Design of new product, website a statement about our commitment


This week was one of the most eventful in the 13 years ActSensuous has been in business.  On Wednesday, we launched a brand new website, coinciding with the introduction of an all-new product — Act IV.
Longtime readers know that I keep this blog separate from the business end of ActSensuous.   In other words, I write the blog for your (and my own) entertainment, and that’s its purpose.  It has always been for everyone, and it doesn’t matter whether you’re an ActSensuous customer or not.  (The vast majority of you aren’t, including those who are the most loyal readers and commenters.  And that’s perfectly OK.)

Many of you have written to me stating your respect and appreciation for my keeping the blog at arm’s length from the company.  (And I appreciate that you appreciate that.)  But, at least a couple of times, I’ve broke my own rule.  Always for a good cause though.

This is one of those cases.  I thought you might like to know the back story behind the launch of Act IV and the new website.

Inauspicious beginnings

I conceived and created ActSensuous in 2001 after discovering I could no longer find the kind of pantyhose I’d always loved.  I had been buying only 100 percent nylon, completely sheer-to-waist pantyhose for years, and all of a sudden this style was nowhere to be found.  I looked everywhere, even online, but at the time, they just weren’t around.  As this was 2001 — the very heyday of the “bear” legs movement (new readers, see explanation in the “About me” section here), it shouldn’t have been a surprise.

ActSensuous customer and friend, Sofie, wearing Act IV Black.
ActSensuous customer wearing Act IV Black.

I finally met the buyer at my favorite department store and asked her about this.  She told me the manufacturer her store was getting these pantyhose from was going out of business.  Just another casualty in what would become an all-too-frequent occurrence in this new era of women preferring to go bear- legged.

Long story short (you’re welcome), I and my partner contacted that manufacturer and offered to buy the last of their inventory.  ActSensuous was born.  My thinking:  If I was distraught about no longer being able to buy 100 percent nylon, completely sheer-to-waist pantyhose, maybe at least a handful of other women were feeling the same way.  I never imagined at that time that hundreds of thousands of women (and men) actually do love this style.

For the first few years, it looked as if I had grossly overestimated the love and desire for — not just this style — but for pantyhose of any kind … period.  Nevertheless, fully understanding the gamble (if not insanity) in starting a pantyhose business during the very height of the bear legs movement, I was determined to try to lead the cause to bring back all-nylon, all-sheer pantyhose — even if singlehandedly.

Somehow, the product I acquired from the manufacturer that was going under wasn’t exactly what I was used to buying.  (Still not sure how THAT happened.)  The quality just wasn’t there, but I was not going to be deterred.  I called our product simply ActSensuous after the name I chose for my company, and at that time, I never dreamed we’d have anything but this one product in three colors (Black, Nude and Suntan).

Enter Act II

But after two years of struggling with a pretty cheap product in a bad market, I created a new product to replace the original.  I called it Act II (thought that was pretty clever) .

Act II was a huge improvement over the original line.  And for the next 10 years, it served its purpose well.  Act II are 100 percent nylon, completely sheer-to-waist pantyhose.  What does that mean?  They are made of nothing but nylon (no Lycra/spandex), and have no gusset panel.  But even though they are sheer-to-waist, I never liked that reinforced area that sits just below the waistband.  It’s called the finger band, and its purpose is to prevent one from puncturing the fabric with the thumb when putting the pantyhose on.

Professional model, Kayla, wearing Act IV Suntan.
Professional model, Kayla, wearing Act IV Suntan.

Since they are all-nylon, we made Act II with a slightly tight knit to prevent sagging.  Act II were wildly popular, and even though I was living with the finger band, there was just one thing that I felt I hadn’t accomplished in Act II.

The reason I always loved 100 percent nylon pantyhose is because of the sensual feel of the fabric moving on the leg (and in the hand of the person touching the leg).  If you don’t know, or can’t imagine that feeling, you ought to investigate this.

To me, there is nothing sexier.  The ActSensuous style of pantyhose is decidedly delicate.  Wearing ActSensuous is like flirting with trouble.  There’s a sense of vulnerability — for the wearer, and for the one who wants the wearer.   The pantyhose have to be treated as the beautiful, delicate, delicious little number they are.  What could be more feminine?

Act II are like that, but that slightly tight knit we used was for more practical applications.  They are delicate and they move.  But not much.

Act III takes stage

So, in 2009, I invented Act III.  It had all the design features of Act II, except they were made in a slightly loose knit.  For a while, Act III captured the hearts of everyone.  Our customers from nearly every country in the world (even Bangladesh), told us that Act III were the softest, silkiest and most comfortable pantyhose they had every worn.  Oh yeah, and the sexiest.

Sofie in Act IV Light Taupe.
A customer models Act IV Light Taupe.

Voila!  I had done it.  Now, customers had a choice: Sexy but practical (Act II), or really, really sexy (Act III).  My work was done here.  Oh wait, not so fast.  Eventually, we experienced some issues.

First, the nylon fabric of Act III was so delicate, the pantyhose were not standing up to the production process.  They were being ripped to shreds.  The answer appeared to be making the panty area out of a slightly more durable nylon mesh fabric, which was supposed to blend with the rest of the product.  It’s pretty much invisible in Cinnamon, Nude and Suntan, but in Coffee and Pink, that mesh area stands out a little.  Black was something else altogether.  It just seems too grainy in places.

Act II changed too.  An unintended cross-stitch crept into the production line, causing a slight reinforcement where the panty and the legs join.  A couple of batches came out that way, but we didn’t know about the issue for a while because the new inventory was integrated into old inventory.  It wasn’t until a few customers asked what the deal was that I even learned about it.

A new door opens

For a while, I was depressed.  My dream pantyhose had flaws.  Under the circumstances, I felt I could no longer state that our pantyhose were “completely sheer-to-waist.”  Let me take a minute here and say that we must have the most loyal customers in the world.  Whenever someone alerted me to an issue in either product, of course, I immediately made adjustments, and our customers were amazingly understanding and supportive.  And loyal.

I vowed to fix the issues, but there was a bit of resistance within our plant in North Carolina surrounding how things were to be done.  Even after repeatedly emphasizing the changes in the production process I wanted, it was a hit-or-miss process in getting Act II and Act III fixed to my own satisfaction.

Ultimately, I saw this as an opportunity.  Since I couldn’t rely on the process for fixing Act II and Act III, I’d just ditch the two lines altogether and start over with a brand new product.   Really, it was the excuse I needed to create Act IV — my vision for the most beautiful, decidedly feminine and sexiest pantyhose available anywhere in the world.

After another missed opportunity for a special campaign honoring Valentine’s Day 2013, I sat down with my buddy, Deb R., Director of R&D, and her assistant, Salina D., and explained my dream of Act IV.

No way!

Both women were totally receptive, but both are also more experienced (and more realistic) than me, and they politely told me the last thing I wanted to hear:  “It can’t be done.”

Professional model Yesenia demonstrates the 100 percent nylon, completely sheer-to-waist  design of Act IV (here, in Nude).
Professional model Yesenia demonstrates the 100 percent nylon, completely sheer-to-waist design of Act IV (here, in Nude).

They said “We really just can’t (translation: ‘shouldn’t’) make 100 percent nylon pantyhose in a slightly loose knit and completely sheer-to-waist in an ultra delicate fabric.  But, if we added a little Lycra to the fabric … maybe.”

Were they kidding me?  They know how I feel about this.  But they said “Just a little spandex.  It’ll make them more durable.”

I might be a bit stubborn (who, me?), and I am the president after all, so we somehow agreed to try anyway.  We came close a few times, but I was never in love with the color, or the texture, or the knit, or the look, or the feel.  We kept trying.  And trying.

I can’t tell you how many times NC sent me samples (I’m in Florida).  When we finally all agreed on something that was close, I’d have a dozen or so pieces made and send them to a few loyal customers/guinea pigs.

I am so grateful to them (they know who they are) for their honest feedback.  I was wise enough to realize I was too close to the process.  I either liked everything or nothing.  I needed the feedback of other girls (some of them professional models).  Their input was so helpful because it gave me the conviction I needed to continue pushing R&D and Quality to go back to the drawing board.

Way!

There were times even I believed Act IV would never happen.  But thanks to the open-mindedness, dedication, hard work and positive attitudes of Deb and Salina, we finally did what we weren’t supposed to be able to do.  We made Act IV to the exacting standards of my longtime vision.

It ended up taking 13 months before we could launch Act IV.  Along the way, we missed Christmas 2013, Valentines Day 2014 and even a March 2014 Mrs. America beauty pageant.  But Act IV are here and all is right in the world (my world anyway).

Act IV are made in a 100 percent premier nylon fabric, and are completely sheer-to-waist.  There is no finger band:  Just a one-piece luxurious nylon yarn from waist to toe for complete evenness in fabric and shade.

We even improved the waistband, making it softer, flatter and more comfortable.

I fully realize that my vision for the perfect pantyhose may be worlds apart different than most people’s.  I know Act IV aren’t for everyone.

All I can say is Act IV are everything I always wanted them to be.  They are the product I dreamed of when I created ActSensuous 13 years ago, and I am proud to offer them to our devoted customers everywhere in the world.

Website

Whenever I need expertise in a support area, I reach out to our customers first.

A longtime customer, Bridget, a professional graphic designer who owns her own studio, has done many projects for ActSensuous.  She’s created some beautiful full-page ads for the program books that are handed out during the beauty pageants we sponsor.

Bridget also created the original artwork of various grizzly bears ripping up our pantyhose for my blog posts, “Why bears don’t wear pantyhose,” playing on my whole “bear” legs terminology.  Bridget also designed the Act III packaging.

Professional graphic design artist David Joseph's packaging cover for Act IV.
Professional graphic design artist David Joseph’s packaging cover for Act IV.

Another, relatively new customer, David, has contributed artwork to ActSensuous, too.  David, also a professional graphic artist who owns his own business, M28create, (dmjdesigner.com), designed the Act IV packaging.  It is the most beautiful and classy packaging we’ve ever used.

And, David gave me a great price — four pairs of Act IV for his wife, Sheri.

Then, he “volunteered” to design our new website.  I was so excited about launching Act IV, I wanted a brand new website to usher it in.

I’m so glad David started when he did because it ended up taking him three months to finish, timing it perfectly with the arrival of Act IV.

After seeing the beautiful packaging design David produced, my thinking was that David would improve the look of the original site.  I had no idea his thought was to create a full ecommerce website.  I couldn’t understand how it was taking him so long, but I knew he was doing this mostly as a favor, and figured he was simultaneously working on other projects for actual paying customers.

Professional model, Melissa, wearing Act IV Suntan.
Professional model, Melissa, wearing Act IV Suntan.

Have you seen the new website?  It is awesome.

I’m still learning how to use it.  Finally, it gives us some control, as in the case of if/when we temporarily run out of a size in a particular color.  Before, we had no way of alerting anyone in real time, meaning customers would order something we didn’t have, and then I’d have to tell them we were temporarily out, and make other arrangements or resolutions.

David is the total professional.  He is easy to talk with, very patient and completely devoted to his work, sometimes staying up until 3 a.m. working on several sites at a time, and making a bunch of little adjustments every time I think of something new I want for mine.  The guy is a saint.

My sincerest thanks to David for creating a website worthy of ushering in Act IV, and reflective of the commitment ActSensuous has to waging the good fight against the bear legs culture.

To our customers all over the world, I appreciate your positive and supportive comments about Act IV and our new website.

We’re all in this together, and together, we’ll bring pantyhose back to prominence.

A Grizzly goes to London


Robin Maryland, president, ActSensuous

Readers of this blog have come to know and appreciate my column, Credit ‘wear’ Credit is Due, in which I heap loads of praise on some worthy celebrities for their devotion to wearing pantyhose.

And we’ve had some great ones, haven’t we?  Ann Curry, Fran Drescher, The T-Mobile Girl (Carly Foulkes), Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Kate Middleton, and Carrie Ann Inaba (for doing a complete 180 and finally wearing pantyhose on every episode of the game show “1 vs. 100,” which she hosted recently.)

Minus that headline, I’ve also glorified some other devoted pantyhose wearers, such as Anne Hathaway, Julianna Margulies, Milla Jovovich, Meredith Vieira, Katy Perry, Parker Posey, Linda Fiorentino, Kim Basinger, Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock.  And there are many, many more who deserve such recognition.

Then, a couple of months ago, I introduced a whole different column.  This one shines the spotlight on those celebs who completely miss the boat, just don’t get it, lack the finest sense of true femininity, and always miss opportunites to show some real professionalism, elegance or class.

So, for only the second time, I am handing out the coveted (NOT) ActSensuous Grizzly Award.

And this time, the hardware goes to one Stacy London.

Fashion consultant Stacy London always wears beautiful dresses and high heels, but unfortunately, she's a devoted and vocal follower of the "bear" legs culture.

That’s right, the co-host of  TV’s “What Not to Wear,” a reality makeover show, in which London and her wonder boy sidekick, Clinton Kelly, use their superior brains and good taste (yes, I’m being sarcastic here) to completely trash the wardrobe of their guests and reinvent them in their own fashionwise images.

And, as many normal people have written in comments to online postings by or about these two “fashion experts,” they often do it in a completely arrogant and insulting manner.

A perfect "Beauty and the Beast" scenario as the professional and classy Meredith Vieira, left, who always wears pantyhose, interviews fashion expert Stacy London, who never wears pantyhose. Does London not see how much better Vieira's legs look than hers?

As readers of this blog know, I despise so-called “fashion experts” who make universal rules and tell everyone what they can and cannot wear, as if their likes or dislikes about fashion trends are somehow more appropriate and obviously more sound than what anyone else on the planet thinks.  It’s “fashion experts” like these two who’ve come up with the “rule” that one can never wear pantyhose with open-toe high heel dress shoes a rule that, incidentally, is almost never followed by anyone with half a brain, and one that is standing up less and less to scrutiny everywhere.

So Stacy London, possibly the queen of all “fashion experts,” gets the second Grizzly Award (after Sarah Jessica Parker for obvious reasons)?  But it’s not just because she’s a “fashion expert.”  Rather, it’s because she’s on record as stating that she likes bare legs for all seasons.  That, and she’s using her credentials and influence to further her own agenda — a personal dislike and distaste for pantyhose as a fashion accessory.

Here’s are a couple of excerpts from a 2008 segment of TODAY.com where London is a style contributor, answering readers’ questions about fashion:

Q: I was watching “What Not to Wear” when you appeared horrified by the idea of wearing hose. I know it’s not really the style now to wear nylons, but I have terrible spider veins on my white legs. What do I do now that skirts are knee-length and those veins are so obvious? Any advice?

A: First of all, the only hose I really hate are the semi-sheer ones in suntan or black. They look dated and remind me of a time when women would walk to work in their suits, those hose, white sweat socks and white leather aerobic sneakers. Blech. Might as well throw in a whole can of hairspray, too. Too ’80s!  Stay away from anything that has a mid-range denier number that indicates the sheerness of the hose (10 is very sheer, 30 is semi-sheer and 50 is opaque).

I recommend a good self-tanner for the pale-leg situation, but also realize that won’t help with spider veins. Look for opaque tights and try them in a subtle color, like a burgundy or deep purple, when wearing a neutral-color knee-length skirt or suit. They will hide your legs and add a visual punch to your outfits!

Q: You indicated that pantyhose were no longer proper attire. You stated that in summer, go with bare legs and in winter, wear tights.  I enjoy wearing pantyhose and want to know if I am old-fashioned if I wear them?

A:  I did not mean to indicate in my last segment that pantyhose are no longer appropriate attire. My feeling is that those that are considered day sheer or mid-denier don’t look modern, but a bit dated.  The denier number on hose shows you how sheer the stocking will be. The lower the number, the more sheer they are.

For example, a denier of 10 will be supersheer. These are great for evening, especially with a little shine or a back seam, as they look natural and simply enhance the legs for evening. A denier of 30, is what I have most trouble with; it’s neither here nor there. It’s not sheer. It’s not opaque. You know? It’s like a relationship: Either you’re in or you’re out. This wishy-washy sheerness dates an outfit to the ’70s or ’80s, when this style was most popular. But when you get to a denier of 50 or above, and the stocking is clearly opaque, I think this becomes a more modern and relevant look. A shiny tight like this can be used for day or evening.

OK, first, the country’s leading fashion expert comes out and blatantly tells women to go with bare legs in the summer?  She also tells women to use self-tanner for pale legs?  Seriously?  Second, she recommends opague tights in a subtle color, “like burgundy or deep purple?”  (Those colors are subtle?)

Stacy London actually wore this outfit during the Keep A Child Alive's 5th annual Black Ball Nov. 13, 2008 at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York, NY.

Hey, look, I respect others’ opinions, and the fact that London is considered a fashion expert, if that’s her best advice about leg coverings, then too bad for her and anyone who listens to her.  While I completely disagree with London about everything she says about pantyhose, I’ve got no problem with her actually saying it.  She’s entitled to say what she wants.  Where I have a problem with her is on her point about denier ratings.

She specifically says that it’s pantyhose with a denier rating of 30 that she finds objectionable.  She even cautions “If they come in an egg, you don’t want to wear them,” referring to the L’Eggs brand (owned by Hanes) of the 1970s and 80s.   But she’s wrong.  L’Eggs and their competitors (the most widely-known one being No Nonsense) made their pantyhose in a 20 denier rating.

As she said, denier rating determines how sheer the nylon fabric is.  The lower the number, the more sheer the pantyhose.  When I created ActSensuous in 2001, I looked into the 10 denier rating she referred to, and yes, they are super sheer, but the fabric is coarse and not very natural looking.  They are not soft or silky at all, and while there may be a market for them, it’s not a very big one.  You almost never see anyone wearing pantyhose like these.  And, yes, denier ratings as high as 50 are available, but they are tights that are thick and, in my view, not suitable in some venues, such as a formal dinner engagement, nor for proper business attire.

No, my problem with London’s remarks are about the pantyhose of the 1970s and 80s being so awful.  I loved pantyhose in the 70s and 80s, and I’ve never known of a 30 denier rating.   But what do I know?  The pantyhose of those decades were made almost entirely of 100 percent nylon fabric in a 20 denier, which is exactly why I made ActSensuous in a 20 denier.  I think those are precisely the kind of pantyhose that true pantyhose lovers love.  Those are the style, the look and the feel that we all miss.  Maybe London meant to say a 20 denier rating is what is so awful.

By the way, ActSensuous has hundreds and hundreds of customers from all over the world, literally from Atlanta to Bangkok, from California to Denmark, from New York to New Zealand.  We’re big in England, France and Australia.  We have customers from China, Korea and Japan.  I don’t think there is a country in which we don’t have customers.  And they all tell us ActSensuous are the softest, sheerest and sexiest pantyhose they’ve worn.  But, really, what do we all know?  We’re not “fashion experts” like Stacy London and Boy Wonder.

In doing the research for this post, I ran across this forum on the Internet:

http://askville.amazon.com/honest-opinion-Stacy-London-Clinton-Kelly-Wear-show/DiscussionBoard.do?requestId=8011723&page=1

To the question:  “What’s your honest opinion of Stacy London and Clinton Kelly of What Not to Wear?  Do you like this Show …?,  most answers were negative, but even some of the supportive ones came out against their obvious negative slant against pantyhose.

I particularly love this response:

LindsaySheers said:

… Why is (Clinton Kelly) telling me what all men find sexually alluring on women?

A lot of gay men know a lot about fashion, but to get such advice on that subject, I would like a 2nd & 3rd & straight opinion.

… These two complete followers of Brittany and Sarah Jessica Parker have agreed that they do not like pantyhose, (fine), however, they dictate to their audience and columns that, “No one likes them.” “Everyone looks bad in them.” Etc…

I think my legs are my best feature and every boyfriend I have ever had have all confessed to me, after that shyness period passed, that they were all ‘ga ga’ for me (girls in general) when wearing sheer silky pantyhose (hence my nickname, given to me by my current boyfriend sitting kind of to the side here & still a little shy) and tights, but mostly the sheer nude/tan/beige hues.

Lastly, the show was/is not only incorrect on so many levels, but caters to and from their mindset only. Falling into this show would have you most likely ending up as a follower. Be a trendsetter, not a follower. Be stylish. Be sexy. Be yourself. Not what they insist on.

Let me tell you something: this LindsaySheers gets it.  Good for her.

If ever a case could be made for wearing pantyhose, click on the image to see the expanded version. Stacy London looks very lovely in this photo, but wait until you get to see a closeup of those legs.

You know, I want to like Stacy London.

She’s a beautiful and charismatic woman, she’s very intelligent, and she has accomplished great things in her life.

Before co-hosting “What Not to Wear,” she started her career as an editor at Vogue magazine, then, became a stylist for celebrities and designers, then, a fashion contributor on many Today show formats.

She is or has been a spokeswoman for several brands, including Revlon, Pantene, Woolite and Dr. Scholl’s® For Her Comfort Insoles.

Along with Kelly, she’s written a book, “Dress Your Best: The Complete Guide to Finding the Style That’s Right for Your Body.” 

I actually felt a little bad when I named Sarah Jessica Parker the first recipient of the ActSensuous Grizzly Awards because, when researching her for the piece, I actually found several pictures of her wearing pantyhose.   That’s right, the one celeb universally “credited” with creating the bare legs culture with her “Sex and the City” TV series and movies, actually wears pantyhose fairly regularly.   It was more symbolic that SJP had to get the first Grizzly Award.

But I don’t have any reluctance about bestowing upon Stacy London the second Grizzly Award.  I can’t find a single photo of her wearing pantyhose.  Granted, some of the pics of her on the Internet are of low resolution and too small a file to really be able to tell if she’s wearing or not.  But based on everything London says and stands for, I am pretty sure she is not wearing pantyhose in any of the pics on the Internet.  Certainly, she comes across as if she hates pantyhose, thinks they are old-fashioned and irrelevant today.

The dynamic duo, Clinton Kelly and Stacy London of TV's "What Not to Wear."

I liked “What Not to Wear” when it debuted in 2002.

I watched quite a few episodes and I remember longing to see London wearing pantyhose with those beautiful dresses and high heels she always wore.  But it never happened.

I thought that was such a missed opportunity on her part — a chance for her to show professionalism, class and elegance in the role she held.  But, to her, it wasn’t a missed opportunity at all.

This lady just doesn’t believe in pantyhose … period.

Like LindsaySheers, I too was upset and offended when I saw a video of London and Boy Wonder “explaining how to wear pantyhose,” especially when they admitted the video was made only because they were getting so many inquiries from consumers about why they never talked about pantyhose.   Then, when they said that nobody looks good in suntan pantyhose and no one should ever wear them, I realized that there is probably no one more deserving of the second ActSensuous Grizzly Award than Stacy London.

Here’s that video:

http://tlc.discovery.com/videos/what-not-to-wear-how-to-wear-pantyhose.html

So, what do you think?   Could there be a more worthy recipient of the ActSensuous Grizzly Awards than Stacy London?

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.

Why bears don’t wear pantyhose


OK, I know I’m the editor here, but you guys can tell me when you notice my screwing up.

I wrote a survey for you (below) and originally titled it Today’s bear legs culture.  None of you called me on it, but later when checking the results I noticed my mistake.  Of course it should have been bare, not “bear.”

Wish I could say I wrote that on purpose to get people to respond, but it was a total blonde moment.  I went to see the votes (as of this writing, 83 percent of you have chosen “Can’t die a horrible death soon enough”), and I busted out laughing about the mistake I made.

But now, I kinda like it.  So I changed the original headline of this post, too.  Maybe we ought to refer to women who choose not to wear pantyhose as having “bear” legs instead of bare legs.  But I like bears, so maybe not.

I’m still baffled by this whole bear legs movement.   What is it about this global protest over wearing pantyhose?  OK, let’s review here: Pantyhose are too hot, too uncomfortable and too … what? … too girlie?

Korean actress Lee Yoon-seong and friend.

Those arguments crack me up.   Let’s break them down, shall we?

Too hot:” I suppose if you work outdoors in Miami, pantyhose would be too hot.  But c’mon, you drive to work in an air conditioned automobile, and you have to walk about 20 feet from the parking lot to the air conditioned office where you’ll spend your entire day.  Sorry, that excuse doesn’t fly.

Too uncomfortable:”   Well, if you wear the super support kind, which are so tight everywhere that they fit and feel like a skin diver’s wet suit, then yes, you’re probably going to be uncomfortable.  Pantyhose aren’t uncomfortable.  High heels are uncomfortable!  But no one’s calling for a boycott of them (thankfully).

Too girlie:”  Hey, if you just really don’t want to be all delicate and feminine, then why even bother wearing a dress?    Is that where we’re headed?   Today, the enemy is pantyhose.  Then what?  Tomorrow, women will decide it’s too girlie to wear dresses or skirts?

What are your thoughts about this subject, pantyhose lovers/haters?   Please comment on this post, or at least participate in our poll (it’s still open) with the goofy heading.

Thanks, and ActSensuous.

NOTE (Sept. 3, 2011):  Special thanks to Bridget Brown, owner of Solarity Design (a graphic arts design company) and an ActSensuous customer, for her clever artwork of the bears ripping apart our pantyhose.

NOTE II (Sept. 3, 2011):  The haters must be taking my poll.  Now, the results of “Today’s Bear Legs Culture” are only 58 of the 107 votes so far (58 percent) are for: “Can’t die a horrible death soon enough.”