Credit ‘wear’ Credit is Due — You won’t believe who


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:

Hi Robin,

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.

Actress Sarah Jessica Parker arrives for a special ceremony hosted by ActSensuous last month.
Actress Sarah Jessica Parker arrives for a ceremony hosted by ActSensuous last month.

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.

Actress Sarah Jessica Parker shows off her Act Sensuous Credit 'wear' Credit is Due award last month in Indialantic, Fla.
Actress Sarah Jessica Parker shows off her  ActSensuous Credit ‘wear’ Credit is Due trophy last month in Indialantic, Fla.

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.

Walking off stage, Sarah Jessica Parker smiles at ActSensuous staff and a cheering audience.
Trophy in hand, Sarah Jessica Parker smiles at ActSensuous staff members and a cheering audience as she walks off the stage.

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.

Actresses Sarah Jessica Parker, left, and Christina Hendricks on the way to a meeting in the movie,
Actresses Sarah Jessica Parker, left, and Christina Hendricks on the way to a meeting in the movie, “I Don’t Know How She Does It.”

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.

SJP and Olivia Munn during a scene from the 2011 movie,
SJP and Olivia Munn during a scene from the 2011 movie, “I Don’t Know How She Does it,” walk down Wall Street in New York.

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.

SJP's moment on the red carpet is interrupted by the Grizzly during the ActSensuous award ceremony for her last month.
SJP’s moment on the red carpet is interrupted by the Grizzly during the ActSensuous award ceremony for her last month.

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.

The Grizzly tries to tempt SJP backstage with flowers and a box of chocolates
The Grizzly tries to tempt SJP backstage with flowers and a box of chocolates

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.

Bear-at-Entrance-Finally, in a last-ditch effort, the Grizzly pulled out all the stops.

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.

Bear boomboxSo, 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.”

SJP-windowThe Grizzly was desperate to salvage his Number One and favorite client, and he’d stop at nothing to keep Sarah Jessica Parker.

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.

The CW Network's 2012 Upfront - Red Carpet
Candace Bushnell appears during a CW Network event in 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

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.

Candace Bushnell told Vogue Magazine online during an interview in 2010,
Candace Bushnell told Vogue Magazine online during an interview in 2010, “I’m not Carrie Bradshaw.”

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).

Four out of five models wear pantyhose during a 2012 fashion event hosted by Costume Designer Patricia Field in New York City.
Four of five models wear pantyhose during a 2012 fashion event hosted by costume designer Patricia Field in New York City.   How boring the poor model in the middle looks.

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.

Meryl Streep, left, and Anne Hathaway during a scene from the movie,
Meryl Streep, left, and Anne Hathaway during a scene from the movie, “The Devil Wears Prada.”

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.

Lucy Liu, left, celebrates costume designer Patricia Field's birthday Feb. 16, 2009 in New York City.
Actress Lucy Liu, celebrates costume designer Patricia Field’s birthday February  2009 in New York City.

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.

Sad GrizzlyIn 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.

Sorry, Grizz.


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.”

BearCompare

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!

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.