Since the “bear” legs movement first reared its ugly head (and legs) during the mid-to-late 1990s, women throughout America have been trying to permanently “run” pantyhose out of town.
(If you’re new here and wonder about my use of the word, “bear” instead of bare, please see my explanation in the About Me section.)
But during all this time, the fashion accessory — once the staple of female professionalism, class, glamour, femininity and just plain good taste — has showed a remarkable resilience that would belie its otherwise delicate nature.
Launch an Internet search for pantyhose and you can see that not only are nylons still relevant today, but, in fact, they appear to be growing more and more popular every day. There must be thousands of websites devoted to women wearing pantyhose, and the men who love them.
And if you want to see celebrities from every corner of the planet wearing pantyhose, there are hundreds of websites, featuring millions of pictures devoted to that subject. In fact, it is more difficult to find a celebrity today who isn’t wearing pantyhose in at least a few pictures. Seeing this, one might actually think there never was a bear legs movement.
In this blog, my column, Credit “Wear” Credit is Due, has glorified many celebs who could be considered devoted pantyhose wearers. But here’s the thing: Each one I’ve praised has let me down one time or another, going bear-legged during appearances that I would have thought were the perfect venues for wearing pantyhose.
One exception is actress Jessica Alba (left), who never stopped being classy, elegant and professional enough to always wear sheer pantyhose even during the heyday of the bear legs movement.
Of course, there are some celebs, such as Sofia Vergara, Nicole Kidman, Anne Hathaway, and Zooey Deschanel, who are consistent pantyhose wearers; and some who are very frequent wearers even just out-and-about (Paris Hilton comes to mind). Nevertheless, the vast majority of celebs, including most of the aforementioned, more often than not, appear bear-legged on late night talk shows and awards ceremonies.
Similarly, there are many veteran singers/dancers who almost always wear pantyhose on stage (Madonna, Cher, Beyonce’, Jennifer Lopez), just as there are many young, rising stars (Katy Perry, Rihanna, Selena Gomez, Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande) whom we’ve come to expect to see in pantyhose during such events.
And among that group, I’ve observed that Ariana Grande is the most dedicated pantyhose-wearer. And, as she is only 20 years old, I could not be more impressed with her. And grateful to her.
And I love her for being a shining example for her legion of young fans in always dressing beautifully, including wearing sheer suntan pantyhose.
From this, we can conclude that these performers are professional (and maybe classy) enough to wear pantyhose on stage, realizing their legs look better under the lights.
So how in the world do some of these superstars show up to receive awards, such as during Sunday night’s American Music Awards (AMA) presentation, wearing gorgeous gowns and stilettos, yet, with bear legs?
I don’t get it. These stars mostly are consistent pantyhose wearers when performing concerts and often when making publicity appearances (Selena Gomez, Taylor Swift, Rihanna), then, on what should be the most special night of their careers — a night where they are recognized for their achievements among their peers, and before a national television audience — they almost to a woman, attend bear-legged.
Here’s what I don’t understand: They seem to recognize that this special night calls for the most expensive designer dresses, fabulous jewelry and amazing shoes. But pantyhose? Nah!
I present this as the first snag in the comeback of pantyhose because for all the steps forward we take when celebs wear during performances, it’s like a huge step backward when all of them gather on one stage at one time for such a significant event, and practically no one wears.
Incidentally, I didn’t watch the AMAs. Instead, I was watching Sunday Night Football and recording The Good Wife. So on commercials, I’d check in on the AMAs. I was happy for Taylor Swift, winning awards for Artist of the Year, Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist, Favorite Country Female Artist, and Favorite Country Album.
Taylor is one of the young stars who more often than not wears sheer nude pantyhose on stage, and frequently wears when she’s out-and-about.
I couldn’t wait to see what she’d wear during the AMAs. Then, I saw. Her dress wasn’t all that fancy, but it was nice. And it was super short. And I liked her high heel dress sandals.
But how could she not wear pantyhose with this outfit, for this event?
Similarly, Rihanna is extremely likely to wear pantyhose on stage with all kinds of outfits from elegant to exotic to what-the- what?
And, she’s frequently seen wearing pantyhose during public appearances.
Like Taylor, I fully expected to see Rihanna (Favorite Soul/R&B Female Artist award) standing out from the herd (all disrespect fully intended) during the AMAs. However, she didn’t wear.
Then, there was my new fave, Ariana Grande, who wore the most beautiful and elegant gown of any of them.
It was floor length, but when she climbed the steps up to the stage to accept the “New Artist of the Year” award, I noticed she indeed was wearing her trademark sheer suntan pantyhose.
I am so happy that Ariana won New Artist of the Year.
I also happened to check in on the AMAs in time to see Lady Gaga’s performance of “Do what you want with my body,” and that’s about all I want to say on that subject. Other than that I think that song and performance was just another example of the all-too-many-just-like-it songs/videos that glamorize a lack of values in society today.
The only reason I bring up the performance at all is because Lady Gaga did wear her signature nude fishnet pantyhose with her outfit. Since I’m complaining that almost no one did Sunday night, I have to point out that Lady Gaga did. Nuff said about her, though.
What I loved was the performance I happened to catch by Jennifer Lopez. Now, J Lo knows how to put on a show, belting out some great vocals and high-energy salsa dance moves in three different outfits (all accessorized with suntan fishnet pantyhose).
In addition to celebs opting for bear legs during awards shows and other venues, those dreaded so-called fashion experts still are waging war on pantyhose. Granted, we don’t hear as much from them today as we did during the late 1990s through most of the decade of 2000. But they’re still out there.
Of course, I never read fashion magazines or websites, and I couldn’t care less what their so-called experts think, but when I noticed last month a picture of one of my favorite actresses wearing a cute outfit, I clicked on it, only to be taken to an online fashion site, which I found was actually putting her down.
Here’s that picture (left). It’s of Taiwanese actress Shu Qi.
She is an extremely popular model and actress throughout the world. Her first English speaking role came in the movie, The Transporter, in which she co-starred (very delightfully) with English actor Jason Statham.
Qi (her given name, pronounced Chee) is adorable and extremely professional and classy, almost always appearing in pantyhose on stage and during publicity appearances.
But the online website RCFA (Red Carpet Fashion Awards) last month slammed Qi for wearing nude tights with her outfit during an appearance at a Jimmy Choo accessories store opening ceremony in Hong Kong.
The author of RCFA, Catherine Kallon, wrote:
The actress’ Jimmy Choo accessories included a crystal-accented ‘Charlize’ clutch and ‘Anouk’ pointy pumps as expected; however, the same can’t be said for her dress.
On this occasion, the usually conservative star wore a Calla Spring 2013 printed frock with a gauze sheer insert at the waist.
It’s a cute, fun, flirty look, but the dress doesn’t sit as well as it does on the model … I could’ve overlooked most of the flaws to give Shu a pass for stepping outside the box, but why oh why is she wearing nude tights? (Robin’s note: I added the bold to highlight my point.)
And what’s up with the Paris Hilton pose?”
Wait a minute. Kallon thinks the outfit looks better on the model in the pic on the left? Really? Uh … I don’t think so. First, she looks like a refugee from a third world country. (Please … someone give that girl a cheeseburger.) How did she even get a job as a model? Second, I’d like to kick Kallon’s you know what. OK, OK, I’m not really like that, but …
I think Qi looked adorable in this outfit, and even though I’m not a fan of shiny tights (as my love is for sheer nude pantyhose), Qi absolutely rocked in them.
Fortunately, Qi almost always can be seen in sheer nude pantyhose in the many movies she’s starred in, whether romantic comedies, action or dramas.
And, another thing: While Shu Qi typically does dress professionally, elegantly and beautifully, I wouldn’t call it “conservatively,” as Kallon does. Certainly, I love that Qi has the class and good taste to most-often wear sheer pantyhose, but if Kallon and her readers think the tights she wore at Jimmy Choo’s were an eyesore, they really haven’t seen anything.
Qi has been known to wear some pretty exotic-looking pantyhose and tights during publicity events, as you’ll see later in this post.
Besides, Kallon’s stupid remarks, her post generated 23 comments, one of which was:
The dress is too young, cutesy and girly for her and sits awkwardly on her to begin with, a very wrong choice for her, the nude tights are an eyesore and bring the look down completely.
OK, I really do want to kick Nat39’s a$$. Oh, and Nat, know what a run-on sentence is? You’ve got about three sentences all rolled into one there. Hey, good job with that. And, I think we all can tell what Nat’s gender preference is.
Worse, it seemed (I’m not sure because I stopped reading, as my blood pressure was starting to soar) that all 23 comments were in support of Kallon’s opinion.
Well, I can live with an idiot “fashion expert” dissing a lovely celebrity once, but recently, I stumbled across another post by Kallon (written last year) this time, putting down Megan Fox. Seriously, Megan Fox?
Kallon posted this pic of a model wearing an outfit she liked, and contrasted it with the same look on Megan Fox, disapproving because Megan wore it with pantyhose.
OK, you decide: Who looks better, the model or Megan?
Here’s what Kallon wrote:
Getting up for the 5am Golden Globe Awards nominations announcement this morning would’ve been easy for Megan Fox, considering she’s probably used to being up at that ungodly hour with her newborn.
… Megan also opted for a lady-like look. Clearly the new mum is putting her sassy days behind her.
She wore a beautiful floral Giambattista Valli Resort 2013 dress with an ivory top and moss-green skirt which she styled with nude platform Louboutins.
This is a great look for Megan. I couldn’t be more envious of her hair, but those nude fishnet tights are jarring.” (Note: Again, I added the bold to highlight my point.)
What’s next, Kallon? You going to criticize your countrywoman, Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, for wearing sheer nude pantyhose? Unbelievable.
Now, if like me, you can’t fathom how a site like RCFA could be so demeaning to superstar celebrities for wearing pantyhose, here’s example for you:
The Fashionable Teacher Grading Red Carpet Fashions Everywhere. Are you an A+ or a Fashion Fail.
This site is run by mochababe73.
In this case, The Fashionable Teacher didn’t like an outfit Jennifer Hudson (left) wore to a movie premiere in April of this year.
Here’s what mochababe73 wrote:
“Jennifer Hudson really stood out from the crowd.
“And, not in a good way. This Emmanuel Ungaro dress was really, really busy. The animal print and polka dots have no business being in the same dress, and it’s wrong on so many levels. The two prints together are just and assault to the eyes.
On top of that, the white cuffs, gold details, and visible bra just add to the carnage.
“Love the Saint Laurent shoes, but what’s with the pantyhose?” (Note: Well, you get it by now …)
Well, for starters, they represent professionalism and class, mochababe73. And, like makeup, pantyhose greatly beautify the look of a woman’s legs, mochababe73.
Great, another “fashion expert” who knocks a celebrity for having the good sense and class to wear pantyhose with her outfit.
Actually, I don’t disagree with what the “fashion expert” said about the ensemble. That was a really strange-looking outfit. I disagree only with her nasty comment about the pantyhose Jennifer wore.
I decided to look for other photos of Jennifer Hudson wearing pantyhose. Unfortunately, I found only two.
Of course I don’t think that the negative comments of mochababe73 on her website influenced Jennifer to not wear pantyhose.
I do think it’s a shame that those who don’t have professionalism or class, use their forum as “fashion experts” to criticize celebs who do.
I suppose the pic of Jennifer (above, right) in the red dress with bear legs represents the look that mochababe73 finds more appropriate?
In any case, here is the author’s profile:
Houston, TX baby!
I am a wife and mother. I am a teacher. And, I am one wife, mother, and teacher who devours fashion. My fashion magazine collection is insane.
Hey, mochababe73, you’re a teacher? Shouldn’t you end that last part of your tagline (way up above at the start of the whole Jennifer Hudson bit) with a question mark, not a period? You have: Are you an A+ or a Fashion Fail. It should read: Are you an A+ or a Fashion Fail?
More ‘expert’ advice
Finally, it would amaze me if anyone really listens to these so-called fashion experts. I am always amused when I see an online post from a woman asking for advice about what she should or shouldn’t wear to a function.
A frequent question is “Can I wear pantyhose with open-toe dress shoes?” And all the “experts” jump on that one like vultures on road pizza. Naturally, they all attempt to talk women out of committing such a fashion no-no, and I always love how NO ONE ever follows their advice.
It remains one of the dumbest things these “fashion experts” wax on about.
Fortunately, no one’s listening.
Look at this picture of beautiful Chinese actress Cecilia Cheung (right). What could possibly be wrong with her wearing sheer pantyhose with these peep-toe heels? She has perfect toes that look all the more gorgeous under those deliciously sheer nylons.
Perhaps, there will always be a few snags that slightly delay the return of pantyhose to favor.
Still, it is so wonderful that we see cases every day in which celebrities and everyday women throughout the world choose the class, elegance and femininity that comes with wearing pantyhose.
Now, here are some of my favorite pics of Shu Qi wearing a wide variety of pantyhose and tights styles: