It’s summer in the northern hemisphere, which means hemlines and temperatures are rising. Along with them comes the cultural expectation that female legs should appear as smooth and hairless as the marble buttocks of a Michelangelo sculpture.
As these lovely, bare limbs traipse through cities across the continent, many of the women attached to them will be subject to an increase in admiring glances as well.
Which is all perfectly understandable, by the way. But what to do if some of that attention turns creepy? Do you melt on a scorching day by wearing jeans instead of shorts? Do you just stay home until winter?
In China, according to Weibo, all the smart ladies are wearing hairy-leg stockings to ward off subway perverts.
Based on a picture posted to the micro-blogging site, the stockings look like nylons embedded with the leg hair of a thousand gorillas. What makes the image particularly funny is that the stockings stop at the ankle, contrasting the perfectly hairless female feet below.
“Super sexy, summertime anti-pervert full-leg-of-hair stockings, essential for all young girls going out,” the photo caption reads.
“This will not only prevent against perverts, it’ll definitely also result in preventing handsome guys from approaching you. When things go to the extreme, they can only go the opposite direction!” another Weibo user chimes in.
While sites like the Daily Mail have been quick to call these stocking the new “trend” in China, more seasoned skeptics believe the stockings may be little more than a well executed joke, a hoax designed for the viral Internet age.
Also see: Controversial new fashion trend
“It's all sort of smart, right? But there's a problem (besides the basic concept that this doesn't help anyone who wears pants): it's unclear whether you can buy them. The Weibo post doesn't say where you can purchase them, and Mashable notes that it's unclear whether they're for sale,” writes Alexander Abad-Santos of The Atlantic Wire.
He’s got a point.
Also, if unwanted attention is what you’re trying to avoid, slipping on a pair of stockings that make Robin Williams look like an extra in a Nair commercial is probably not the way to go, so there’s that.
If the stocking are real, however, and young women are actually wearing them around major world capitals, this could trigger some very interesting conversations about the role of body hair in public transit discourse.
What do you think: Joke or legitimately effective anti-creeper strategy?
Hairy stockings not enough for you? Scroll through the slideshow below to see other strange legwear.