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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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
So, 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.”
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
In 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.
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.”
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!
In the ongoing battle between pantyhose and “bear” legs, I’m no expert (wait a minute … yes, I am), but it seems these days we’re in a one step forward, one step back situation.
Lately, I’ve learned how to keep my blood pressure from spiking out of control: I don’t watch movies or TV shows that I intuitively know are going to piss me off because the actresses who should be wearing pantyhose likely ain’t gonna be.
Case in point: I steered clear of last Sunday’s American Music Awards (AMA) show because I knew it would disappoint me. However, I did DVR it so that I could later blow past stupid commercials and much of the ugliness that this freak show has become.
Note: Pitbull should never be a host. He’s too much in love with himself, and other than singing, does he have any real talent? I think not. Second, much of what they were calling entertainment doesn’t sound like music to me. More like a train wreck maybe.
I actually worry that other countries will see the AMA show and wonder what happened to America? With a few notable exceptions, looking at how the presenters, guests and performers dressed and conducted themselves, it appears that values, decency and class are disappearing from pop culture. If what I glimpsed is any indication of what the future holds for this country, I’d prefer that the big meteor crash into Earth now, wiping out … oh, I don’t know … most of the population?
Naturally, I got what I expected out of the AMAs: Most of the female artists (including Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez, both of whom I hoped wouldn’t disappoint me) wore beautiful gowns and fabulous heels, but no pantyhose.
Only the two I thought would — Jennifer Lopez and Ariana Grande — wore pantyhose. (OK, and so did Iggy Azalea during her performance with J-Lo, so I give her credit “wear” credit is due).
DISCLAIMER: Again, I didn’t actually watch the AMA show, but instead fast-forwarded at 4-speed on the DVR remote, stopping only when something promising-looking caught my eye. Thus, if I missed a female presenter or performer who actually was wearing pantyhose, feel free to correct me in your comments. And, if I diss one of your favorite stars just because she was bear-legged, hey, this is a pantyhose blog. It’s what I do!
J-Lo always delivers a high-energy, exciting performance, and the vast majority of the time, she shows professionalism and class in wearing pantyhose with her outfits on stage. For those reasons, I am always interested in seeing her perform.
But the artist who stole the show (for me, anyway) was Ariana Grande. Amazing that it’s just about the youngest performer out there who consistently is the most professional and classiest of them all. I love this girl. Now, I have to say her voice makes me want to pull my hair out, and I can’t understand 90 percent of her lyrics (which, actually, might be a good thing), but I am extremely impressed with Ariana for sticking to her core values (or, at least, her good taste), always wearing cute outfits, high heels and her signature suntan sheer pantyhose.
During the AMA show performance, Ariana was part of a threesome that included Jessie J and Nicki Minaj. Jessie J usually is very pantyhose-friendly, but she didn’t wear for this number, and neither did Minaj. I know nothing about Minaj, so I have no idea whether she typically wears or doesn’t.
But I know this: Jessie J and Nicki Minaj might want to rethink the idea of performing alongside Ariana because they looked awful next to her. I think, anyway.
My eyes were glued on Ariana only, and I suspect that also was the case among most men watching the performance. Ariana is tiny next to Jessie J and Nicki Minaj, but with her professionalism and class, she stood (figuratively) 10 feet taller than them.
Think I am overdoing it with my praise for Ariana? Here’s the thing: If pantyhose are going to win the battle against the bear-legs crowd, we need a superstar celeb who consistently wears pantyhose on stage, to awards shows, as a guest on television specials, and even just out-and-about. Ariana has showed many times that she is a devoted wearer.
Taylor Swift appears to be 50-50 at best. In pantyhose, she looks awesome, but she’s not consistent in wearing during concert performances or anywhere else. Of course, she does sometimes and looks great in those cases, but then she arbitrarily shows up on the biggest entertainment stages bear-legged.
On the other hand, Selena Gomez is far more consistent in wearing pantyhose for all the right occasions and venues. Selena might be a close second to Ariana as a dedicated pantyhose wearer, including when she’s just out and about. And, like Ariana, when Selena wears, she looks stunningly beautiful.
Of course, longtime readers here know that I’ve praised Katy Perry big-time in this blog. Yet, too many times, I’ve seen photos of Katy on stage and off in bear legs. I still love Katy, but she’s just not as consistent a wearer as Ariana.
Let me tell you something: Ariana is the real deal. She might be the one performer who truly sets a good (and right) example for her legions of adoring young fans. When those girls become 17, 18 and older, they might be more likely to wear pantyhose to emulate their idol.
Besides Ariana, is there a celebrity we could describe as a truly consistent pantyhose wearer? If there is one, it’s Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton. Pantyhose sales throughout the UK and to some extent, the U.S., already are thriving again thanks to her. Kate should win the Nobel Peace prize for that.
Certainly, Zoey Deschanel has demonstrated she is a devoted pantyhose wearer. I’m sure she has appeared bear-legged once or twice on TV shows, movies or at public appearances, but in those cases, I’d have to believe the venue called for a more casual look. Otherwise, Zoey must be one of the most dedicated and consistent pantyhose wearers anywhere.
How about Sofia Vergara? It seems she’s everywhere now, pitching airlines, clothes, cosmetics, furniture, soft drinks. Most often, she wears sheer black pantyhose.
The other day, I saw her in a TV commercial for Rooms ToGo, and it looked as if she were wearing nude pantyhose, but the few pictures of that ad I could find online weren’t of a high enough resolution, and she looked to be (gasp) bear-legged.
Sofia, a consistent pantyhose wearer? You’d have to say yes, but I couldn’t believe the number of pics I found of her in bear legs during publicity appearances.
One step forward, one step back
Seems we have a long way to go still. You can look on the Internet and find millions of pictures of celebrities and real women wearing pantyhose. There are so many, I sometimes wonder how the bear-legs culture is still around.
But then on the world’s biggest stages, including the AMA show, presumably, the grandest show of the year for celebrities in the music industry, Taylor Swift and the overwhelming majority of women show up bear-legged. Why is that? I think it’s because today too many celebs still have a bear-legs consciousness. When the movement dawned during the late 1990s to early 2000s, the concept of bears legs was a bit shocking, but soon enough women from all walks of life jumped on the bandwagon. Once the excuse to not wear pantyhose was out there, it quickly took roots among almost all women.
Of course, it’s pretty clear now that pantyhose are making a big comeback. Nothing in the fashion world lasts forever. What’s hot turns cold, and what’s cold eventually turns hot. I have every confidence that pantyhose will some day be the preferred look again. We can see evidence of that everywhere we look. But, as long as there is some measure of doubt about what’s “in” today, we’ll see inconsistency among even those celebs we would view as devoted wearers. Many of them just don’t have the conviction yet, and so they aren’t sure which way to go. And, not wanting to appear out of touch, it seems that they choose the lesser course to be safe.
While that is frustrating, I still find this to be an exciting time. When a celebrity shows up at an event wearing pantyhose, it’s a thrill. Now, it’s like the celebs who wear are the cool ones since everyone else is doing the same old bear-legs thing. The ones who wear today are like the first ones to not wear. They are now challenging what became the norm just a decade or so ago. That will cause a stir and create doubt the other way — that perhaps women should be wearing pantyhose today.
A treat when pantyhose show up unexpectedly
That was the headline of my post (May 16, 2011) that featured South Korean model and actress Jun Ji-hyun, starring in the movie, “Blood: The Last Vampire?” I was reminded of that headline this past Sunday, when I watched “Talking Dead,” the post-show to AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” in which host Chris Hardwick and a few guests analyze that night’s preceding episode. Usually, the guests (often at least one from the cast of TWD) don’t exactly dress up, and lately, I’ve been skipping the post-show. But as that night’s episode of TWD was ending, the network flashed a quick peak at what was to come on TD and I caught a glimpse of a guest wearing what I thought might be sheer nude pantyhose.
So I tuned in and was thrilled to see Christian Serratos (who plays Rosita Espinoza) wearing a little black dress, black heels and, indeed, sheer nude pantyhose.
And, wow, did she look incredibly gorgeous. I like her character, Rosita, but I had no idea who the actress is because I had never seen her in anything other than TWD. I’ve since learned she is, (or was maybe) on “Twilight.” I don’t really know because I’ve never seen a single episode of that TV series (or is it a movie, or movies?). Obviously, I don’t have anything against vampires. I just don’t care for the whole young romance theme, which Twilight appears to be about from scenes I’ve noticed during promotions.
Anyway, Christian Serratos is petite (like me) and, as Rosita on TWD, she’s the most feminine of the female characters, her signature outfit being shorts and a cropped shirt that exposes her midriff. Naturally, in the wasteland that has become the zombie apocalypse, we don’t expect to see a woman in pantyhose (with the exception of fabulous Milla Jovovich as Alice in the awesome “Resident Evil” movies), and I always wondered why the female cast members of the show wouldn’t want to appear on the post-show dressed all girly for a change.
Wouldn’t they want their audience to finally see a different (more elegant) side of them? Many of the actresses do dress up on TD, but they never wear pantyhose, but now that Christian did, she is my new girl crush.
Of course, I Googled her to see if she’s really a pantyhose kind of girl, or if this appearance on TD was a total aberration. I found only a few pics of her in pantyhose, but that’s OK. To me, it actually makes it even more meaningful that she viewed the occasion of being on TD significant enough to dress beautifully, including wearing sheer nude pantyhose.
Does it seem to you that when a woman today actually does wear pantyhose with a black dress and black heels, it’s almost always black hose? Of course I get it (what we’ve always been taught), but I wish women today didn’t think it’s mandatory to match the shade of hosiery with the color of their shoes. Nude pantyhose are such a beautiful look with a black ensemble (and all other colors really.) So I love Christian Serratos all the more for her good taste in wearing sheer nude pantyhose to go along with her class and elegance.
In all fairness, in looking for the photo of Christian Serratos from TD, I found that there actually was at least one other female star from TWD, Lauren Cohan, who also appeared on the post-show wearing a skirt and pantyhose.
Like Christian, Lauren (who plays prominent character, Maggie) is very feminine in real life. I don’t know any other works she’s done, but in searching the Internet for pics of her in pantyhose, I could find only one, other than the few from her appearance on TD.
That’s really too bad because she is a beautiful girl and has spectacular legs.
Another unexpected treat
I’d never watched the TV series, “Person of Interest,” but not for any reason other than that it just didn’t occur to me to do so. I don’t know at what point it was, but I saw during scenes for an upcoming episode that actress Sarah Shahi had been added to the cast. That got me interested in POI, and I watched an episode or two and liked all the characters, although I am so late coming to the series I really don’t understand much about what’s going on.
I’ve had a love-hate (mostly hate) relationship with Sarah Shahi because, while I thought she was great in the old “Life” TV series, in her role as a detective, she was always dressed in pants.
Later, when she starred in “Fairly Legal,” I figured that was a role in which it would be appropriate for her to wear pantyhose, but nooooooooo. She went bear-legged. (Hated it. Didn’t watch it.)
I had seen on the Internet the same (like, 3) whole pics you’ve seen of Sarah Shahi in pantyhose (always black), so I was glad to see that she at least knows what pantyhose are. And, oh my gosh, does she look gorgeous in them. But I’d given up any hope of seeing this talented beauty ever wear them on a TV show or movie.
And, as expected, I found that on POI Sarah’s character (Sameen Shaw) wears mostly all black pants outfits as, I guess, one of the muscles on the team. Otherwise, she wears a black dress and black heels, but, sadly, she’s always bear-legged.
Still, I’d become intrigued with POI, and I was ready for the new season (4) which started Sept. 3. I recorded the premiere episode, but didn’t actually watch it until recently.
The show opens with a female blonde character (she’s a bad guy) in a black dress and heels (bear-legged) who meets a journalist in a bar, and murders him because he’s on to something about Artificial Intelligence about to take over life as we know it.
Subsequently (still in the first few minutes of the show), the scene changes to a fashion department store, the camera fixed on a pair of beautiful sheer nude pantyhose-adorned feet and legs in black heels and a black dress, and as the camera slowly pans upward, I am thinking to myself, please let that be Sarah Shahi’s character, Miss Shaw. And, to my sheer delight, it is.
I could hardly believe it. Finally, I am seeing Sarah Shahi in a little black dress with black high heels and sheer pantyhose. And not black pantyhose, but sheer nude pantyhose. And she looks spectacular.
Of course I am hoping this is a sign of things to come — that we’ll see more of Miss Shaw in sheer nude pantyhose. I also like that the show sticks to some sense of realism, in that the Shaw character, working as a sales associate (as a cover) in a big upscale department store (such as Macy’s) indeed would be expected to wear a dress, heels and pantyhose.
After watching that episode, I tried to find that awesome picture of Miss Shaw (bored and feeling the assignment was beneath her), standing in an aisle of the store offering customers a sample of perfume. Unfortunately, it was nowhere to be found, however, I got one (above) that shows just enough of her legs to see that she’s wearing. And, of course, I did find the premiere teaser video for your viewing pleasure. (You’re welcome.)
Like me, do you ever wonder how some photos from TV and movie scenes make it to the Internet, and some (the best ones) don’t? And if only you or I were in charge, we’d make sure that priceless gems such as this one of Sarah Shahi in sheer nude pantyhose would definitely make it? It’s like, who’s in charge of these things? Doesn’t he or she know the significance of such a shot?
Not since Lucy Liu wore sheer nude pantyhose in one or two episodes of “Elementary” last season, have I been this excited about a character in one of the TV shows I follow, but I have a feeling we won’t be seeing Miss Shaw in sheer pantyhose again, any more often than we’ve since seen Joan Watson in them.
One step forward-one step back. Still, it’s “A treat when pantyhose show up unexpectedly,” and until our favorite celebs become more consistent in choosing this look we love, we can, at least, savor the next surprise.
A few of our favorite “real girls who love pantyhose” models have gotten all decked out in cute costumes and ActSensuous pantyhose for your Halloween viewing pleasure.
You’ve met Yesenia in the preceding feature and gallery, as well as back on Jan. 21, 2013. Yesenia appears in the gallery below, as does:
Olivia, who (along with her sister, Ariel, and friend Leilani) modeled for us at Christmastime last year. Today, Olivia, 23, is a secretary who aspires to work in the legal field.
Originally from New York, Olivia currently lives in Pennsylvania and says she wears pantyhose to work every day.
The 5’4″ model of Puerto Rican descent is 115 pounds and wears a size 2 dress. Her favorite pantyhose shades are nude and black.
Mylani, who was featured here on Feb. 24, 2013, is now a college graduate, climbing her way up the corporate ladder.
“For my internship, I worked in a company that had about 100 employees, mostly female,” Mylani said. “What I noticed was very few women wore skirts, dresses or heels, and hardly any of them wore pantyhose. It struck me as unprofessional all these women walking around in pants and loafers or oxfords. I am all for equality in the workplace, but you don’t have to look like a man.”
Mylani, who is Chinese-American, says she wears skirts, dresses and high heels every day.
“And that includes pantyhose,” she added. “Act IV are my favorite pantyhose to wear to the office, and they look great with all my costumes. I never miss a chance to get dressed up in a cute costume and show off my pantyhose legs.”
There are no tricks here. Just treats. See what you think …
For years, this blog has shined the spotlight on many wonderful celebrities whose consistent wearing of pantyhose has helped turn back the once seemingly-unstoppable “bear”-legs movement.
Along the way, this blog also has featured a handful of “real girls who love pantyhose.” One extraordinary young woman we got to know about a year-and-a-half ago here, continues to rock the world of those who love pantyhose, as she wears practically every day for work and for fun.
She’s a young businesswoman, a part-time painter, a part-time model and a full-time romantic who is devoted to her family and friends. And, thankfully, her love of pantyhose continues to grow, and she remains a dedicated wearer.
We caught up with Yesenia, and you won’t believe what she’s up to these days.
While still completing a college degree, somehow the dynamic Yesenia already has a career (professional accountant), but still finds the time to paint, play video games with her young brother, and, oh yeah, she’s working in construction — sort of as a hobby, she said. (Yes, construction.)
“Being an accountant, most days I can work from home,” Yesenia told us. “Sure, I do have to go to the office occasionally, but most of my work can be done from my home-based office. “
So that means most of the time, Yesenia doesn’t have to wear pantyhose, right?
“Many people, not having to leave the house, probably would just work in sweats or something comfortable,” she said. “For me, it is all about professionalism. I still want to dress as a professional. You never know when a client might stop by to drop off paperwork, or I have to do a video conference with the office or a client. What does that mean? Skirts, blouses, heels, and oh yes, ActSensuous Act IV pantyhose.”
Really? Yesenia routinely chooses ActSensuous pantyhose? That’s nice, but this feature would have been written no matter what brand of pantyhose she wears. Why ActSensuous?
“ActSensuous are the sheerest pantyhose I have ever worn,” Yesenia said. “They are very soft and do not bind. In other pantyhose I’ve worn for work, they have Lycra (spandex), and by the end of the day in those pantyhose, I feel like a sausage all squeezed in. With Act IV, you can barely feel you are wearing pantyhose, but, you sure can see how great my legs look in them.”
As Yesenia is a woman in only her early 20s, I wondered where this love and devotion to wearing pantyhose originated.
“Having Latin culture in my background, I learned from a very young age how to look, act and be a lady,” Yesenia said. “When I turned 15, I followed the custom for Latin girls to start acting like ladies, and wearing high heels instead of flats. And a lady is never to wear heels without pantyhose. A girl can wear tights or leggings with flats, but a lady must be in skirts, dresses, heels and pantyhose.”
Getting to know Yesenia
Height/weight: 5’2, 110
Dress size: 4
Shoe size: 7
Pantyhose size A (Small)
Where from: Puerto Rico
Ethnicity: Spanish, Italian and Scottish
Marital status: Single
Favorite color(s): Black, blue and yellow
Favorite food: Sushi
Favorite drink: Boba (Bubble tea)
Favorite snack: Chia pods
Favorite song: “Stay with me” by Sam Smith
Favorite book: “Red as Blood” by Tanner Smith
Favorite movie: “Spirited away”
Top 3 TV shows: “The Walking Dead,” “Penny Dreadful,” and “Freak Show”
Favorite actors: Ginnifer Goodwin and Evan Peters
Yesenia is such a delight, we sat down with her to find out what really makes her tick.
ActS: If you weren’t an accountant, what would you be doing for a living?
Yesenia: I would own a contracting business. I am absolutely in love with everything about construction. It’s a big hobby for me. I am currently building a new home. Sometimes, it’s quite the pain, but it’s worth it. I couldn’t be happier.
ActS: If you owned your own construction business, would you still wear skirts and heels and pantyhose?
Yesenia: I certainly would. As the owner, I’m sure I’d be doing many jobs, such as the secretary, the bookkeeper, the foreman, etc. I would wear skirts and heels and pantyhose to set a good example. And when I was on the construction site, I’d be the only one in a hard hat and pantyhose. That probably would motivate the work crews.
ActS: What are your goals in life?
Yesenia: Simply, doing everything I can to help those around me. I’d like to get certified in construction one day, I want to finish college, and, of course, be able to continue to model for a very long time.
ActS: What do you believe in? What are your values?
Yesenia: Honesty is a big thing for me. Knowing the difference between right and wrong, and being able to admit when you are wrong.
ActS: What are you most passionate about?
Yesenia: That’s a rough one. I would like to say construction, but it would have to be playing video games. I love that for a few hours, you can forget about yourself and all your problems and become this character that can whisk you away to another world. Video games can capture our emotions.
ActS: What are the top three things you couldn’t live without?
Yesenia: My cell phone, Twitch.tv and Xbox. (And pantyhose.)
ActS: That’s four things.
Yesenia: I know, but aren’t you glad I added that one?
ActS: Indeed I am. What’s the secret to winning your heart?
Yesenia: If you want to win my heart, you must never judge yourself or those around you.
ActS: What do you want people to know about you?
Yesenia: That I am an odd, old soul with much to offer when it comes to friendship. I can promise that things will never be dull with me.
ActS: OK, let’s get to the real questions now.
Yesenia: Thought you’d never ask.
ActS: Why do you love pantyhose? What do you love so much about them?
Yesenia: I love everything about pantyhose. They come in all styles and colors and can make or break your look. Pantyhose are like foundation for your legs. Pantyhose aren’t just an article of clothing, but a very important accessory. Pantyhose are a never-ending way you can express yourself.
ActS: Do you have a pantyhose fetish, or do you wear just because you’re a classy girl?
Yesenia: I’d say both. I love pantyhose and I feel like you should wear them for almost any occasion.
ActS: On average, how many days per week do you wear pantyhose?
Yesenia: I wear pantyhose nearly every day. Unless I’m doing something that may rip my pantyhose, I am always wearing them.
ActS: Do you carry a spare pair of pantyhose in case you get a run while you’re out and about, or do you think a run is actually kind of sexy?
Yesenia: I can actually say that in my entire life, I have only ever had a run in one pair and that was at the park doing a photo shoot a few years back, but to be safe, I always have an extra pair on me. I myself am not a fan of runs in pantyhose unless they were made that way.
ActS: Do people notice your legs more when you’re wearing pantyhose?
Yesenia: Absolutely. Pattern or no pattern, shiny or not, smooth legs can just capture some attention, and never in a bad way.
ActS: Do you ever get compliments from strangers about your wearing pantyhose?
Yesenia: I get compliments occasionally about the kind of pantyhose I am wearing, or overall, how they look on my legs.
ActS: What’s the best remark about your wearing pantyhose that anyone ever said to you?
Yesenia: That I have perfect legs and could make any pair of pantyhose look good.
ActS: What did you say back?
Yesenia: I simply said: Thank you, you’re being too kind.
ActS: Has a stranger ever asked if he or she could feel the pantyhose you were wearing?
Yesenia: Yes, it happened only once.
ActS: What did you say?
Yesenia: I said sure. The person could not tell at first that I was wearing pantyhose until she noticed the shine. I also told her the brand and where she could purchase them.
ActS: Do you ever wonder how it must feel to someone else who touches your legs in pantyhose?
Yesenia: Yes, all the time.
ActS: Have you ever felt the pantyhose on another girl’s legs?
Yesenia: I have. I met a girl wearing these new trendy pantyhose from Japan, and I asked if I could feel them.
ActS: How did you like it?
Yesenia: I loved it. I was amazed at how thick, but so sheer looking her pantyhose were.
ActS: What would you say to a girl who thinks it is too hot or too cold to wear pantyhose, or that they are uncomfortable, or that pantyhose are not in style or are irrelevant today?
Yesenia: I would tell her she simply needs to find the right balance. If it’s too hot, she needs to find a sheerer pair. If it’s too cold, she shoud wear a thicker pair. If she thinks pantyhose are uncomfortable, I would suggest that she may be wearing them wrong (maybe the wrong size, or ones with too much spandex). If she said to me that pantyhose are not in style, or are irrelevant today, I would tell her that you make your own style — not the other way around, and your own personal style is never irrelevant today.
ActS: OK, finally, are you preparing for the zombie apocalypse, and when it comes would you still wear pantyhose all the time?
Yesenia: I am totally prepping for zombies to take over the world. I am totally ready for it, as well. Pantyhose can serve as warmth, not just for my legs, but for my upper body. I could use pantyhose as a bag if needed to carry supplies. I could use pantyhose to carry my weapons, but the main thing would totally be wearing them. If I had to make myself look like a zombie to be invisible to a herd, I would put a few tears in the pantyhose and add some zombie blood to make it look as if I have some tearing flesh. I could use that to get past a herd. I’m going totally “Walking Dead” style here.
ActS: And you’d likely be the only girl wearing pantyhose during the zombie apocalypse (with the exception of myself, of course, and don’t ever forget I thought of it first, kiddo) so the guys in survivor groups would look after you more than anyone else, right?
Yesenia: Right. (In both cases.)
Yesenia, truly is a special young woman. She told me she likes to keep her legs toned and her feet soft with a pedicure. But she said her legs are not perfect, and that’s another reason she loves pantyhose.
And even though I didn’t solicit it, she added:
“When I wear ActSensuous pantyhose, my legs look perfect. Act IV are the best, and the shades are great to match with different outfits to change my skintone ever so slightly. The Nude are great if I want to highlight my natural skin color, Suntan are perfect when I am wearing something a little bit lighter and want my legs to stand out. The Light Taupe are my favorite because they go with so many outfits and give the look that you are wearing pantyhose, but still show off my skintone. And, Black, well, I am sure everyone knows how essential black is to any wardrobe.”
Yesenia said she still loves to wear tights and patterned pantyhose, but she considers ActSensuous “a must.”
“I am so glad you make these wonderful pantyhose,” she said. “I have worn ActSensuous for years, and Act IV are the best yet. If I run out of one shade, I panic. Most women pick the outfit first, then choose the pantyhose to match. For me, I start with the pantyhose, slip them on and see how they look, then decide what outfit I will wear to show off my pantyhose legs.”
Whatever brand or style of pantyhose Yesenia wears, I am just happy to know her. You don’t have to look hard to find hundreds of thousands of pictures on the Internet of celebrities wearing pantyhose. And you can find pictures of professional models wearing pantyhose with the latest fashions — further evidence that this boring “bear”-legs culture is wearing thin with most people these days.
What might be most encouraging though is finding thousands and thousands of pictures of real girls from all over the world wearing pantyhose. Who are these girls? Where are these girls? How do we find girls like them walking around in everyday situations and venues?
Well, Yesenia is as real as they come. She’s professional, she’s classy, she’s beautiful, and she’s really, really cool. And she’s just 23.
And now, at least, you know her. Somewhere, steve is smiling.*
*Steve (written as steve on this blog) is a longtime reader here, who’s made many comments, especially, about how much he and his girlfriend admire the photos of Yesenia.
Below, please enjoy the special gallery of Yesenia in the full shoot of her during a typical day at the (home) office.
This gallery contains 51 photos.
It’s baaaaaaaaack. Just a week from today, the NFL kicks off. Finally, life has meaning again.
My mind is filled with questions:
Will Big Ben and the Steelers be the Stillers again? (That’s how we say it “in the burgh.”) RB Le’Veon Bell returns in his sophomore season finally healthy, and RB LeGarrette Blount joins the backfield as a free agent. Will the black and gold’s offense resemble the Jerome Bettis days?
Will the Dolphins finally challenge for the AFC East? We’ll find out next Sunday, as the Fins host the Patriots. It’s a 1 p.m. game, and I’m hoping it’ll be 98 degrees with 95 percent humidity. QB Ryan Tannehill enters his third season with a brand new offense installed by new OC Bill Lazor, who was with the Philadelphia Eagles last year. So there will be lots of speed, motion and quick decision-making by #17, but behind an offensive line that features five new starters, after center Mike Pouncey underwent offseason surgery.
Will the Rams be able to overcome the loss of QB Sam Bradford?
Will Peyton Manning and the Broncos match or top last season’s record-setting offensive production?
Will the Seahawks dominate again, or experience a letdown?
Wait a minute. I’m off track here for the theme of this blog. Let’s get to the burning question that’s really on my mind:
Will Carrie Underwood go classy, or once again, slobby for the opening theme song of Sunday Night Football?
Having “Faith” in Underwood, assures she’ll go slobby again, and that thought has been driving me crazy for weeks.
During her reign as performer of the “Waitin’ all day for Sunday Night” theme song for SNF, Faith Hill went the way of the bear, wearing dresses or short-shorts, always bare-legged.
I suppose it’s possible she was wearing pantyhose under these very weird boots, but even if she did, it doesn’t count since she’s not showing enough leg anyway.
In any case, one would be hard pressed to call any of the outfits she wore to perform the SNF intro theme professional or classy.
In replacing Hill last season, I so hoped Underwood would show a little class, but that didn’t happen.
Instead, she wore denim short-shorts, a sleeveless top and cowboy boots, complete with “bear” legs.
What will Underwood wear for the opening act of SNF this season? Probably something else equally disappointing, including, of course, bear legs again.
I do hope I’m wrong, but whatever she wears, the chances that she will have on pantyhose are about as good as completing a Hail Mary pass for a touchdown.
As it turns out, in searching for Carrie Underwood on the Internet, I stumbled upon this video.
So, if this is the final wardrobe selection, we have our answer: Underwood once again will underwhelm, wearing a very short and strange-looking dress that appears tattered, comfortable-looking high-heel sandals, and, you guessed it, bear legs. Pause frame at 0:12/2:50.
I’ve written it before (last year, actually), but it’s worth repeating: The NFL has gone to great lengths to improve its image during the past several years. It’s a privilege to play in the league and to be associated with the NFL in all capacities.
The NFL is a multi-billion dollar business. (In the preview video, Fred Gaudelli, Coordinating Producer, Sunday Night Football, says “Sunday Night Football is the Number 1 show on television …”)
And, in almost every case, everyone associated with the NFL who appears on TV dresses very professionally. The guys in the booth, Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth, who call and comment on the game, wear business suits and ties.
Similarly, the female hosts on NFL Network wear pantyhose with their dresses and heels, alongside the male hosts and analysts who wear suits. (I’ve since been corrected about this. Well, for a while there, Lindsay Rhodes used to wear quite beautifully, though I haven’t seen her in a long time, so I really don’t know now, and Amber Theoharis was wearing for a while, but apparently now, she’s gone the way of the Grizzly. Too bad. She used to look awesome.)
And remember, all NFL cheerleaders wear pantyhose with their uniforms, even in the hottest months in the hottest cities.
If all these people dress with professionalism and class, why can’t Carrie Underwood, an otherwise professional singer/songwriter, do the same when representing the NFL?
It’s not like she doesn’t know what pantyhose are. She’s worn sheer pantyhose to perform on other stages.
No, sadly, this is a choice made by Underwood, the costume designer, the director, the producer, and/or anyone associated with bringing this act to the SNF stage.
And shame on all of them for wanting their star to prance around the stage of the most-watched show on Sunday night as if she were ushering in a barbeque for the big ho-down.
Way to go, folks.
NFL losing its mind
Seems to me that the NFL is getting goofy these days anyway. I get trying to protect players by making it illegal for tacklers (and ball carriers) to initiate contact by leading with the head, using the helmet as a weapon. I agree with penalties for grasping the facemask and for horse-collar tackles.
I can even see the point of emphasizing the enforcement of illegal hands to the face, but, c’mon, this is football. Things like that are going to happen occasionally, accidentally.
But this business of moving the starting point of the kickoff up to the 35 yard line to discourage a runback — ostensibly, the most exciting play in the game? What genius came up with that one?
And I understand the NFL wants more scoring, but not allowing the DBs to touch a receiver after 5 yards? And don’t get me started on PI. Today, all a veteran quarterback has to do on 3rd and forever is throw deep, knowing there’s a better than average chance the defender will be called for pass interference, resulting in an automatic first down.
Then, there’s roughing the passer. Since the days of Hall of Famer Dan Marino, and soon-to-be HOFers Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady, the NFL has wanted to protect the quarterback. I appreciate that. But today, you can barely touch a QB without getting penalized. You’ve seen it:
A defensive end or a rushing outside linebacker (or even a Safety on a corner blitz) gets to the QB, makes contact, but the signal caller magically wiggles out of a sure sack, scrambles to find a now-open receiver and completes a pass for a first down. And I’m not just talking Big Ben here. He does that routinely because he’s like 6-5, 265 pounds, and that’s just part of his game. He’s practically patented that move. I am talking about almost any QB today is able to escape being sacked, and I think it’s because defenders are concerned about getting penalized for roughing the passer. I’m not saying it’s a conscious decision by defenders. I just believe it’s in the back of their minds, causing them to hold up a bit.
C’mon, NFL, let these guys play football.
That’s right, I’m a petite little thing who wears nothing but dresses or skirts and heels and sheer pantyhose every day … and I know football. (A dream come true, aint I?)
Sorry for the rant, but these things have been bothering me for some time now, and what am I gonna do — write to the NFL? Puh-leeeeease.
Back to reality
Longtime readers here know I do not like, and cannot tolerate missed opportunities for entertainers to do the right thing.
I wrote this last season, and I’ll write it again here: There are so many more professional, credible, exciting performers who are much more glamorous than Carrie Underdog (not a typo).
If whoever is behind the production of the SNF opening theme song cared (obviously, he or she, or they don’t), a more professional and glamorous performer could do an exciting version of “Waitin’ all day for Sunday Night,” and look fabulous at the same time.
That guy I mentioned earlier, Fred Gaudelli, Coordinating Producer, Sunday Night Football, says of the SNF intro theme show for 2014: “It’s got a major star in Carrie Underwood. That’s the right star to open up a show like Sunday Night Football.”
Seriously? I soooo disagree.
In April of last year before Underwood was announced as the new SNF intro theme performer, I had written a post recommending a few stars I hoped would be considered to replace Hill (Who should NBC hire next to perform intro to SNF?) and my first choice was Katy Perry.
When I found out it was Underwood, I was disappointed. Why another country singer like Hill? Why someone else who likely would dress like she’s performing in a saloon?
In that post last year, I included a poll, and most of those who participated picked Katy, as well. (I like being right.)
Today, I still believe Katy Perry, Beyonce’, Rihanna and Jennifer Lopez would be better choices to do the SNF opening, as each is more professional and much classier than Carrie Underwear (again, not a typo).
I know those ladies would wear a fabulous costume that included sheer pantyhose. And this time, I’d add to that list Jessie J, and maybe Ke$ha and Shakira.
As far as I am concerned, consideration still should go to Selena Gomez and now Ariana Grande, but I do believe both are a bit too young and don’t have the credibility for such a venue yet.
Still, I am convinced both would at least have the good sense, good taste, professionalism and class to wear sheer pantyhose with their outfits. Something Carrie Underwhelming doesn’t seem to have.
Really, if I were producing the SNF opening theme, I’d probably feature a different performer each week singing her own version of that song.
And if SNF really wanted Underwood to do the singing for the first episode, I’d go for that. She could sing the song, but I’d get the Radio City Rockettes to do the actual performance.
That’s how you open Sunday Night Football, people!
Out of sheer morbid curiosity, I will watch the SNF intro performance next Sunday, but as Johnny Dangerously would say — “Once!”
I just want to see the pageantry and imagine what could have been one time. But after that, every Sunday night, I will have the telecast on until the intro theme comes on, at which time I will change the channel until I think it’s over, and then I’ll rejoin the program. My little way of protesting this missed opportunity.
Will you join me in this? Not sure it will make any difference, but it’ll make me feel better.
OK, your comments please. And please take the new poll. Tell us who you’d rather see perform the SNF intro theme.
Alright, alright, don’t get excited. This isn’t about a contest where you can don a pair of pantyhose with the hope of winning a cool million dollars.
If it was that catchy headline that brought you here for the first time, only to find that this is a blog devoted to wearing pantyhose (and you had no idea that such a thing even existed), let me save you from reading further. In fact, if you are one of those women who wouldn’t wear pantyhose (God forbid …) even if someone actually paid you $1 million to do so, you certainly aren’t going to like this blog.
On the other hand, if you a pantyhose lover, or are neutral about them, and just curious, well, welcome to The ActSensuous Blog.
Of course, longtime readers here know that this blog enthusiastically beats up on pantyhose haters and happily lavishes praise upon girls who love pantyhose, or at least have the good sense and class to wear them for all the right reasons.
You know, it wasn’t that long ago that pantyhose were practically run (pun intended) permanently out of town. But thanks to some very professional and always-classy celebrities (Christie Brinkley, Kate Middleton, Milla Jovovich to name a few), and so many young stars (including Ariana Grande, Katy Perry, Miranda Cosgrove and Selena Gomez) pantyhose are beginning to look all mainstream again.
I don’t know how much of an effect those stars have had on everyday females, but a search of the Internet shows that there are millions of “real girls in pantyhose” everywhere in the world.
Seeing the mind-boggling number of pictures of everyday girls wearing pantyhose in every imaginable venue makes me wonder whether there ever really was a threat that pantyhose could really be ripped out of lingerie drawers forever.
While not long ago, haters tried to convince the world that pantyhose are irrelevant and “not in fashion” in today’s society, now, I am wondering how much thought women give to that idea, if they ever really did?
One of the ways I gauge this is how often or not pantyhose show up in mainstream entertainment venues? And I don’t mean just movies and television shows. I’m seeing pantyhose more and more on TV commercials, in magazines, and even at fashion shows.
Thankfully, that’s not even a surprise anymore today, but how about those “real girls?” I don’t have the time or patience to sit in front of the computer and search the Internet to see how prevalent pantyhose wearing is among normal people. But how else can I see “real girls” in situations where they at least have the opportunity to wear pantyhose for the right reasons?
There’s one place, and I particularly like it. It’s the variety show, America’s Got Talent.
I have to confess that I’ve never watched a single episode of American Idol or The Voice, but from what I can tell from commercials, the competition is for singers only. I really like AGT, now entering its ninth season, because you never know what you’re going to see — singers, dancers, magicians, escape artists, jugglers, sword swallowers, ventriloquists, you name it. It’s the ultimate variety show. The other thing I like about the show is the performers are from every age group and every background imaginable. Some of the contestants have had their particular talent for most of their lives, but never had the opportunity to share it with a real audience, and so they hold regular jobs, and now, finally, have a chance to live their lifelong dreams thanks to AGT.
It’s also a competition where the ladies, at least, have the opportunity to grace their legs with sheer pantyhose. Many do, but too many don’t.
So here’s the reason for that headline: The contestants are competing against a massive number of other hopefuls, performing acts of every talent imaginable for a prize that includes $1 million and his or her own headline act in Las Vegas. They’re doing it on the biggest stage they’ve ever seen in their lives. And on the ladies, some of those costumes are pretty skimpy.
So I find it intriguing to see which of the girls wear pantyhose. To my delight, it appears that the majority of the performers do wear. And even though I know it’s going to happen, I’m sometimes a bit surprised and always disappointed when someone doesn’t choose to wear pantyhose, but really should.
Good thing I’m not a judge
It’s the biggest stage these performers ever have, and likely ever will, perform on in fulfilling their dreams to share their talents with a national audience.
Here’s the thing. It’s a million dollar prize, people! And you’re in Radio City Music Hall (among other venues). You’re performing for the first time in front of thousands of people, and millions more watching from home around the country.
So, what if wearing pantyhose helped the performer win $1 million? The point is, why risk it by not wearing them?
What I wonder is why there is any question? The contestants’ legs look so much better under the lights in pantyhose, and that will give them more confidence.
It’s a good thing I’m not a judge on this show because if I were, I’d say something to those who didn’t wear pantyhose during my comment/vote session. Probably, I’d say something like: “That was a great performance. You certainly have talent. I love the costume, but listen, you’re competing for a million dollar prize here. Get yourself a pair of pantyhose (bimbo).”
Admittedly, in the act at left, it would have been difficult and more dangerous if the female had been wearing pantyhose since she obviously needs to be able to feel with her feet the grip on her partner’s head. This might be the only justification for footless pantyhose to exist, and many girls wear them for performances like this one.
Then again, the sad truth is even the two female judges, Heidi Klum and Mel B, don’t wear pantyhose, and they’re the judges.
OK, well, I should say the two female judges never wore pantyhose until this season when Heidi has been wearing a few times already.
I used to really not like Heidi very much, but now, I’m beginning to like her a lot.
For this post, I found a few pictures of her in her fishnet pantyhose, but there have been a few cases in which she was actually wearing sheer nude pantyhose (not fishnets), and looking absolutely fabulous. Wish I could have found one those pictures to show you.
Sadly, it appears as if Mel B can’t be bothered to wear pantyhose. I’ve never seen her wear pantyhose once. And she really should. And I don’t mean just because she’s a judge on AGT. She really should wear. Her legs could benefit greatly from pantyhose.
In all fairness, I have to say it’s at least possible that Mel B actually is wearing sheer pantyhose in the photo above. It’s not easy to tell (for my eyes anyway), but I have to acknowledge that it’s possible.
Oddly enough, I found one pic of her in pantyhose (left) I think. It was for an AGT publicity shoot, but as far as I can tell, she never has worn during any real episode.
In this picture of Mel B in the red dress, it looks to me as if she is wearing sheer nude pantyhose, which would be amazing. I really can’t understand why she wouldn’t want to look more professional and feminine, as she is a high-profile celebrity serving as a judge over acts in which many of the female contestants do wear pantyhose. That, and the fact that her fellow judge, Heidi, looks so much more attractive and glamorous than her, and often wears sheer pantyhose.
During each episode, there are a few behind-the-scenes bits that are shown following commercial breaks before getting back to the competition. This is where I’ve seen Heidi wearing some gorgeous sheer nude pantyhose backstage.
A sheer stunner
In one behind-the-scenes segment of the second episode this season, Heidi was riding in a limousine to the AGT studio. The limo stopped to pick up Mel B, and when she got in, she immediately noticed Heidi’s outfit, a short dress, and to my delight, she said to Heidi:
“I like this,” referring to Heidi’s pantyhose. Then, to my surprise, Mel B caressed Heidi’s leg. It was amazing. Mel B ran her hand from just above Heidi’s knee all the way down her leg and back up again, feeling her pantyhose.
And Heidi responded: “I like fishnet stockings.” Trust me, they were pantyhose, but I don’t care if Heidi wants to say stockings instead. I just like that she wears them, and I love that Mel B felt her leg up.
It was intriguing since Mel B never wears pantyhose herself, so the fact that she likes them on Heidi and actually felt her leg up seems somehow vindicating to me. Or maybe it should make me even more disappointed in Mel B. She likes pantyhose on Heidi, yet, still won’t wear them herself.
Oh well. I guess you can’t have everything. I take my wins however they come, and this incident seemed like a win to me.
One of DirecTV’s ad campaign slogans is “If you call yourself a sports fan, you have to get DirecTV.”
If you like the variety show entertainment genre’, and you are a lover of pantyhose, you really should be watching AGT.
You just never know what you’re going to see, such as this bow and arrow marksman shooting balloons held by his lovely assistant, wearing pantyhose, of course.
Yes, there will be times when contestants dazzle with fantastic performances, but unfortunately, miss opportunities to accentuate their beauty by going bare-legged. Do they look good? Yes. But they could have done the right thing and looked even better.
But then the next act you see might feature another great performance, only this time with the female artists classing up the joint in pantyhose.
Here’s a husband and wife team who performed an exciting strength and acrobatic routine. How about that outfit on the wife?
I didn’t see this act, but unfortunately, the female performer didn’t feel the need to wear sheer pantyhose with her hot little number. That’s OK, you say, because she’s doing an acrobatic floor routine and needed to be barefoot. Understandable, but …
It just doesn’t look very attractive. And she could have looked much more feminine by at least wearing footless pantyhose, like the ladies in this act. They need to feel with their feet, too, but they still went the extra mile to make their legs look so much prettier by wearing footless pantyhose.
Don’t even get me started.
Please … Million dollar prize you’re competing for, people.
Niiiiice! Good job with that outfit. That’ll get you in the running for $1 million.
Much better. Not a great outfit, but at least this performer had the good sense and class to wear sheer pantyhose.
Once again, this entertaining act features a female assistant who, sadly, doesn’t see the need for pantyhose. Instead, she looks … boring.
Now, here’s a magic act. These kind of acts are usually pretty cool, and more often than not, the lovely female assistants really do look lovely wearing sheer pantyhose.
It just looks so much more appealing when the girls wear sheer pantyhose, and it shows they take the competition seriously.
Even the funny acts often feature a lovely assistant in pretty pantyhose. Here, this kung fu master attempts to stop time with his superior qi energy. Hey, at least, his lovely assistant knows the time of day.
Again, more often than not, dance and acrobatic performers show their professionalism and class by wearing sheer pantyhose with their outfits.
C’mon, what’s really the big deal whether the female contestants wear pantyhose with their costumes, some of you ask? Listen, it’s about doing the right thing. Not only are these performers competing for a prize of $1 million, they’re also vying for a chance to headline a show in Las Vegas.
Think anyone’s going to give these budding stars a shot at performing in Vegas when, no matter how great their acts are, they dress like they’re on stage at their high school auditoriums?
And if you still think it’s much ado about nothing, consider this: For all but one of them, this is their 15 minutes of fame. Likely, it’s the greatest show they’ll ever perform. Why wouldn’t they want to look their absolute best? Why would they risk not being taken seriously enough, when it is so easy (and the right thing to do) to wear pantyhose, especially, when they see that the majority of their competitors are wearing pantyhose?
Maybe it’s like everything else in life. Some ladies get it. Others just don’t.
What would you do if you had an opportunity to perform your talent on the biggest stage in the country, be all casual about it? Or, take it seriously? In case it hasn’t sunk in still, I’ll say it one more time — the judges are looking for a million dollar act, people!
I don’t care whether some of these girls have never worn pantyhose a day in their lives, and won’t ever do so again as long as they live. On the biggest performance night in their lives, they should step up. Most of them put so much money and effort into the equipment, the props, getting their costumes just right. But if they forego pantyhose either because they think it’s not important, don’t care, or worse, don’t even give it a thought, they are only hurting themselves.
What do you think, readers?
In any event, I’m telling you, for a wide variety of entertainment and lot’s of pretty girls wearing sheer pantyhose, you can’t beat America’s Got Talent .
America’s Got Talent is on from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. EST Tuesdays on NBC.
This week was one of the most eventful in the 13 years ActSensuous has been in business. On Wednesday, we launched a brand new website, coinciding with the introduction of an all-new product — Act IV.
Longtime readers know that I keep this blog separate from the business end of ActSensuous. In other words, I write the blog for your (and my own) entertainment, and that’s its purpose. It has always been for everyone, and it doesn’t matter whether you’re an ActSensuous customer or not. (The vast majority of you aren’t, including those who are the most loyal readers and commenters. And that’s perfectly OK.)
Many of you have written to me stating your respect and appreciation for my keeping the blog at arm’s length from the company. (And I appreciate that you appreciate that.) But, at least a couple of times, I’ve broke my own rule. Always for a good cause though.
This is one of those cases. I thought you might like to know the back story behind the launch of Act IV and the new website.
I conceived and created ActSensuous in 2001 after discovering I could no longer find the kind of pantyhose I’d always loved. I had been buying only 100 percent nylon, completely sheer-to-waist pantyhose for years, and all of a sudden this style was nowhere to be found. I looked everywhere, even online, but at the time, they just weren’t around. As this was 2001 — the very heyday of the “bear” legs movement (new readers, see explanation in the “About me” section here), it shouldn’t have been a surprise.
I finally met the buyer at my favorite department store and asked her about this. She told me the manufacturer her store was getting these pantyhose from was going out of business. Just another casualty in what would become an all-too-frequent occurrence in this new era of women preferring to go bear- legged.
Long story short (you’re welcome), I and my partner contacted that manufacturer and offered to buy the last of their inventory. ActSensuous was born. My thinking: If I was distraught about no longer being able to buy 100 percent nylon, completely sheer-to-waist pantyhose, maybe at least a handful of other women were feeling the same way. I never imagined at that time that hundreds of thousands of women (and men) actually do love this style.
For the first few years, it looked as if I had grossly overestimated the love and desire for — not just this style — but for pantyhose of any kind … period. Nevertheless, fully understanding the gamble (if not insanity) in starting a pantyhose business during the very height of the bear legs movement, I was determined to try to lead the cause to bring back all-nylon, all-sheer pantyhose — even if singlehandedly.
Somehow, the product I acquired from the manufacturer that was going under wasn’t exactly what I was used to buying. (Still not sure how THAT happened.) The quality just wasn’t there, but I was not going to be deterred. I called our product simply ActSensuous after the name I chose for my company, and at that time, I never dreamed we’d have anything but this one product in three colors (Black, Nude and Suntan).
Enter Act II
But after two years of struggling with a pretty cheap product in a bad market, I created a new product to replace the original. I called it Act II (thought that was pretty clever) .
Act II was a huge improvement over the original line. And for the next 10 years, it served its purpose well. Act II are 100 percent nylon, completely sheer-to-waist pantyhose. What does that mean? They are made of nothing but nylon (no Lycra/spandex), and have no gusset panel. But even though they are sheer-to-waist, I never liked that reinforced area that sits just below the waistband. It’s called the finger band, and its purpose is to prevent one from puncturing the fabric with the thumb when putting the pantyhose on.
Since they are all-nylon, we made Act II with a slightly tight knit to prevent sagging. Act II were wildly popular, and even though I was living with the finger band, there was just one thing that I felt I hadn’t accomplished in Act II.
The reason I always loved 100 percent nylon pantyhose is because of the sensual feel of the fabric moving on the leg (and in the hand of the person touching the leg). If you don’t know, or can’t imagine that feeling, you ought to investigate this.
To me, there is nothing sexier. The ActSensuous style of pantyhose is decidedly delicate. Wearing ActSensuous is like flirting with trouble. There’s a sense of vulnerability — for the wearer, and for the one who wants the wearer. The pantyhose have to be treated as the beautiful, delicate, delicious little number they are. What could be more feminine?
Act II are like that, but that slightly tight knit we used was for more practical applications. They are delicate and they move. But not much.
Act III takes stage
So, in 2009, I invented Act III. It had all the design features of Act II, except they were made in a slightly loose knit. For a while, Act III captured the hearts of everyone. Our customers from nearly every country in the world (even Bangladesh), told us that Act III were the softest, silkiest and most comfortable pantyhose they had every worn. Oh yeah, and the sexiest.
Voila! I had done it. Now, customers had a choice: Sexy but practical (Act II), or really, really sexy (Act III). My work was done here. Oh wait, not so fast. Eventually, we experienced some issues.
First, the nylon fabric of Act III was so delicate, the pantyhose were not standing up to the production process. They were being ripped to shreds. The answer appeared to be making the panty area out of a slightly more durable nylon mesh fabric, which was supposed to blend with the rest of the product. It’s pretty much invisible in Cinnamon, Nude and Suntan, but in Coffee and Pink, that mesh area stands out a little. Black was something else altogether. It just seems too grainy in places.
Act II changed too. An unintended cross-stitch crept into the production line, causing a slight reinforcement where the panty and the legs join. A couple of batches came out that way, but we didn’t know about the issue for a while because the new inventory was integrated into old inventory. It wasn’t until a few customers asked what the deal was that I even learned about it.
A new door opens
For a while, I was depressed. My dream pantyhose had flaws. Under the circumstances, I felt I could no longer state that our pantyhose were “completely sheer-to-waist.” Let me take a minute here and say that we must have the most loyal customers in the world. Whenever someone alerted me to an issue in either product, of course, I immediately made adjustments, and our customers were amazingly understanding and supportive. And loyal.
I vowed to fix the issues, but there was a bit of resistance within our plant in North Carolina surrounding how things were to be done. Even after repeatedly emphasizing the changes in the production process I wanted, it was a hit-or-miss process in getting Act II and Act III fixed to my own satisfaction.
Ultimately, I saw this as an opportunity. Since I couldn’t rely on the process for fixing Act II and Act III, I’d just ditch the two lines altogether and start over with a brand new product. Really, it was the excuse I needed to create Act IV — my vision for the most beautiful, decidedly feminine and sexiest pantyhose available anywhere in the world.
After another missed opportunity for a special campaign honoring Valentine’s Day 2013, I sat down with my buddy, Deb R., Director of R&D, and her assistant, Salina D., and explained my dream of Act IV.
Both women were totally receptive, but both are also more experienced (and more realistic) than me, and they politely told me the last thing I wanted to hear: “It can’t be done.”
They said “We really just can’t (translation: ‘shouldn’t’) make 100 percent nylon pantyhose in a slightly loose knit and completely sheer-to-waist in an ultra delicate fabric. But, if we added a little Lycra to the fabric … maybe.”
Were they kidding me? They know how I feel about this. But they said “Just a little spandex. It’ll make them more durable.”
I might be a bit stubborn (who, me?), and I am the president after all, so we somehow agreed to try anyway. We came close a few times, but I was never in love with the color, or the texture, or the knit, or the look, or the feel. We kept trying. And trying.
I can’t tell you how many times NC sent me samples (I’m in Florida). When we finally all agreed on something that was close, I’d have a dozen or so pieces made and send them to a few loyal customers/guinea pigs.
I am so grateful to them (they know who they are) for their honest feedback. I was wise enough to realize I was too close to the process. I either liked everything or nothing. I needed the feedback of other girls (some of them professional models). Their input was so helpful because it gave me the conviction I needed to continue pushing R&D and Quality to go back to the drawing board.
There were times even I believed Act IV would never happen. But thanks to the open-mindedness, dedication, hard work and positive attitudes of Deb and Salina, we finally did what we weren’t supposed to be able to do. We made Act IV to the exacting standards of my longtime vision.
It ended up taking 13 months before we could launch Act IV. Along the way, we missed Christmas 2013, Valentines Day 2014 and even a March 2014 Mrs. America beauty pageant. But Act IV are here and all is right in the world (my world anyway).
Act IV are made in a 100 percent premier nylon fabric, and are completely sheer-to-waist. There is no finger band: Just a one-piece luxurious nylon yarn from waist to toe for complete evenness in fabric and shade.
We even improved the waistband, making it softer, flatter and more comfortable.
I fully realize that my vision for the perfect pantyhose may be worlds apart different than most people’s. I know Act IV aren’t for everyone.
All I can say is Act IV are everything I always wanted them to be. They are the product I dreamed of when I created ActSensuous 13 years ago, and I am proud to offer them to our devoted customers everywhere in the world.
Whenever I need expertise in a support area, I reach out to our customers first.
A longtime customer, Bridget, a professional graphic designer who owns her own studio, has done many projects for ActSensuous. She’s created some beautiful full-page ads for the program books that are handed out during the beauty pageants we sponsor.
Bridget also created the original artwork of various grizzly bears ripping up our pantyhose for my blog posts, “Why bears don’t wear pantyhose,” playing on my whole “bear” legs terminology. Bridget also designed the Act III packaging.
Another, relatively new customer, David, has contributed artwork to ActSensuous, too. David, also a professional graphic artist who owns his own business, M28create, (dmjdesigner.com), designed the Act IV packaging. It is the most beautiful and classy packaging we’ve ever used.
And, David gave me a great price — four pairs of Act IV for his wife, Sheri.
Then, he “volunteered” to design our new website. I was so excited about launching Act IV, I wanted a brand new website to usher it in.
I’m so glad David started when he did because it ended up taking him three months to finish, timing it perfectly with the arrival of Act IV.
After seeing the beautiful packaging design David produced, my thinking was that David would improve the look of the original site. I had no idea his thought was to create a full ecommerce website. I couldn’t understand how it was taking him so long, but I knew he was doing this mostly as a favor, and figured he was simultaneously working on other projects for actual paying customers.
Have you seen the new website? It is awesome.
I’m still learning how to use it. Finally, it gives us some control, as in the case of if/when we temporarily run out of a size in a particular color. Before, we had no way of alerting anyone in real time, meaning customers would order something we didn’t have, and then I’d have to tell them we were temporarily out, and make other arrangements or resolutions.
David is the total professional. He is easy to talk with, very patient and completely devoted to his work, sometimes staying up until 3 a.m. working on several sites at a time, and making a bunch of little adjustments every time I think of something new I want for mine. The guy is a saint.
My sincerest thanks to David for creating a website worthy of ushering in Act IV, and reflective of the commitment ActSensuous has to waging the good fight against the bear legs culture.
To our customers all over the world, I appreciate your positive and supportive comments about Act IV and our new website.
We’re all in this together, and together, we’ll bring pantyhose back to prominence.
With Chinese New Year only days away, the number 3 (a good one in Chinese culture) loomed large for professional tennis star Li Na, who on Saturday beat Slovakia’s Dominika Cibulkova 7-6 (3), 6-0 to claim the 2014 Australian Open women’s single’s title in Melbourne, Australia.
Now, Li Na is a two-time grand slam winner, having won the French Open title in 2011. And, at 31, she’s the oldest player to win the Australian Open.
How significant is the number 3 in Saturday’s final? It was Li’s third Australian Open final in three years, having lost to Kim Clijsters in 2011, and to Victoria Azarenka in 2013.
And, having won today, Li will now be ranked number 3 in the world, edging out Maria Sharapova.
Oh yeah, and TV coverage of the match started at 3 a.m. Saturday on ESPN. At least this match didn’t go to 3 sets. (In her two previous finals in Melbourne, Li lost in 3 sets, after winning the first set in both appearances.)
Saturday, Li, the highest ranking player (4) remaining in the tournament after the Big 3 (Serena Williams, Sharapova and Azarenka) were all knocked out by the end of the quarterfinals, was serving at set point before losing 3 straight points, sending the first set into a tiebreaker. Li won the tiebreaker 7-3 (see that, another 3).
Even though Li jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the opening set, it was pretty obvious she was battling nerves, as she committed 19 unforced errors just off her forehand. But while Cibulkova had dominated in her earlier matches, easily and boldly dispatching the likes of Sharapova and Agnieszka Radwanska, the Slovakian was feeling the pressure of playing in her first ever championship match.
And, even though she came into the match feeling confident she could win, she finally was facing someone she couldn’t push around.
On the contrary, she found herself dominated against Li who was able to easily push her around, even while Li struggled to find her rhythm.
The first set lasted 70 minutes, with both players alternating between great shots and missed opportunities, but once Li won the tiebreaker, she settled in and played her game, overwhelming Cibulkova en route to a 6-0 second set that lasted only 27 minutes.
This time, Li was dialed in, hitting forehand and backhand winners on the base line and both sidelines. She dropped only 4 points on serve.
After the match, Li was her usual charming and funny self, delivering an acceptance speech that had the stadium rocking with laughter, as she recognized each member of her team in almost roast-style fashion.
OK, enough of the sports writing. Time to treat this as a blog. My blog. My way.
And since this blog is about all things pantyhose, I must give props to WTA analyst and former World No. 1 professional tennis player Chris Evert (winner of 18 Grand Slam women’s singles titles) who not only did a great job calling the match along with Cliff Drysdale, but who presented the trophies to both players.
Chris surprised me, wearing a nice dress with high heels and sheer pantyhose. I say surprised because every time I’ve watched pregame commentary by the former female players/now analysts, they are dressed extremely casually on the set sometimes in dresses, but always “bear”-legged, even though their male counterparts are wearing suits and ties.
So I’m proud of Chris for dressing appropriately for the occasion, as I can’t imagine even one of the other big-name former champions/analysts would have worn heels and hose in that situation.
(I couldn’t find a picture of Chris in that outfit to show you here, but you can catch a glimpse of her in this video of the awards presentation.) http://tennis.si.com/2014/01/25/li-na-australian-open-victory-speech/
In case you’re wondering, there are three (get that, 3 again?) reasons I’m writing this post here:
First, I was encouraged by seeing that you’ve been reading the first post I wrote about Li Na when I “discovered” her in 2011 and became a fan.
Second, I am so happy she won a second grand slam, I can’t sit back and not write about her.
Third, unlike last time, this time, I actually have some pictures of Na wearing pantyhose. There’s the justification!
Still, this post will be different from what you’re used to getting from me. You might not want to read this one unless you’re a WTA fan, and particularly, a Li Na fan.
If you do read this one, at least you’ll get a different insight into who I am outside of ActSensuous.
And besides, I have enough pics of Li Na in pantyhose, I need to write a lot to have a place to fit the pictures in. So, if nothing else, you can just enjoy the pictures and move on without really reading all this.
How it started
I had only just started regularly watching The Tennis Channel on DirecTV, and I grew to like Jelena Jankovic. I thought JJ was very feminine and I liked her game. But I had been growing weary of her drama queen antics, and then happened to see a Li Na match. I had never heard of Li Na, even though she had been a professional on the WTA since 1999.
I wish I had been following tennis back then so I could have seen more Li Na matches. Next month, Na (going with her first name at this point in the post) will turn 32, so I don’t know how much longer she’ll be playing.
Anyway, I loved what I saw. Na is such a combination of grace, elegance, beauty (best legs in the WTA) and power. Amazing that the first few matches I saw were during Na’s road to winning the tuneup match prior to the 2011 Australian Open, in which she beat the likes of powerhouse Petra Kvitova and the ever dangerous Kim Clijsters. Then, she got to the final match of the Australian Open 2011, where she lost to Clijsters, but won an entire country with her charm and sense of humor during post match interviews.
Wow, I had a female tennis hero. I had been watching the ATP and was an Andrei Agassi fan, then after Agassi retired, I really started liking Roger Federer. But now, I was watching the WTA (Women’s Tennis Association) on The Tennis Channel to see Li Na play. She was an incredible shot-maker and a sharpshooter, painting the sidelines and baselines. Her style was all out, and when that wasn’t working, Plan B was to hit the ball even harder.
I fell in love with Li Na and was so happy and proud of her when she became the first Asian player in history to play in a final (that 2011 Australian Open).
Later, Na made history again when she became the first Asian player (man or woman) to win a grand slam event (the 2011 French Open).
But then everyone saw what happened to Na’s psyche once she gained rock star status in China, and a ton of pressure descended on her to do it again. That, combined with the added pressure of being among the highest paid athletes for sponsors, such as Nike, Mercedes, Haagen Daz, etc., saw her go through the 2012 season winning only one tournament (not a grand slam event) toward the end of the year.
It was difficult to watch Na in 2012 because she should have won so many matches that slipped away in the end because of the pressure, her nerves and a new-found doubt.
Enter new coach Carlos Rodriguez, former coach of Justine Henin, who struck up a partnership with Na. It would prove to be the best thing to happen for Li Na’s career, as he took immediate steps to adjust Na’s game. And, perhaps, more importantly, her psyche.
Rodriguez put Na through a training regimen that would have challenged Navy SEALS. Then, he worked on her forehand and her serve. All the TV analysts love to talk about how Na’s forehand is the first part of her game to break down. They do say her backhand is the best in the game, but, oh, that forehand. Alright, already. I love Na’s forehand.
When she is in the zone, that forehand cross court shot is devastating. And I’ve seen her win a great many points with tat forehand. But, in all fairness, Rodriguez did reign it in a bit by getting Na to add a little top spin to control it.
Also, thankfully, Rodriguez changed Na’s service motion, which has added a little more power and consistency to it, and lately, that serve has been winning her some free points, or setting the tone for her to take charge of the point from the start.
But the biggest thing is Rodriguez has really worked to improve Na’s emotions. I knew Na needed an infusion of confidence, but I hadn’t realized how bad things had gotten for her until Saturday when the analysts pointed out that Na earlier confided in Rodriguez that, while so many others believed in her, she didn’t truly believe in herself.
Apparently, all the years she played tennis (started at 8 years old and turned pro at 16), she never got a single compliment about her tennis from any coach in China. That, along with her almost overnight star power caused Na much stress, as the expectations of an adoring world made it more and more difficult for her to focus during tennis matches.
Rodriguez may be the best coach Li could have, as he has spent a great deal of time reassuring Na and teaching her how to keep her composure during a match, and to forgive herself when she makes a bad shot, as part of the problem is Na is very hard on herself.
OK, there’s one other reason I am writing this post about Li Na, and if you’re looking for a place to bail out of this post, here it is. (I’d stop reading if I were you.)
Then again, this is where you’ll see a slightly different side of me.
This time last year, Na was in position to win the 2013 Australian Open.
Because I am a DirecTV subscriber and have the Tennis Channel, I was able to see every match Na played in the 2013 Australian Open. She looked so much more powerful and confident.
But I was concerned when Na had to play Agneiszka Radwanska in the quarterfinal match. Radwanska, at that time, was undefeated in 2013 and hadn’t dropped a single set on the year.
That match, I thought, would tell me whether Na was ready to contend for another championship title.
I was excited but nervous when Na won a tight first set, 7-5, Radwanska’s first loss in something like 26 or 28 sets I think. But then, Na dominated in the second set, winning it 6-3. I was starting to believe, yet, I still wondered whether Na could carry that over against Maria Sharapova in the semifinal match next.
OK, here’s that side you haven’t seen of me before:
Sharapova — or as I like to call her, “Shriek-a-pova” (because she’s the second-most annoying player of the WTA with that loud, obnoxious war cry on every single shot), had lost only nine games during the Australian Open heading into the match against Li. But Na destroyed Shriekapova in straight sets 6-2, 6-2. To me, Na looked ready to capture her second Grand Slam championship, and because this was the Australian Open, I thought it could actually happen.
In the final, Na would face Azarenka, THE most annoying player of the WTA. I hate Azarenka (whom I call Ass-a-renka since she makes an ass out of herself with that stupid shriek of her’s on every single shot, including her serve), only slightly more than I hate Shriekapova.
So, that Friday night 2013, I couldn’t sleep. And on Saturday morning, I watched, I cheered for Na, I spoke to Na through the TV, encouraging her every step of the way. And when Na took the first set 6-4 (she could have/should have won it 6-2), I was feeling good.
And even when Assarenka went up 3-0 in the second set, I didn’t panic. I know Na can overcome 0-3. And, I figured if this went to three sets, it favored Na because she’s the better mover, her conditioning is better, and, hey, it’s the Australian Open. I loved how 90 percent of the crowd was for Na. In fact, as the match went on and Assarenka got nastier and nastier, I couldn’t believe anyone other than her coach and her boyfriend, Bozo the Clown, could possibly cheer for her.
But secretly, I was worried. As much as she disgusts me, I have to say that Assarenka is tough. She seems perfectly comfortable being the bad guy, and I was afraid the hostile crowd that cheered voraciously every time Assarenka missed a shot, and booed her every time she had words with the chair umpire or slapped a ball down the court after making an error, might backfire by making her more determined. I was also a bit concerned that the overwhelming support for Li might creep into Na’s psyche. Who knows how these things work?
Turn for the worst
As I knew she would, Na overcame the 0-3 start in the second set, but I was stunned and extremely upset to see my hero roll her left ankle and fall.
The pain on her face scared me, especially, when she couldn’t put any weight on her leg. Along with the estimated 20,000 spectators who sat in stunned silence, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
But I know Li Na is tough, and I was not surprised when, after the tournament training staff wrapped her ankle, she was able to continue. She even leveled the set at 4-4. And when she eventually lost that second set 4-6, I still believed she would win the third set and claim the trophy.
But with Na ahead in the third and final set 2-1, a scheduled fireworks show to commemorate Australia Day delayed play for 9 minutes. I sensed a bad omen: It was a momentum-killer and it forced Li to sit in the cold night air (Australia time), which was not good for her swollen ankle.
And, sure enough, after play resumed, and during the first point, Na rolled the same ankle while chasing a shot wide to her backhand side.
This was almost unbelievable to me and the capacity crowd, but worse, this time, the fall caused Li to smack the back of her head hard on the court. My heart sank. Only this time, I wasn’t worried about the match — I was worried about Na.
Along with the crowd, I gasped at the site during the many replays. Everyone sat in disbelief and stunned silence as doctors rushed on to the court to evaluate Li.
And then it happened. During the concussion test, Na, in her ever-endearing style, seemingly embarrassed over all the attention, broke into laughter. Later, she said during an interview she thought it was funny that this was happening on a tennis court and not in a hospital.
But when she laughed, the crowd broke out into laughter too. It made me laugh and cry at the same time. Na is such a sweetheart, such a good sport, such a great person. What a little angel. She said that for a couple of seconds she lost her vision. It was a scary moment, but here she was lightening the moment with her cute personality, once again filling the crowd with a sense of awe for this magnificent, yet, humble and all too human a champion.
So many factors were working against Li Na. The cool weather after it had been so hot for most of the tournament, the falls (the first in her professional career), the 9-minute delay of the match for the fireworks show, the overwhelming support of the crowd, all combined to doom Li Na’s chances to win her second Grand Slam event. I wanted it for her so badly because I believed it would validate her, and restore her confidence once and for all. And because the Australian Open is her Grand Slam tournament. It her favorite event, and Li Na is so loved by most everyone there.
As it turned out, Li Na did what she always does – she was gracious, she was cute and funny. She joked about falling, saying it was “Because I’m stupid.” She vowed to be back better than ever.
But the ankle injury was more serious than anyone knew, and it took longer than expected for Na to return. She missed a lot of tennis, and when she did come back, she played well, but didn’t win much the rest of the year.
So, it’s last night Jan. 24, 2014 and Li Na is a finalist again in the Australian Open. It seems like there is justice in sports that Na has another chance to win grand slam event she covets most. The match would be aired at 3:30 a.m. today (Saturday). I thought about going to sleep and recording the match on my DVR so I could watch later and just blow through the commercials.
But who was I kidding? I wasn’t going to be able to sleep. Besides, I wanted to be there for every second of the match. I wanted to be part of each point, talking to the TV, cheering after each winning rally and encouraging Na after each lost point.
I am her devoted fan. I couldn’t not watch her match in real time. I didn’t want the result to already have happened without me there to help.
My stomach was in knots at 3 a.m. I wish I had known then about the good fortune that is the number 3 in Chinese culture. It might have helped me relax a little.
Chinese tradition considers 3 a lucky number. Three has its origin in Confucianism and Taoism. It stands for Heaven, Earth and Human being; philosophically, Tao means the amiableness among the above three elements. http://www.travelchinaguide.com/intro/lucky-number3.htm
The number 3 is considered a lucky number in Chinese culture. The number 3 is significant since there are three important stages in a man’s life (birth, marriage and death). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Numbers_in_Chinese_culture
In Mandarin, Number 3 sounds like the word, life, so it is considered a good number. http://www.chinese-traditions-and-culture.com/chinese-lucky-numbers.html
A charming New Year?
“Legend has it that in ancient times, Buddha asked all the animals to meet him on Chinese New Year. Twelve came, and Buddha named a year after each one. He announced that the people born in each animal’s year would have some of that animal’s personality.
(Chinese New Year begins Friday Jan. 31, 2014 — the year of the horse.)
“Those born in horse years are cheerful, skillful with money, perceptive, witty, talented and good with their hands.”
We know Li Na is all of those things, especially, witty and good with a tennis racket in her hands.
Happy Chinese New Year, Li Na .
I hope you win the next three slams this year (French Open, Wimbledon and US Open).
Either way, at least you won the one you were made to win – the Australian Open.
Congratulations, Li Na.