Remember the slogan “Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk,” written several years ago by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Ad Council? That campaign created an effective awareness about the death toll from driving impaired, and introduced the concept of the Designated Driver.
I like to think that The ActSensuous Blog has similarly wide-reaching influence, and I’m sort of the designated person trying to drive women to wear pantyhose.
Let’s count the ways this blog has impacted what you’re now enjoying, shall we?
During the 2010-11 NFL season, I complained in my blog about Faith Hill’s awful “bear” legs in her Sunday Night Football intro song. And then, what happened in the 2011-12 season? That’s right: She donned pantyhose and looked 100 times better. Oh yeah, I’m taking credit for that. (Hey, you’re welcome!)
Not convinced? OK, how about this: Devoted watchers of NFL Network have to admit they cringed every time they saw one of the show’s hosts, Kara Henderson, who always wore way-too-short skirts for those horrid pasty white legs of her’s, which she flashed all too often. And what happened not long after I called her out for this (Nov. 4, 2011: “Pantyhose happenings on my mind”)? That’s right. She has been wearing pantyhose regularly on the show — quite beautifully, too. Coincidence? I don’t THINK so.
Check out this video of Kara Henderson in studio on the NFL Network:
I can picture how the conversation around the NFL Network studio must have gone: “Kara, we love ya, girl, but those bear legs of yours are killing our ratings. We get that you women today hate pantyhose, but listen, we don’t want you to end up getting The ActSensuous Blog’s next Grizzly Award. That’s the kind of thing that can end a gal’s career. So, c’mon now, why don’t you break out the pantyhose? Our ratings will soar, and Robin will probably heap loads of praise on you for how good you’ll look. It’ll be a win for everyone.”
Yeah, it likely went something like that, I’m pretty sure.
Now, if you Google Kara Henderson, you won’t find a single photo of her in pantyhose. But on NFL Network, she has become a pantyhose babe. But, I’m not done with the NFL Network yet. Now, it seems every female host on the show has gone all pantyhose on us. Check out this video of the lovely Lindsay Soto (now, Rhodes):
Wow. Those are some killer legs in beautiful sheer nude pantyhose, eh? Do you just see how influential the ActSensuous Blog really is?
I feel some of you slipping away from me. You want more evidence, don’t you? Fine, fine.
One of my regular columns on this blog is “Credit ‘Wear’ Credit is Due,” in which I recognize and glorify the little people (you know, like Ann Curry and Julianna Margulies) for dressing beautifully, including wearing pantyhose. Otherwise, probably no one would ever pay these budding celebs much attention.
You remember my post in January 2011, “Credit ‘Wear’ Credit is Due — Who’s that T-Mobile Girl?” In that one, I lavished so much praise upon the up-and-coming Carly Foulks for how pretty she looks in those pink dresses, high heels and very sheer nude pantyhose. Yeah, that’s right — I put that girl on the map! And what happened after that? Verizon goes out and gets the beyond-beautiful model, Cherub Moore, to wear that fabulous gray skirt and dark wine-colored blouse, complete with gorgeous sheer pantyhose for last year’s Black Friday TV commercial. Need I say more?
Again, if you Google Cherub Moore (and, really, why wouldn’t you?), you won’t find one picture of her wearing pantyhose. But it’s pretty clear that when advertisers write spots for their clients, they think of me and the influence of The ActSensuous Blog. Obviously, they realize the value of featuring their lovely models in pantyhose. And, again, I take full credit for that. (What?)
Too much power?
But, as Peter Parker’s uncle taught us in Spiderman, “With great power, comes great responsibility.” (Did I mention Kirsten Dunst wore pantyhose in those Spidey movies because of me? But, I digress …) And now, I have to live with the fact that this far-reaching influence I wield actually could be starting to back-fire. That’s right. Those people who are equally devoted to the bear legs movement — the people I like to call, you know, the villains — are beginning to take notice of all the good I’m doing out there for truth, justice and the American way, and they’re fighting back.
I didn’t write a post about this next subject (although I did think about doing it), but you guys beat me to the punch when you wrote some comments about the CitiBank TV commercial, in which (actual professional rock climber Katie Brown) says:
My boyfriend and I were going on vacation, so I used my Citi Thank You card to pick up some accessories: A new belt, some nylons, and what girl wouldn’t need new shoes? …
A few of you praised that commercial for its obvious reference to nylons of the hosiery variety. I loved that you picked up on that and made a big deal about it. But have you noticed that the writer(s) recently modified that line? Now, when the lady rock climber talks about picking up some things she’ll need for her vacation, she says “A new belt, some nylon (instead of nylons) …”
Are you kidding me? Is the writer of that commercial such a pantyhose hater that he or she (more than likely, she) had to take away that cute play-on-words in order to not encourage us pantyhose lovers? I can just picture some little Kelly Ripa-like writer thinking to herself: “I’ll show those pantyhose lovers!” Is it just me, or is this edited line a retaliation for all the excitement I (OK, you this time) generated about this commercial’s use of the word “nylons?”
Similarly, Cherub Moore has since appeared in (at least two Verizon commercials that I’ve seen), but now she’s actually wearing pants that do nothing for her lovely figure. I hope Verizon is happy with themselves for dressing her down, and making her look just average, after I (yeah-yeah, you guys, too) bragged about how beautiful she looked in the Black Friday commercial.
Are the writers/directors/producers of these commercials making adjustments based upon what we’re doing in this blog? OK, well, probably not. But it does kinda make some sense. We brag them up for dressing their spokeswomen in pantyhose during a time when, let’s face it, the majority of the world’s women hate pantyhose. You’d have to think those responsible for these commercials might realize that they could attract a larger audience for whatever they’re selling if they suck up to the bear-leggers rather than to those in the minority who appreciate and value pantyhose.
Reality setting in
Similarly, I’ve been sooooooooo disappointed lately in many of the celebs on whom I’ve heaped tons of praise for their devotion to wearing pantyhose. And when some of the usually-pantyhose-friendly ones don’t, I make excuses for them and blame it on the costume designer for dressing them in bear legs. But, when celebs appear on late night talk shows, or are out and about town, and dress in nice outfits but with bear legs, that’s clearly on them.
Stars I’ve complimented for their devotion to class and elegance, especially in dressing up and wearing pantyhose, have been letting me down lately. For example, I have never seen Morena Baccarin wear pantyhose on a single talk show or awards show. Not Dana Delany either. Not Jennifer Lopez. And lately, I’ve seen Milla Jovovich more often bear-legged than in pantyhose. And don’t even get me started on Angelina Jolie and her constantly popping her bear leg out from her high-slit dress during the Academy Awards show. Bimbo.
Still, the only celeb who seems to always do the right thing when it comes to how she dresses for public appearances is Julianna Margulies. But, is she wearing pantyhose in the photo above? If so, those are the sheerest nude pantyhose on the planet. I actually saw this episode of “The Late Show with David Letterman” and thought she was wearing, but at least one of our readers commented on this post that she is actually bear-legged. I guess my eyes aint what they used to be, or more likely, I saw what I wanted to see. What say you? Did Julianna Margulies actually appear on Letterman bear-legged?
I’ve often written that Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock, almost always can be counted on to wear pantyhose during public appearaces. And, maybe to a large extent, that’s still the case, but increasingly, it seems that 99.5 percent of celebs are brainwashed and believe they have to appear in public bear-legged because “that’s what everyone is doing.” Pitiful.
One celeb I thought I could count on more than most to wear pantyhose during public events is gorgeous Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi, but she’s killing me these days. I really thought of her as very strong-willed and independent — someone who would always do what she wanted to do — not what everyone else was doing. Yet, while she once frequently wore pantyhose during publicity events, presumably because it is the right thing to do, and because she has the class and traditional values to do the right thing, it is increasingly rare to see her in pantyhose. Still, I have confidence in her. I believe (I need to believe) she’ll go back to doing what she knows is right. She looks incredible in pantyhose and even (gasp) bare-legged (no bear here for her), so I can only hope she chooses pantyhose just because she wants to.
And lovely little Lucy Liu? Forget about seeing her in pantyhose, which is practically a crime since she looks stunning in them. And the extremely rare times we do see her in pantyhose, they’re too often the thick black ones that just don’t suit her.
But I am most dismayed by the way Sandra Oh dresses. I know what you’re thinking, but unlike her character on “Grey’s Anatomy,” she truly is gorgeous in a dress, high heels and sheer nude or suntan pantyhose.
Sadly, it seems lately that we’ll just never see her in pantyhose anymore.
She’s a perfect example of a star who grew up with traditional Korean values, used to dress beautifully and appropriately in the proper situations, but now has seemingly become just another brainwashed Hollyweird go-along-er.
A case in point occurred in October 2011 when Sandra Oh was inducted into Canada’s Walk Of Fame for her long career in film and television.
If ever there were a time for Sandra Oh to wear pantyhose, this was it, especially since she grew up in Canada. Instead, she did the “ugly American” thing and showed up bear-legged.
As much as I appreciate when veteran celebrities do the right thing and wear pantyhose during public appearances, I think I love it even more when very young up-and-coming stars set themselves apart from the pack in the way they dress, wearing pantyhose with their pretty dresses and high heels.
You know how I’ve gushed over the likes of Lady Gaga and Katie Perry for being frequent wearers of pantyhose when out and about. And that can be said for Paris Hilton, too. I’ve almost resigned myself to realize and admit that EVERY celeb is going to have days where they just can’t be bothered to dress nicely.
But recently, I’ve been seeing two 19-year-olds, Selena Gomez and Miranda Cosgrove (iCarly) wearing pantyhose during public appearances.
I have to say I had never heard of Miranda until I saw her on a couple of late night talk shows and was so proud of her for dressing up and wearing pantyhose for the occasions. This is such a great sign of hope for the future.
So I’ll go ahead and give myself credit for that. I’m funny that way, ya know.
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.
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.
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?)
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:
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:
… 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.
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.
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:
So, what do you think? Could there be a more worthy recipient of the ActSensuous Grizzly Awards than Stacy London?
It seems that the current-but-maybe-not-for-much-longer “bear” legs movement came upon us all of a sudden. One day things were normal and good, and then suddenly pantyhose were public enemy No. 1 (among women that is).
It’s been a long decade-plus of the awful bear legs look, but gradually, in ever-increasing numbers, pantyhose are gaining their legs again. Have you noticed?
They’re in movies and TV shows more and more. They’re in TV commercials all the time. They’re even on fashion runways, and that’s a real good thing. They’re in magazines, too. And now, they’re also the subject on more and more women’s minds as one can see on Internet discussion boards, where there’s always that question: “Are pantyhose back?” To which some answer: “I never realized pantyhose were out.” Love that.
Yes, it’s looking more and more like pantyhose are starting to cling to more willing wearers each day. With that in mind, here are some recent pantyhose happenings that are getting my attention:
Celebs deserve our thanks
Probably the biggest reason that pantyhose are once again in mainstream consciousness is the vast and ever-growing number of Hollywood actresses, entertainers and pop stars wearing during their performances.
In only my second ever blog post (June 2009) titled “Calling out Professional Entertainers,” I blasted celebrities for instigating and perpetuating the bare legs movement (back then, I hadn’t come up with the idea of referring to it as “bear” legs.) My, how far we’ve come. I am so proud of the many veteran celebs who never left, or have now come back to pantyhose. And that includes Cameron Diaz, who until recently, I thought would be the next recipient of my new column, “The Grizzly Awards.”
But I’m even prouder of the young, up-and-coming celebs who are outright pantyhose goddesses. Yes, we’ve still got a long way to go, but I think it would be difficult to name more than a few young celebs today who are just complete bear leggers — ones you’ll NEVER see wearing pantyhose.
I think we have to recognize and thank the likes of Jessica Alba, Sandra Bullock, Anne Hathaway, Juliana Margulies, Milla Jovovich, Nicole Kidman, Kate Middleton, Sofia Vergara, Paris Hilton, Zooey Deschanel, and of course, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Rihanna, Beyonce’ and Selena Gomez.
There are hundreds of others who deserve credit, but this is a good start.
Since nothing influences fashion in everyday life like what we see our favorite celebs wearing, I think we’re in a very good time and place right now with all the professional performers out there donning pantyhose.
Waitin’ all day for Sunday night
Hey, Jack, it’s a fact … the outfits Faith Hill is wearing this year during the intro theme to Sunday Night Football are soooooooo much better.
Last year, she wore that way-too-short black dress with some funky, chunky (OK, ugly) shoes, and Casper-white bear legs that (I have to say it) looked awful. Sorry, Faith.
This year, she wears mid-calf length pants, but with pumps and pantyhose.
As I’ve written before, doesn’t she (whomever I’m dissing at the time) see herself on TV later and say “What was I thinking?” or “Why didn’t someone tell me ?”
Well, one of those things must have happened in Faith’s case. Thank you.
Another win for pantyhose.
One of the hosts on NFL Network on DirecTV, Kara Henderson, was doing the bear legs thing during interviews with fellow analysts and guest coaches and players. Uh, Kara, “Come on, man!” (Yeah, I know — that’s a bit featured on ESPN prior to Monday Night Football — but I couldn’t resist.)
Again, she must have seen herself on TV or someone told her how awful her legs looked. Now, she wears pantyhose and looks sooooo much better. Good call.
Remember, I am writing just random thoughts here. Suzy Kolber is one NFL analyst, host, sideline reporter I always liked. She is very professional. She used to wear pantyhose with nice suits and heels all the time. Lately, I’ve seen her wearing pants more than anything. I hope she doesn’t allow herself to be influenced by the vast majority of other female NFL types and stop wearing skirts and pantyhose and heels.
Why always black pantyhose?
Seems when we see a celeb wearing, especially one who typically doesn’t, it’s always black pantyhose. I mean sheer black pantyhose are nice, and certainly better than bear legs, but somtimes, I think women think it’s all they can wear.
There used to be a line of thinking that was one should always match one’s pantyhose to the color of one’s dress.
And we all know how popular the LBD (little black dress) is. I always thought that thinking was lame.
OK, you’re wearing a black dress, but you know … your face, your neck, your arms, your hands … they’re not black (unless you’re Minnie Mouse). Why do you think your legs should be black just because you’re wearing a black dress?
Nude and Suntan are such a nice, refreshing look these days when it seems that all we ever see is black.
Those awful ‘fashion experts’
If you’ve read this blog, you know how I detest those people called fashion experts. They probably gave themselves that title. Since my post, “Why not pantyhose and open-toe high heels?” remains the most popular on this blog, you know how hard I’ve been on these monkeys for making that “rule” that you can NEVER wear pantyhose with dress sandals.
It still amazes me that everyday people seek out the advice of these fashion gurus. It’s not like these guys’ opinions have any more value than your own good judgment, but I still see on Internet threads cases where someone wants to know if it’s OK to wear pantyhose with dress sandals. Recently, and I love this, I’ve been seeing the fashion police cave a little on this issue. The last piece of advice I read was that it’s OK as long as the hose is sheer at the toe (well, duh), or (and get this), if it’s thick, opaque hose. Well, OK, I s’pose that’s better than their previous blanket “NO WAY” answers.
I love countering their idiot opinions with the fact that some of today’s most popular Hollywood stars (again, the number 1 influencers of fashion) always wear pantyhose with open-toe high heels. It’s like these so-called fashion experts think they know better than everyone else, yet, the whole world is doing exactly what they tell us not to do.
Thanks but no thanks
The other day, I stumbled across a video made by the stars of the TV show “What Not to Wear.” I used to watch that show, but after you’ve seen 5,000 episodes, you start to realize it’s pretty much the same story over and over again. In any case, I never saw the show’s beautiful star, Stacy London, wearing pantyhose, and I hate missed opportunities (meaning a beautiful fashion expert who has great legs, but sadly, doesn’t enhance them with sheer pantyhose). And now, she’s making TV commercials and still not wearing. Guess she is squarely behind the bear legs movement.
So I was surprised to find a video she and her partner, Clinton Kelly, made, titled “How to wear pantyhose.” Wait, they are talking about wearing pantyhose? Well, I certainly wanted to hear what they had to say on the subject.
Turns out their advice was pretty much that most women don’t want to wear pantyhose, but if you do, “That’s cool.” Kelly advised that if you’re going to wear pantyhose, make it look deliberate; not a half a shade or two off your skin tone, but rather make it appear that you’re intentionally wearing hose, such as opaque tights. He’s standing next to a mannequin wearing a dark blue dress, with black tights and black shoes.
London talks about denier ratings (the sheerness or thickness of the fabric). Her mannequin is wearing a black dress. London recommends a very low denier (sheer) black pantyhose with a back seam to make it more elegant.
OK, I don’t have any real issue with their advice, except that both agreed that whatever you do, you should NEVER wear suntan pantyhose because, Kelly said, “They don’t look good on anybody.” What?
Meanwhile, London appears to be wearing some kind of dark blue, almost purple, dress that just didn’t do anything to flatter her lovely figure.
And worse, she is wearing some really ugly shoes. Ironically, it looks as if she is wearing pantyhose (must be my eyes are bad) and if she is wearing, they sure look like suntan to me.
Here’s the link. See what you think:
On one hand, I’m glad they talked about pantyhose, but I am disappointed that they admitted to covering the topic only because they had been getting questions from many viewers about why they don’t talk about pantyhose. London’s and Kelly’s remarks have a bit of a negative tone about pantyhose, but they didn’t do any real damage. But look at the face that London makes as she’s signing off. Her expression seems embarrassed, almost apologetic, for even mentioning pantyhose.
What really bothers me is that they put down suntan. I can tell you suntan is still far-and-away the most popular pantyhose color among devoted wearers. I love suntan.
Fashion experts … whadaya gonna do?
Never before have I paid as much attention to a fall TV series lineup, anticipating how much pantyhose would factor in the new shows.
Not surprisingly, it’s a mixed bag — win some, lose some. Just as in real life, some characters who should be wearing pantyhose (career professionals) are, and some aren’t. Then, there’s a pleasant surprise or two, such as Whitney Cummings, a young, hip, strong female character, who in scenes such as a wedding, wears, and in real-life venues, often wears during promotional appearances and talk shows. Good for her.
Of course, two of the new shows were obvious suspects for displaying a lot of pantyhose — “The Playboy Club,” starring Amber Heard as a rookie Bunny in the 1960s-set mob drama at the famous Chicago Playboy Club, and “Pan Am,” featuring Christina Ricci, also in a 1960s-era drama about the world famous airline and its even more famous flight attendants, then-known as stewardesses.
A “hare”-raising experience
Sadly, “The Playboy Club” already has been cancelled, a victim of poor ratings, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Well, that, and the whole hissy fit thing that the Parents Television Council (PTC) threw, calling for advertisers to boycott the show “for objectifying and degrading women.”
Amazing the influence haters can have. I suspect these PTC folks are the same as those pantyhose haters out there. Too bad because many television industry types and viewers have come out in defense of the show, stating that it was in no way demeaning to women.
Some people must have nothing better to do than complain about nothing, and perhaps, it’s even sadder that the likes of Campbell’s Soup, Kraft, Lenovo, P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, Sprint, Subway and UPS Store all caved to the pressure and pulled their ads from the show’s second episode. Then, PTC ramped up the pressure on Capital One, Chrysler and Samsung to follow suit. Apparently, at least, Chrysler planned to continue adverstising on the show.
To their credit, the show’s executives pointed to some impressive ladies who were real-life Playboy Bunnies before they became famous in their own rights, including Lauren Hutton, a great actress and the world’s most famous supermodel (the first to earn $1 million a year). Hutton was a Bunny from 1963 to 1964 at the New York Playboy Club. Ever heard of Deborah Harry, lead singer of Blondie? She was a Bunny from 1968 to 1973 at the New York Playboy Club. And there was Dr. Polly Matzinger, a world renowned immunologist, who was a Bunny in 1969 at the Denver Playboy Club.
I guess if the whole concept of Playboy Bunnies is so demeaning to women, we should also feel sorry for all the famous women who are on record as having at least dressed up as Playboy Bunnies. That list includes Cher, Farrah Fawcett, Sally Field, Goldie Hawn, Barbara Walters, Renee Zellweger, and Reece Witherspoon, to name a few.
And maybe we should offer therapy to some famous men who married Playboy Bunnies. They include singer/songwriter Bob Dylan, Hall of Fame tennis player Jimmy Connors, and legendary talk show host Larry King. And, let’s not forget some famous individuals whose mothers were Playboy Bunnies. Better include some therapy for singer Jon Bon Jovi, actors Dean Cain and Corey Feldman.
The costume designer, Isis Mussenden, for “The Playboy Club” TV show was meticulous in recreating the famous Bunny costume, matching the original specs for material, colors and the way they were designed to fit. And, like the real-life Bunnies, Mussenden had her actresses wear two pairs of pantyhose under their costumes, a nude pair over the top of a black pair. Obviously, it looked great, but I wish she had explained who originally came up with that idea and why it worked.
So, strike one show where we would have gotten lots and lots of pantyhose in each episode. But, while “The Playboy Club” hops off the air, another hose-friendly show takes flight.
Right out of the gate, “Pan Am,” starring Christina Ricci, captures the 1960s-era romanticism of jet travel and the international intrigue that goes along with it. Of course, in the show, the stewardesses are wearing stockings, historically accurate for the time period, as pantyhose wouldn’t take off for a couple more years.
During interviews with “Pan Am” costume designer Ane Crabtree, the attention to detail in accurately recreating the famous stewardess uniforms is a popular subject. Here is an excerpt from one online interview:
Question: In the pilot, Miss Havemayer (Veanne Cox) warns Colette (Karine Vanasse) against wearing stockings that are too dark. Why is that?
Crabtree: Stockings were to be worn at all times. From one of those old manuals, I read this great quote, “A subdued, light color beautifies and gives a natural good look to the legs.” So they didn’t want too dark, which is what Miss Havemeyer says in the pilot, and they didn’t want too light. They just wanted a subtle, beautiful color on the legs. A dark color wasn’t desired because it’s too fashion-y or too flashy, too tawdry. It’s always sort of rounding back to the not being ladylike effect.
Q: How many pairs of stockings do you go through on the show?
Crabtree: We wear real stockings that don’t have stretch. You know stretch would be so much easier, however, stretch will show up as shinier on camera and that wouldn’t be true to the period. They need to be sheer, but because they’re so sheer and so delicate, they rip. We go through two pairs of stockings per girl, per day. It gets very expensive because they’re delicate. We’re going up and down stairs a million times, doing all sorts of crazy things. So, you need doubles because they’ll shred when you are getting (in and out of your shoes).
I love the look of the beautiful uniforms, and I just pretend that those stockings are really pantyhose.
I haven’t seen “The New Girl,” but I know its star, Zooey Deschanel, is a devoted pantyhose wearer, so I have high hopes for this comedy about a woman who moves in with three single guys after a breakup with her boyfriend.
Actually, that doesn’t sound like my kind of show at all, but I like Deschanel because of her devotion to wearing pantyhose, although being from the United Kingdom, she calls them tights. Here’s a quote from her website, HelloGiggles.com:
I am a year-round tights girl. I will wear tights even if it’s 100 degrees outside. Tights are my safety blanket. In them, I know that I can do a sweet row of cartwheels anytime, anywhere without anyone catching a glimpse of my knickers.
Well, OK, whatever. I just love reading the actual words of a celebrity who’s a true pantyhose lover. Thought you would, too.
Not surprisingly, there are some new shows this fall that fall short because their characters should be wearing pantyhose, but aren’t.
Two bear-legged girls
Actually getting some positive reviews, “2 Broke Girls” is a comedy about two young women who are down on their luck, waitressing at a diner. They strike up an unexpected friendship and try to raise enough cash to launch a cupcake business.
I’d never heard of the two actresses, Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs, and after looking for photos for this blog post, and not finding a single one of either of them wearing pantyhose, I won’t be watching this show. I don’t get how anyone would make a show about waitresses working at a diner, and not have them wearing pantyhose. That just seems unrealistic to me, and it completely turns me off about the show.
I caught part of the first episode of the new “Charlie’s Angels.” Of course, I wasn’t expecting to see the angels wearing pantyhose, but I held out some hope since Drew Barrymore is a producer of the show, and she has the class and good sense to wear pantyhose in her films. Since every photo I’ve seen promoting the show has the angels bear-legged, I’m not impressed, and won’t be watching “Charlie’s Angels.”
Bringing it home
Of all the new fall shows, I think “Homeland” is going to be the most successful. This thrilller tells the story of CIA agent Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) who believes, based on intelligence she’s just gathered, that recently freed P.O.W. Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis) was turned by his middle eastern captives and was set free to carry out a terrorist attack on the U.S.
“Homeland” also stars Morena Baccarin as Brody’s wife. That’s right, Morena Baccarin, the gorgeous former head alien, Anna, of the recently canceled “V” (The Visitors), who wore beautiful dresses, high heels and sheer nude pantyhose during every single episode. During the the first episode of “Homeland,” Baccarin and Danes had scenes where they wore pantyhose, and I’m hoping that will continue to be the case all season long.
Thankfully, we have a couple of reliable favorite shows back for a new season — “The Good Wife,” starring Julianna Margulies, who, along with Christine Baranski and Archie Panjabi always can be seen wearing pantyhose; and “Body of Proof,” featuring Dana Delany and Jeri Ryan, seemingly competing for who has the nicer legs in pantyhose and heels.
Of course, there are many new and returning shows I’ve left out of this post for space reasons. Which shows are you watching, or already disappointed in?
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.
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:
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.
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.
While all the haters out there continue to rear their ugly heads, pantyhose keep raising their pretty legs, and finally, it seems that more and more people are taking notice.
In one of my first blog posts ever, Calling out Professional Entertainers (June 2009), I blamed Hollywood celebrities for their too-casual look. Far too many of them still show a lack of professionalism and class in the way they present themselves in the public eye, but there has been a huge improvement.
And in my Credit ‘Wear’ Credit is Due series, I’ve recognized and appreciated many actresses, entertainers and other celebs for never buying in to the ugly bare legs trend and always wearing pantyhose. I’ve done the same for many of today’s new crop of young performers who deserve credit for embracing pantyhose and setting a good example for young women everywhere.
Hey, I realize I can’t save the world. There is a yin and a yang in life. One cannot know soft if one has never experienced hard. One cannot know cold if one has never experienced hot. I could go on. I won’t. (You’re welcome).
OK, one more: One cannot know beautiful if one has never seen ugly.
Which brings me to this:
Now, let me just say that I know nothing about Miley Cyrus. I am sure she’s a nice enough girl. I realize she’s young, and maybe not all that bright yet. But she is a professional entertainer. She has to take some responsibility for her actions.
Maybe she just grew up (not sure those are the right words) during a time when none of her gal pals owned a pair of pantyhose or even knew what pantyhose are. Maybe they don’t have pantyhose in the parts from which she hay-als. But that didn’t stop Daisy Dukes, did it?
Could it be that she wanted to achy breaky her daddy’s heart with that outfit? It seems to me that someone associated with the production from which this picture was taken should have stepped in and told her how awful she looked. Couldn’t someone have showed her a picture of herself before she went on stage?
Again, I don’t mean to single out Miley Cyrus. There are many entertainers just like her. But it does go to show just how professional, classy and glamorous so many other professional performers are.
We might expect those good qualities from entertainers like Jennifer Lopez and Madonna, who emerged on the entertainment scene during the 1980s – perhaps, the greatest pantyhose era in history.
To me, it’s a very pleasant surprise and a real sign of hope for some semblance of class in today’s society when young entertainers, such as Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Beyonce’ and others choose to wear pantyhose on stage (and often in public in general.)
Last month, Lady Gaga performed an impromptu concert for the audience before she appeared as a guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Apparently, while setting up the stage, some fans began chanting for her to perform a couple of numbers. And so she did.
Not sure what to make of her outfit, but I’m not complaining. I didn’t see that episode, so I have no idea what she wore on the set for the part that was televised, but before taping began, she rocked that audience with “Born This Way” and “Judas.”
Maybe Lady Gaga is a bit over the top, but I love how she always brings attention to pantyhose. And while she has been a positive influence on her contemporaries when it comes to wearing pantyhose, this outfit makes me think that Lady Gaga wants to be the undisputed Goddess of Pantyhose on stage.
Knowing that practically every man with a pulse loves women in pantyhose, I have to believe that when girls see how much their boyfriends go ga-ga for Lady Gaga, the girls would develop a different perception of pantyhose than the one the haters out there want everyone to have.
Of course, you know how much I’ve gushed about the likes of Nicole Kidman, Milla Jovovich, Julianna Margulies, Anne Hathaway and others who are devoted pantyhose wearers. But the one celeb who has garnered the most positive attention for pantyhose the world over remains Kate Middleton.
On Monday, a positive story about pantyhose appeared in the Detroit Free Press by Associated Press writer Samantha Critchell:
Thank you to one of this blog’s readers, peter_a, for pointing this out to me.
And earlier this month, Melanie Coulson, a columnist for the Ottawa Citizen wrote a positive piece: http://blogs.ottawacitizen.com/2011/08/10/thank-you-kate-for-bringing-back-pantyhose/
My thanks to another of this blog’s readers, Carl, for telling me about this article, and that Lady Gaga performance, too.
Yes, it appears that pantyhose haters will always exist. It just amazes me that they have singled out the most beautiful, feminine and classy thing a woman can wear as the object of their hatred.
And, yes, there will always exit those who simply make bad wardrobe choices, those who just don’t “get it” and a few who will blindly jump on the bandwagon of any fashion trend.
But all that makes it even more pleasant and heartwarming when we see the many celebs and everyday women out there who are continuing to wear pantyhose. And isn’t it nice to see pantyhose snagging some positive press again?