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.

Kate, Pippa give Pantyhose ‘royal’ treatment in UK

Robin Maryland, president, ActSensuous

Earlier today, Prince William and his new bride, Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, participated in a medal ceremony for the 1st Battalion Irish Guards Regiment at Victoria Barracks in Windsor. 

It was Kate’s first official military function, as she awarded operational medals to soldiers who had recently returned from service in Afghanistan.

One of this blog’s readers, (peter_a), had long been singing Kate Middleton’s praises as a devoted pantyhose wearer way before her famous marriage.   He would tell me that Kate always appears in public wearing dresses, high heels and sheer pantyhose, and that I should write about her in my blog. 

He is right.  It seems that Kate is all about beauty, glamour, style and class.   Well, add to that … ROYALTY.

Like Prince William’s famous late mother, Princess Diana, royalty really suits Kate.   It’s not at all lost on the masses in the UK and likely throughout the rest of the world that Kate is picking up right where Princess Diana left off  – at least in terms of presenting herself to the public.  

During her time as a member of the Royal Family, perhaps no woman was more dedicated to service in global humanitarian efforts than Lady Di, and her energy for fulfilling those causes was matched by her devotion to dressing beautifully and elegantly when presenting herself to the world.

Catherine, Duchess of CambridgeCredit Prince William for good taste in choosing a wife who is in every way a credit to the Royal Family.  

During the medal ceremony today, Kate wore a beautiful military-style dress in royal blue, with matching pumps and sheer nude pantyhose (photo at right).  She looked absolutely stunning.

Contrast that to the wife of the most powerful man in the USA.  She has come out publicly and trashed pantyhose, saying she hates them and will never wear them. 

So, while her husband has made history, she appears to want to go down as the first First Lady in modern history to dishonor all that the office stands for by making public appearances in “bear” legs. 

Guess she doesn’t feel that the job her husband holds is worthy of her demonstrating any class, grace, or at the very least, professionalism, in the way she dresses.  That’s making history in another way all together.  Swell.

Could anyone honestly believe that Kate would have looked as good, or that it would have been appropriate for her to go bare-legged with this outfit at this venue?

Like her famous sister, Philippa Middleton (affectionately called Pippa), is considered a fashion icon.  Fortunately, she too, has the class to always appear in public venues wearing dresses, heels and pantyhose.

ActSensuous has many customers in the UK, and from time to time, they tell us about the state of pantyhose (or, as they’re called there, tights.)  From what they’ve been telling me, pantyhose were no more popular in the UK the past 10 years than anywhere else on the planet.   But some positive news emerged this past Wednesday, when a blogger for The Huffington Post (an Internet newspaper/blog), Emily Singer, wrote a post with this headline: 

Is Pippa Middleton Responsible for Spike in Nude Tights Sales?

In her piece, Singer wrote:

“Catapulted to style stardom as a result of her sister’s wedding, Pippa Middleton’s clothing choices are almost as influential as her sister’s …

“But earlier this month, Jezebel (another blog site) pointed out that Pippa committed ‘the ultimate pantyhose sin,’ while she was spotted wearing nude tights in Paris no less.”

Wait!  Now, one isn’t supposed to wear nude pantyhose in Paris?  Oh, the rules.  Who can keep up?

Singer continued:

“And somehow, the skin-toned hosiery trend is catching on!  The Telegraph (a UK-based Internet news site) reports that sales of nude tights has ‘risen by up to 85 percent in the past year.’   The shocking increase has been attributed to a hesitancy to jump from opagues in the winter months to bare legs in the spring, as nude stockings offer an in-between of sorts.”

OK, some interesting issues here: 

First, I am glad to hear that sales of sheer nude pantyhose anywhere in the world are up at all – let alone by 85 percent.  That report in The Telegraph also states that UK customers bought 130,000 pairs of tan tights in April and the first half of May.

Second, it’s interesting that in Singer’s post, she didn’t make it clear what “the ultimate pantyhose sin” is, resulting in many of her readers writing in to ask for clarification.

I think Singer was referring to the bare legs culture in general, which has ruled the fashion industry for so long now, meaning that just the act of wearing pantyhose is “the ultimate sin.”

To me, one of the most encouraging aspects of Singer’s blog post is that the vast majority of comments I read were from women who seemed to be coming out in support of pantyhose.   I found this refreshing because, if you’ve read blog topics about pantyhose in general, you know that most men write positive things in defense of pantyhose, while most women wax on about how much they hate pantyhose. 

Somehow, I found my way on to another site: http://uk.ask.com/beauty/Pantyhose-Fashion – a sort of Q&A forum about pantyhose and fashion today.   Usually, I can’t read things like this because I end up getting really mad at all the mean things women write about how much they hate pantyhose, but surprisingly, I was thrilled to find that most comments were very much pro-pantyhose.   Most people lamented the bare legs fad, saying it never should have happened and that they looked forward to the return of pantyhose for its beauty, glamour and workplace significance. 

I also read many comments from men (and women) who blasted the bare legs look, saying it was boring and they were tired of it.   And men stated that women who wear pantyhose are much more apt to receive attention from men.

Finally, there were comments from confused readers.  Some asked in a hopeful tone if all this attention to the subject was a sign of the return of pantyhose to fashion prominence, while others confessed they never realized that pantyhose were ever considered “out” in the first place.  I love that.

      Back to Singer’s post.  She ended it this way:

“Will you follow Pippa’s lead and wear nude  hosiery on cooler summer nights, or have you sworn off the flesh-toned tights?”

Pippa and Kate, Dynamic Duo