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Dina’s Diner 10/26/15

| Oct 26, 2015
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SHEER TO THE WASTE (BASKET)

The New York Times Magazine had a feature article on the decline of pantyhose in the October 4, 2015 edition. According to The Times article, “sheer hosiery entered a steady decline in 1995” referring to women’s disuse of pantyhose which is now in its 20th year.

Hanes_Ad_1977The Times Magazine article had a brief historical overview of ladies legwear. Perhaps not so oddly (considering the male-dominated course of history), leggings and stockings were originally worn by men. Later, more sheer versions of hosiery appeared for women. Before the widespread availability of elastic materials, women’s sheer stockings required attachment to garter belts, corsets or girdles. Thus, the societal acceptance of women’s hosiery also dovetailed with the restrictive nature of women’s underthings. To be fair, men also used calf garters to hold up poorly elasticized socks but the level of complication was much less.

When women’s suffrage and the Roaring Twenties came around, women began to cast off corsets although new elastic technology and materials (post-World Wars) helped brassieres, girdles and stockings retain their popularity for the next several decades. Oddly enough, the invention of pantyhose was a liberation from the complication and discomfort of traditional pantygirdles and stockings. Eventually, most of the traditional layering of slips, camisoles, girdles, and to a lesser degree, brassieres came under attack. And in the mid-’90s, pantyhose began to disappear from everyday use. The Times article points out that the bare female leg is now a symbol of empowerment: fit, well-cared-for, and tough enough to withstand the elements without protection from a thin layer of synthetic textile.

Pantyhose and tights, of course, live on as accessories rather than staples. Where retail outlets previously had yards of wall space devoted to all the varieties of pantyhose (control top, reinforced crotch and toe, sheer to the waist, queen sizes) and all the subtly different colorations, not to mention competing brands, there is now a smallish section of almost generic choices of leg covering.

I think it’s safe to say that most crossdressers have a fondness for pantyhose (and certainly the more classic stockings). In many cases, pantyhose was the entry point to dressing — before wigs, wardrobes, and cosmetics. And it remains popular as a fetish unto itself in some corners — even with men who do not identify as crossdressers but have a kink for wearing pantyhose.

If you have an unopened package of Hanes Alive suntan sheer-to-the-waist pantyhose circa 1997, hold onto them. You may just have a collector’s item there.

FOOKIN’ SEXY

Fook Mi and Fook Yu with Austin Powers.

Fook Mi and Fook Yu with Austin Powers.

I don’t know what made me think of the crazy Japanese twins Fook-Mi and Fook-Yu recently. Maybe it was the impending Halloween season. And lately I’ve been on a nostalgia jag where I’ll suddenly think of some person or image or event from the past. In any event, Fook-Mi and Fook-Yu bubbled up out of nowhere, stuck in my consciousness until something else squeezes in to replace them.

The twins were part of the Austin Powers in Goldmember film from 2002. I actually thought it was longer ago than that but a lot can happen in twelve years. The first two Austin Powers movies also had their funny characters and concepts (Alotta Fagina, anyone?) but the moment that Fook-Mi (played by actress Diane Mizota) and Fook-Yu (Carrie Ann Inaba) ran giggling onto the screen, I was starstruck. I wanted those girls so bad. I wanted to be those girls even more.

Like all great art ideas, the Fook sisters work on a couple different levels. Savvy, cool, filmgoers knew about the Japanese street scene girls with their schoolgirl uniforms and anime inspired hair and makeup. The double entendre names of the twins was right out of the Austin Powers playbook, as was the gentle fun-making at the Japanese-English accent divide. And, of course, there is the erotic holy grail of getting twins in the sack. So the characters always stayed with me — and probably will forever.

I don’t know if crossdressers are more stimulated by visual imagery than others although it stands to reason that could be true. I know that certain images of femininity or female sex appeal register very strongly with me. The Fook sisters are among select company. For example, that photo above of actress Karen Black in Hanes pantyhose has stayed with me since the 1970s when I first saw it in one of my Mom’s magazines.

You know you’re doing something right if others try to imitate or honor your idea in homage. Mike Myers’ Fook sisters are a staple of cosplayers and amateur Halloweeners these past dozen years. A Google search for Fook-Mi or Fook-Yu will return plenty of people (some crossdressers) emulating those kooky twins. You might say they are on the right road for a spanking. Oh, behave.

COLLARS AND CUFFS

Vernon

Vernon

The New York Times fashion magazine “T” is always chock full of stuff and the September 28, 2015 issue included a photo of jewelry designer Betony Vernon modeling some of her own creations. At first, I didn’t realize that the model was also the designer. I was struck by the image of an ethereal-looking woman in a vaguely erotic Victorian vampire outfit with gleaming metal cuff and hand accessories.

On further research, my instincts were correct that the model-designer was at least a little kinky. Her website carries a number of items that can be worn as couture accessories or bedroom implements depending on your social schedule. Ms. Vernon is also the author of The Boudoir Bible (translated into six languages) covering all things erotic.

An accompanying Times online profile of the designer said, “The self-proclaimed ‘sexual anthropologist,’ an American who has lived and worked in Paris and Italy for over two decades, uses design as a prism through which to explore rituals of human sexuality. The jewelry becomes a bridge to breaking that sterile, locked-up idea of love and bringing us toward intimacy and touching each other.” Her own website had this in her biography write-up: “Vernon brought a new value to the world of fine jewelry by introducing body ornamentation with sensual powers in her Sado-Chic collection, launched in 1992. The collection became the creative foundation for the controversial Paradise Found Fine Erotic Jewelry.”

Her designs do not come inexpensively to those lucky enough to adorn themselves with one of her silver cuffs (1,745 euros), a sterling sphere collar (4,050 euros), or the matching bracelet design (1,940 euros). The sterling hand cover shown in the Times magazine was listed at $5,750 US. But you really can’t put a price on pleasure.

THIS SEXY COUGAR WAS MORE OF A TROJAN HORSE

Tang, faux MILF.

Tang, faux MILF.

I saw an online news item from China that had an interesting angle. The article appeared on Yahoo.com on October 22, 2015 under the byline of Lee Moran of unstated affiliation. Below is the copy that appeared (accompanied by several photos of the suspect).

“A former [hair]stylist in China robbed men he’d met online by dressing up as a beautiful woman, luring them to a hotel and drugging them, police said. The 48-year-old, surnamed Tang, pretended to be a well-off, divorced woman who was just ‘looking for a good time.’ He’d entice men with sexy snaps over social media to hotel rooms. But once they were together, he’d slip them sleeping pills and make off with their cash and valuables. Cops had previously been unable to gain a good description of Tang. But [one victim] gave such a detailed account of what he looked like that officers were able to arrest him at another hotel later that day. Reports said that not even police realized Tang was a man when they brought him into custody. They had originally thought he was a female con artist, until he removed his wig and make-up.”

The interesting angle was that the crossdressed Tang wasn’t trying to disguise his/her age in the scams. It seems that the middle aged divorcee “cougar” slant was part of the appeal to the victims. The victim who eventually helped police capture Tang was only 22 years old. So let’s at least give a nod to the recognition that sex appeal can laugh in the face of passing years. In the face of the victims and police. . .  maybe not so much.

IT WAS FORTY YEARS AGO TODAY

Well, almost to the day. The New York Times reported recently that The Rocky Horror Picture Show is forty years old. The article appeared in the October 4, 2015 edition with an eye-catching photo of Dr. Frank-N-Furter in his iconic bustier and fishnets.

Rocky_Horror

According to the Times, the film opened in late September 1975 amidst concern by the Fox studio executives of how it would be received by the public. One of the executives got the idea to market it as a “midnight movie” after the cult success of the earlier Pink Flamingos. The rest, as they say, is history.

Before it was a film, it had been a stage show in London. The live version also starred Tim Curry as the “sweet transvestite.” In a sad acknowledgement of the passing years, The Times reported that Mr.Curry had suffered a stroke in 2012. He came to accept his place in cinematic history in drag after initial qualms. “I feel lucky” he told The Times.

The film plays on at 75 midnight showings around the country to this day. Proving its cultural status for social misfits everywhere, Rocky Horror itself has been referenced in other films about teen angst. The now ubiquitous saying “Don’t dream it, be it” is from the movie forty years ago.

When you think of all the effort that goes into moviemaking, and the artistic and financial aspirations of their screenwriters, directors, actors, and studio executives, it’s especially heartwarming to see a screwball concept like Rocky Horror succeed where so many others fail. If it was a movie, you’d never believe it.


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Category: Transgender Community News, Transgender Fun & Entertainment, Transgender Opinion

dina

About the Author ()

I started crossdressing and going out publicly in 1988. I joined the Renaissance group in the Philadelphia area that year and later became chapter leader for two years in the '90s. I always enjoyed writing and wrote for the Renaissance newsletter and magazine throughout my membership years. I've been writing for TGForum for several years now. I also contributed items to LadyLike magazine and other TG publications before the advent of the internet. My hobby-within-a-hobby is singing live as my alter-ego Dina Sinatra and I have had the opportunity to do that with several accommodating performers and in a number of venues over the years since the mid-1990s. In the Diner column items here, I try to relate crossdressing or transgender themes (and my own pet peeves and fetishes) to the larger world -- and vice versa.

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