Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Twitter User Walks (more than) A Mile in Pantyhose As Challenge to Women

An interesting development on Twitter came to my attention last week. On "LIVE, with Regis & Kelly", Kelly Ripa gave an on-air shout out to a male Twitter fan with username @stuckinhose as a result of his having worn pantyhose to work nearly every day since early last fall. As reported on "The Stir" by Lauren Flynn Kelly, co-host Kelly Ripa paired black pantyhose with her outfit on Feb. 17th because, "she switched up her usual 'childlike' tights out of solidarity with StuckInHose, a guy from New York tweeting his adventures in hosiery since promising a female coworker he'd wear nylons under his pants...

One of the fascinating aspects of this story is that Mr. Opinionated--the pseudonym used on @stuckinhose's Twitter account--did not take on this mission out of a desire to promulgate the male legwear trend, with which faithful Nylon Gene readers have long been well-acquainted. According to Twitter conversations with him, this arose not from a desire to wear hosiery, but instead to encourage more women to do so.  He wanted to prove that their complaints about the discomforts and annoyances of pantyhose are a gross exaggeration. 

Over the course of time since he began wearing pantyhose to work, Mr. Opionated began tweeting his thoughts on pantyhose to anyone willing to engage in debate with him.  As of this writing, he's posted more than 5,200 tweets.  They run the gamut from curious coworkers to far-off strangers who've heard of his situation and are curious to learn more about him or his motivations.  He has sent 140-character missives to many a female celebrity to compliment them on their choice of legwear, or chastize those who swear by the bare-legged hose-haters party platform. 

That's how he came to Kelly Ripa's attention this month.  StuckInHose had been critiquing her tendency toward opaque tights--which he considered 'childlike'--rather than opting for more elegant sheer hosiery.  He believes women in professional settings should wear sheer hosiery, because there is no question that it improves the look of their legs, and going bare-legged is unprofessional.  In her Feb. 17 Fashion Finder video blog, Kelly takes pains to point out she's wearing, "hosiery... HOSIERY--not tights" as she previews the day's outfit backstage.  Then, while sharing the story with viewers, she blew a kiss to StuckInHose.  He posted later that he would've never expected to have been mentioned on air, much less have Kelly blow him a kiss. 

Since then, his Twitter followers have grown by leaps and bounds, from a handful of insiders to about 250 in less than a week.  His profile reads, "I have been challenged by a female friend to wear hose to work under my pants..looking for females who want to help/have ideas/find it funny/etc."

As I've not had the opportunity to interview him directly and get more details, my observations are based on recent Twitter correspondence and review of his public Twitter timeline of previous conversations with other followers, as well as the spate of recent news items that have popped up.  It appears the original agreement between Mr. Opionated and a female coworker dates back at least to September 2010.  He agreed to wear pantyhose under his trousers each day to work for 90 days, ostensibly to prove that they're not nearly as bad as women make them sound. 

Assuming a 5-day work week (18 weeks), StuckInHose would've ended his 'nylon captivity' sometime around New Year's Day.  Yet here it is almost March, and he's still going strong--even going out to buy a $50 pair of Wolford hosiery in recognition of the brand Kelly wore the day she introduced his saga to her national TV audience.  It seems that there have been quite a few 'side bets', etc. that have added the occasional 5 extra days here and there (Geez, I hate it when that happens), which is why he's still got at least quite a few days to go before being 'set free' from being a 'hostage to hosiery'. 

While Mr. Opinionated insists he has no interest in the men's legwear trend, it's hard to avoid a couple of questions that spring to mind with respect to this story.  First, for a guy who isn't at all interested in the idea of men wearing pantyhose, or 'mantyhose', he seems to have taken on this 'chore' of demonstrating the hollowness of female complaints against hosiery with little resistance. 

Add this to how readily he was required to add days and weeks to his original 90-day ordeal, and the picture that emerges hearkens back to that old Shakespeare line, "Methinks he dost protest too much."

This should not be taken as criticism, though.  If anyone should appreciate how wearing of hosiery out of necessity for any length of time tends to cause one to discover a whole range of beneficial aspects, it would be me.  It was only after wearing support-style hosiery at a doctor's suggestion for relief from poor leg circulation that I discovered how several secondary benefits and how energized they make ones legs feel. 

Although he could be reluctant to admit it, for fear of the reaction of friends or family, Mr. Opinionated shouldn't fear the public fallout were he to acknowledge that he's learned to like the idea of wearing pantyhose during the past six months.  He would be among the very good company of thousands of 'regular guys' across the country who have made the same discovery.  Secondly, even if he truly remains fully committed only to promoting more frequent wearing of pantyhose by women, his exploits and the publicity surrounding it have the unavoidable consequence of furthering the public acceptance of sheer legwear as a male, or more properly a unisex, garment.  Each time a man who is by all appearances an otherwise average, ordinary guy--lacking effeminate or 'odd' personality traits--comes into the public eye while unapologetically wearing tights or pantyhose, it continues the erosion of those outdated misconceptions once held in the public perception.  That was the idea behind my work in developing this blog, and previous work as a public spokesman in support of this emerging trend. 

Consequently, the old notions associating men and nylon legwear with sexual deviations, etc. have all but disappeared.  I can't tell you how many people who have noticed my hosiery have commented that they assumed I must be wearing them for medical reasons, etc.  That seems to have become the new default assumption when it comes to a man wearing pantyhose. 

I wish Mr. Opinionated luck with the remainder of his time "stuck in hose."  It will be interesting to see whether he ever reaches the end of his 90 days.


  1. This is the perfect opportunity to show the world that we as men who wear pantyhose/tights for comfort is not a creepy thing! I would love to see what is going through this gentleman's mind and hopefully, give the mainstream media a good example of us!

  2. Yeah, I read over on the Legwear As Unisex Fashion (LAUF) forum that a bunch of guys there were going to post messages on the Regis & Kelly page, urging them to consider doing more in-depth treatment of the story on their show.

    For anyone who's interested, you can do so at:

    You can also 'buzz up' the story by sharing it on Twitter/Facebook. Just below the story is a 'Share With sidebar' that will let you easily share it with your followers.

  3. BTW, everyone. Here's a transcript of what Kelly (& Regis) said on the show on Feb. 17th, just in case you never got to see it:

    KELLY: I’ve gotta tell you. I’m wearing sheer, uh sheer… pantyhose. [RAISES LEG PARTIALLY ABOVE DESKTOP TO EXPOSE SHEER BLACK PANTYHOSE] I’m wearing, I’m wearing hosiery today… I don’t know if you noticed that.

    REGIS: Very nice.

    KELLY: I want to point that out. Um, there’s this… there’s this fellow on Twitter named, his name is “stuckinhose”. [MILD LAUGHTER IN AUDIENCE] And, he has made a pledge to a female coworker to wear pantyhose under his work trousers, every day for a year! He’s gonna chronicle what it feels like to be a woman wearing pantyhose…

    REGIS: And exactly why is he doing this?

    KELLY: I’m not sure why. You know, it’s only 140 characters. We can’t get into the “why?”

    KELLY: But every day he comments on my legwear. Like… he’s been feeling like my tights are too dark, and too ‘child like’. So, ‘stuckinhose’ [KISSES FINGERTIPS AND BLOWS], this one’s for you. [MOTIONS TOWARD HER HOSE]. How’d you like it?

    REGIS: That’s weird.

    KELLY: It’s weird in a good way.

    REGIS: No, it’s weird.
    It’s good weird, it’s not bad weird.

    REGIS: It’s probably some freak out there with hose…

    KELLY: I hope so

  4. He has been wearing them for a year under his clothing? I've been wearing pantyhose to work for 7 years to help reduce my leg pains. I do not have to tell you Steve how they have really helped my quality of life.


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