I realized that I really was wrong, and SJP had been wrongly accused by me.
After all, SJP made an appearance during a Chanel event in August 2011 wearing a pair of the high-end clothing, handbags and accessories retailer’s pantyhose, which sold for $250. Seriously, $250. I mean, who does that?
Yes, it was time for me to open my eyes and my mind, and take notice of the former SATC star.
So, a couple of weeks ago, to make up for my having falsely accused her of starting the bear-legs movement, ActSensuous invited SJP to a special function, which she cheerfully accepted.
Thus, in the headline of this post: Credit ‘wear’ Credit is Due — You won’t believe who, the “who” is one Sarah Jessica Parker.
Now, I know what some of you are thinking:
Has Robin lost her mind? Was she paid off? Did I log on to the wrong blog?
Let me assure you, readers … all is well and good.
It’s just that in doing my research for this post, I found way more pictures of SJP wearing pantyhose than many other celebs who’ve been praised several times in this blog by me, and also by some of you in your comments.
In fact, the more I investigated, the further I became convinced that SJP is not the villain I’d been making her out to be since 2001.
And in graciously accepting the ActSensuous invitation to be honored in this blog, SJP didn’t disappoint, always arriving in style at the Space Coast Imperial Palace .
And during the three-day celebration, SJP always showed up in fabulous outfits, complemented by some awesome high heels, and showing off a few different styles of pantyhose.
As amazing as SJP looks in pantyhose, it’s a mystery to me why she ever would want to be seen bear-legged again.
Seeing SJP in beautiful outfits and pantyhose during the 3-day award ceremony, only reinforced in my mind what I had been seeing the past few years.
One of the movies in which she starred, “I Don’t Know How She Does It” (2011), was not only a cute story, but it featured SJP as a corporate executive who has to learn how to juggle her rise to the top at a financial management company along with her family responsibilities.
As the movie was set in Boston during the winter months, and mostly, because SJP played a corporate exec, it was fitting that she always wore skirts or skirt suits, heels and pantyhose. And not just pantyhose, but often sheer nude pantyhose.
This made the movie and SJP’s character more realistic, and that isn’t always the case in motion pictures of this kind.
By the way, as a side note, Olivia Munn played a junior associate at the firm, and she dressed in proper business attire, as well. And while it’s not that unusual to see Olivia Munn in pantyhose (at publicity events and often just out and about these days), it was absolutely wonderful to see her (finally) wearing sheer nude pantyhose.
Here’s the thing (and I’ve said this … what, about a thousand times regarding different celebs?): When Olivia goes back and watches “I Don’t Know How She Does It,” and sees herself looking as amazing as she did in sheer nude pantyhose, why wouldn’t she want to dress this way all the time? Or, at least, more often.
Am I right, people? Are you hearing me out there? Look at those gorgeous gams on Olivia Munn.
Back to the ActSensuous award ceremony: Don’t think for a minute that the three days were all just fun and games.
After all, SJP had always been the signature client of the Grizzly, yet, here she was receiving the ActSensuous Credit “wear” Credit is Due award.
You remember the Grizzly. He held his own celebration a while back, handing out the inaugural Grizzly Award to that total “fashion” witch, Stacy London, of “What Not to Wear.” Now London definitely is the most deserving recipient of the Grizzly Award.
You’re with me on this, right readers?
Still, it was SJP who put the Grizzly on the map, and he wasn’t about to let her go so easily.
It appears our security was not up to snuff because the Grizzly crashed the event, trying to talk SJP into staying in his camp.
He greeted her on the red carpet with a bottle of what looked to be some very fine Champagne.
I almost felt sorry for the Grizzly, as he was rebuked by SJP on the red carpet, surrounded by a horde of paparazzi and adoring onlookers.
But the Grizzly is not discouraged so easily.
He wasn’t about to let his most famous and best client go, without trying every trick in the book to woo her back.
And, somehow, the Grizzly was able to sneak backstage the next day, where he tried to entice SJP with flowers and a box of Godiva chocolates.
Fittingly for the occasion, he even wore a tuxedo.
We’ve gotta give the Grizzly props for his creativity and style in going all-out in his efforts to win back his best client.
He certainly won some points with SJP for that backstage maneuver, yet, she once again found a way to resist the Grizzly’s advances.
Apparently, she was now enjoying her new-found attention and appreciation for being a more pantyhose-friendly celebrity.
Several days after the ActSensuous award ceremony, while SJP was back home relaxing, the Grizzly did the unthinkable:
He showed up at the star’s estate home.
SJP had shunned all the Grizzly’s attempts to woo her back.
It had been a long partnership between her and the bear, and it couldn’t have been easy for her to keep turning him down.
Nevertheless, SJP was convicted about wearing pantyhose and finally putting the distinction of being the Grizzly’s signature client behind her.
So, taking a page from the 1989 John Cusack movie, “Say Anything,” the Grizzly parked himself on SJP’s and Matthew Broderick’s property, and facing her bedroom window, played the song “Baby Come Back” from the band, Player in 1977.
You know the lyrics: “Baby, come back. You can blame it all on me. I was wrong and I just can’t live without you.”
Take heart, Grizzly, you might have lost SJP, but there are plenty of other suspects you could go after.
One such candidate is Candace Bushnell.
This former columnist for The New York Observer, and current novelist and television producer who authored SATC, is more to blame for the bear-legs movement than SJP ever was.
As reader and frequent commenter, Brian W. stated, Bushnell, 57, was too easily persuaded to ditch pantyhose by a gay fashion designer.
I wear bare legs most of the year,” Bushnell said during an interview with The Mirror, an online tabloid. “It’s kind of a fashion thing. A New York designer decreed that women should never wear pantyhose, not even in winter. They’re just not sexy. I just shave my legs.
She “wears” bare legs? More like she wears a bear’s legs. “It’s kind of a fashion thing?” And pantyhose are “just not sexy?” OK, does Bushnell sound like a prolific novelist and TV producer to you? I think she’s easily influenced. She’s certainly confused.
At least 90 percent of the male population and millions of females throughout the world (such as me) think pantyhose are the sexiest thing a woman could ever wear.
Oh, and shaving one’s legs ain’t exactly some closely-guarded secret known only to celebrities, Bushnell. And, if you think just shaving will make your legs look sexy, uh, yeah … that’s not going to happen for you.
It’s too bad Bushnell was so easily brainwashed against wearing pantyhose.
Still, she might never have been much of a pantyhose wearer in the first place. In a Google search, I could find only two pictures of her in pantyhose. In the photo at left, Bushnell actually showed up dressed like this to a television station’s event. Real professional, Bushnell.
How is an accomplished author and a television producer so easily influenced about how to dress by a gay fashion designer?
But that is exactly what happened. Once, when asked during an online interview about the best fashion advice she ever received, Bushnell said:
“Isaac Mizrahi once told me that a lady never, ever wears pantyhose. Even if it’s snowing and 20 degrees outside.”
Wait, THAT was the best fashion advice Bushnell ever received? And it made sense to her?
Now I say instead of being the next client for the Grizzly, I think she should be eaten by the Grizzly.
Yes, it was Bushnell who wrote the SATC TV series, which aired from 1998 to 2004, featuring high-society women in New York City who wear the fashions of the day, including fabulous heels, but sans the pantyhose. That show spearheaded the launch of the bear-legs movement.
So, really, Candace Bushnell — not Sarah Jessica Parker — is the culprit who instigated the bear-legs culture.
Yet, years later (2010), Bushnell herself wore sheer pantyhose for an interview with an online fashion magazine.
Perhaps Bushnell is finally growing up?
Maybe she’s still confused.
Another suspect the Grizzly ought to go after is Patricia Field, the costume designer for SATC, who won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Costumes for a Series (Sex and the City 2002).
Ironically, Field, 74, (also gay) hosted and designed the outfits for a fashion event in 2012 in New York City, and it featured many women wearing pantyhose.
Similarly, Field designed the costumes for the TV series, “Ugly Betty” (2006-2010) and the movie, “The Devil Wears Prada” (2006), both of which featured its stars wearing pantyhose.
So, while Field obviously has something personal against pantyhose, she at least hasn’t shut them out of the wardrobes of all movies and events.
In looking at images of Field online, I didn’t see a single picture of her wearing pantyhose herself (thank God for that, actually).
However, I did see a picture of Lucy Liu attending Field’s 2009 birthday party, in which (of course, Field was bear-legged), yet, even Lucy Liu wore pantyhose.
That’s significant because Lucy Liu hardly ever wears pantyhose during public appearances.
So, indeed, the Grizzly has a couple of candidates for new clients, but SJP no longer should be considered one of them.
And, it’s appearing more and more obvious that the next Grizzly Award should go to Bushnell or Field, or both.
Now, is SJP still going to disappoint us by showing up bear-legged on talk shows, at movie premieres, public appearances and even while she’s just out and about?
Yeah, more than likely. OK, definitely.
Then again, there isn’t a single celebrity, even the ones who can be considered devoted pantyhose wearers, who don’t do that at one time or another.
In any case, Sarah Jessica Parker wears pantyhose of her own volition, and frequently enough that she no longer should be considered the ambassador of the bear-legs culture. Certainly, she’s not the cause of it.
And while this saddens the Grizzly, the bottom line is I was the one who blamed SJP for the bear-legs movement, I was wrong, and so I’ve corrected the mistake.
Welcome to the good side, SJP.
Note: My thanks to professional graphic artist David Joseph (whose wife, Sheri, is an ActSensuous customer) for his awesome artwork for this blog post. I provided the ideas and the raw pictures, and David expertly turned my vision into reality.
David also designed the current ActSensuous website and the beautiful packaging for our Act IV pantyhose.
Note II: My thanks, also, to Mark Johnson, a professional graphic artist and a corporate attorney (and an ActSensuous fan) for the very first picture of the Grizzly in the John Cusack pose from the 1989 movie, “Say Anything.”
I first delivered (July 2014) the Cusack photo and a grizzly bear picture to Mark, along with my vision for this post. It took some doing, but the resulting artwork (above) was the very key to my writing this post.
Thank you, Mark, wherever you are now.
Below, you’ll find more pictures of Sarah Jessica Parker wearing pantyhose throughout the past few decades, and at various venues. Enjoy!