Celebrity Invention: Catwoman's Booty-Accentuating Pantyhose

patentsrichfamous_280(2).jpgSome celebrities aren't just pretty faces. A few of them are also touched with that Yankee prowess for tinkering and invention. In this weekly series, we introduce you to the Patents of the Rich and Famous. And maybe you learn a little bit about how patent literature works along the way.

Inventor: Julie Newmar

Known For: For all you ladies (or gentlemen) planning on dressing as Catwoman for Halloween, you can thank Julie Newmar for making the feline villainess inherently sexy. Newmar is most remembered for portraying Batman's hottie nemesis in the 1966 Batman series. She may have only appeared in 13 episodes, but we're thinking prancing around in that black leathery cat-suit didn't hurt her fan-base.

Since her superhero days, she's been working the cameo circuit, appearing on The Beverly Hillbilies, Bewitched, The Twilight Zone, and several other films and television shows.

Newmar also has a movie about drag queens named after her: To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar. The movie chronicles the journey of three drag queens en route to Los Angeles with a saucy photo of Julie Newmar in hand. Newmar even appears toward the end of the film. Check out her guest spot below:

At least she'll always have Catwoman.

Since the woman spent lots of time in a skin-tight suit, it makes sense that her invention helped accentuate her... oh, you know the joke.

Invented Apparatus: "Pantyhose with shaping band for cheeky derriere relief"


newmar2.jpgLooks like a regular pair of tights. But apparently they help "delineate the wearer's derriere in cheeky relief":

The pantyhose include a rear panty portion which covers and confines the wearer's buttocks. An elastic shaping band is attached to the rear panty portion and is connected from the vicinity of the wearer's crotch rearward to the vicinity of a waist band of the pantyhose. The elastic shaping band fits between the wearer's buttocks to produce the desired cheeky relief thereof.

We can't imagine that Newmar's derriere needed too much relieving, but she probably had you ambitious Halloween costume creators in mind. Not just any derriere can pull off a catsuit.

Rationale Behind Invention: Unlike control top tights or Spanx, Newmar's 'hose celebrate the buttocks. Newmar recognized that other stockings helped tighten a flabby tummy, but in doing so confined other curves:

Usually the more flattening of the wearer's lower abdomen that is achieved, the more tendency there is to flatten and denaturalize the wearer's derriere.

A flat derriere is a denaturalized derriere. Newmar's patent brings out the booty in you.

The present invention provides pantyhose of a semi elastic fabric which enhances natural shape of a wearer's derriere giving it cheeky relief, rather than boardlike flatness.

Off Label Uses:  We're guessing the men of To Wong Foo and real-life drag queens around the world have donned a pair of Newmar's pantyhose for cheeky derriere (and other) relief.

Future Directions: While this invention provides "relief" as in "an apparent projection of parts in a painting, drawing, etc., giving the appearance of the third dimension," it's hard work being Catwoman, or even just trick-or-treating. A specially formulated, time-release Tiger Balm coating could help provide relief for aching muscles.

Read more celebrity inventions.

Presented by

Rebecca Greenfield is a former staff writer at The Wire.

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