A Brief History of the Nude Body Stocking

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A thousand years from now, historians searching for clues of our civilization will find the collector's edition of Sex and the City, Uggs, and eventually, video footage of Britney Spears’s Las Vegas extravaganza, which opened this past weekend at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino. In this grainy film, they will see lots of smoke used to artfully engineer a dramatic entrance, dancers that look like stormtroopers on safari, and Britney Spears emerging from a metal orb, looking completely naked yet artfully bedazzled. And this is how they will discover the existence of the nude body stocking.

The nearly naked bodysuit has a rich history in the pop-star community: For years, entertainers have been wearing flesh-toned suits as a way to give the audience that Look! From afar, you think you're actually seeing my boobs! effect, while still being remaining fully clothed in the eyes of the FCC. One of the most memorable moments in the nude body stocking's lifespan was Britney's striptease moment from the 2000 VMA Awards, when she removed a masculine suit to reveal the sparkly pants, bikini, and abs hiding underneath.

But before Britney, figures like Grace Jones and Cher made their own sartorial statements in see-through catsuits, and now, more than thirteen years after Brit's sparkly, hip-gyrating performance, people are still slipping into bedazzled, semi-sheer body stockings, celebrating their own glittery, pantless existence. In honor of Ms. Spears's Vegas debut and the return of her signature bedazzled birthday-suit costume, take a look back at some of the best nude leotard looks of all time, from Scary Spice's whirlpool boobs to Karlie Kloss's icicle lingerie.

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