Apparently This Matters: Hairy Leg Stockings

Real or fake? "Hairy leg" stockings appeared on China's Sina Weibo microblogging site as a suggested way to fend off perverts.

Story highlights

  • An image claiming to be "hairy leg" stockings appeared on a Chinese blog
  • Trend-watching site ChinaSMACK suggests they're designed to be anti-pervert
  • Many don't believe the stockings are real since they can't be found for purchase

One day, a rather inconsiderate caveman turned to his cavewoman and said, "You know, Diane, you should really think about shaving your legs."

To which she replied, "Shut up, Kevin. Get a job."

Having yet to successfully create fire or invent the wheel, caveman Kevin was, all in all, sort of a lousy cave-husband. And, quite frankly, Diane was tired of being told what to do by a naked man who spent most of his time playing Golden Tee in a cave with his friends.

So she kept her legs just as they were. And nothing changed until around the 1940s. Which was a considerably long time.

"Apparently This Matters" Is Jarrett Bellini's weekly (and somewhat random) look at social-media trends.

Caveman Kevin never got to see his dream come true. Though he did finally ace the par-three eighth at Coconut Beach.

Obviously, there's no singular moment in history when Western women decided to start shaving their legs, but it was around the time of World War II when it sort of became a popular practice in America. And, consequently, it was about that same time when many Western men collectively decided that the presence of female leg hair was pretty much the worst thing in the entire world. Save for Nazis.

But it was a close second.

Of course, not every woman does it, not every woman should, and some women simply don't even need to. Nevertheless, the desire for smooth feminine legs spread throughout many places in the world.

Which is why one particular hairy legged image went insanely viral this week after it was posted on the Chinese microblogging site Sina Weibo.

It wasn't just that these legs were cartoonishly covered in such a forest of grizzly scruff that Robin Williams' arms sent them a formal letter of surrender.

It was the suggestion that these may have actually been hairy stockings for women, designed with the purpose of scaring away drooly men with lurking eyes.

The Chinese trend-watching site ChinaSMACK translated the picture's caption as: Super sexy, summertime anti-pervert full-leg-of-hair stockings, essential for all young girls going out.

Just like the other millions of people who saw this, I immediately searched all over the Web for any site where the stockings might be sold, and came up with nothing. Which was unfortunate, because, to the right buyer, they could make for a really funny bank robbery.

"Give me all the money!"

"Tee hee. OK."

Of course, the real question is: Are they real?

My gut (and all seven of my functioning brain cells) tells me no, but my heart wants to say yes. I simply need to believe that something this ridiculous might actually exist, for it confirms my longstanding suspicion that when it comes to good ideas, the world sort of topped out at the football phone.

However, if you look closely at the image, the leg hair just seems far too natural to be synthetic. But, then again, there IS a fairly defined cutoff at the ankle, which suggests that maybe -- just maybe -- these are truly some form of leggings.

I still don't think that's what they are, but, for the sake of argument, let's just assume we're dealing with an actual product. Thus, we have to ask: Who would buy them?

Well, as the ChinaSMACK caption translation suggests, the supposed stockings are for any girl who wants to go out and not be bothered by ogling men. Or, perhaps, they're just for any girl who hopes to be courted by a gorilla.

"Hi, I'm Gary. Can I buy you a banana?"

Still, for those really wanting to avoid the low wandering eyes of dudes on the street, one has to wonder whether this is really a better solution than, say, pants. Or a dress. Or a one-piece black leather Catwoman suit.

OK, maybe not that last one.

Of course, many women simply don't want to fully cover up during the summer heat. Nevertheless, hairy leg stockings are still sort of an extreme measure. And, on top of that, you also dangerously risk attracting that super-creeper one who's very particular and absolutely lives for this sort of thing.

That's probably the guy you want to avoid in the first place -- the hairy-leg-loving mouth breather who rides the bus all day.

"Mother said I'd meet a girl like you."

So, the online debate continues. Real or fake? Useful or not?

Either way, the ghost of caveman Kevin is not impressed.

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