Hairy Tights Are Maybe a Thing; Leg Hair Phobia Is Definitely a Thing

An image of a woman in "hairy leg stockings" has gone viral on Sina Weibo (a popular microblogging platform in China, roughly equivalent to Twitter) with the caption "Super sexy, summertime anti-pervert full-leg-of-hair stockings, essential for all young girls going out [emoticon of clapping dinosaur with hearts coming out of its head]." It's prompted a lot of websites to claim that China has invented "anti-pervert stockings." Yes, China was sitting in her workshop, wearing one of those headbands with a flashlight attached to it, sewing the hirsute prototype for months. That's how the picture got on the Internet.

Whether or not the tights are an actual product (and I kind of hope they are), the Internet's response is very telling. At first there were a lot of vomiting emoticons, and then a bit of speculation about the product's use value: you can use it to scare away perverts so they think you're a hairy gross-o and then they won't hit on you! Wait, no, what if they're such a pervert that they are ATTRACTED TO body hair on a woman? Then you're screwed, big time. On the other hand, though, since all men are unanimously petrified of body hair, you will also chase away hoards of suitors with your leg-wig. Damn. What a conundrum.

It's ridiculous that we've internalized the imperative of body policing to the extent that we automatically assume that a pair of extremely hairy woman legs is some sort of anti-sexy armor that will dissuade all forms of sexual harassment (because it's totally about uncontrollable attraction and not about exerting power). It's also depressing that we, as a society, have become so accustomed to street harassment that it's somehow logical that a woman would want to cover her legs with fake hair in order to avoid unwanted attention in public.

On the bright side, at least everyone now has the foundation laid for a perfect sexy Mr. Tumnus Halloween costume!

"China 'Hair Stockings' May Help Scare Off 'Perverts,' Everyone" [HuffPost]