“Super sexy, summertime anti-pervert full-leg-of-hair stockings, essential for young girls going out,” said the attached caption, according to Shanghai-based bloggers ChinaSMACK.
Admittedly, this story is environmental only insofar as the original target audience were harried users of urban mass transit: it was featured in Metro, the free daily rag passed to Irish and Brit commuters as they cram aboard city trains. But halfway around the world in Jordan, where I live, it has resonance.
School’s out in Jordan. Like teenagers around the globe, my daughter and her multicultural posse are about to descend on town parks, pools and malls. Amman is a permissive place, with all manner of costume on parade from mini-skirts to abaya. But general tolerance doesn’t mean silent acceptance.
Unsolicited fashion advice is frequently hurled at young women in Amman. Loudly criticized or silently eyeballed, it’s an uncomfortable experience, particularly for a teen. I picture a flashmob of hirsute-legged young women in Taj Mall or Souk Jara: what would the reaction be? (Hallucinatory image only, as the girls are too “grossed out” by these tights to imagine pulling them on.)
In China, the legwear is attracting a mixed response. “So disgusting!!!’ said one commenter. “Essential for the subway?”, asked another.
Someone speculated the fad could backfire, “This will not only prevent against perverts, it’ll definitely also result in preventing handsome guys from approaching you.”
While the trend may be proving increasingly popular in China, it’s unlikely to catch on in Jordan, but it may already be a secret hit in more modestly garbed regions.
Image by Sina Weibo / @Happy张江