Critics of sagging pants have it all wrong.
It’s not a deliberate fashion statement. It’s a clothing malfunction.
Why else would guys want to show their rear ends to women and men?
While they could have an underwear fetish an argument can be made they’re simply too lazy to pull up their pants.
What brings this up again is a city council in the Alabama community of 3,200 dubbed Dadeville that wants to slap penalties on people who wear “inappropriate clothing.” They are specifically targeting sagging pants but so they wouldn’t be accused of gender bias they tossed in women who wear short skirts for good measure.
The concept of “inappropriate clothing” is a moving target. Back in the 1940s baggy pants worn way above the waist along with baggy suit jackets were considered by many vulgar fashion. Zoot suits have faded from the vision of fashion police. Meanwhile sagging pants that started appearing in large numbers in the 1980s are still drooping strong.
No higher authority than President Obama thinks sagging pants need to go.
The President told MTV a few years back, “Brothers should pull up their pants. That doesn’t mean you have to pass a law . . . but that doesn’t mean folks can’t have some sense and some respect for other people. And, you know, some people might not want to see your underwear — I’m one of them.”
The City of Ocala in Florida did pass a law in 2014. They crafted it fairly narrow, however, making it illegal to have sagging pants and have underwear or crack showing on city property. Violators can face fines of up to $500 or six months in jail per violation. Obviously no sagging is allowed in city parks.
Fifty years ago, sagging pants showing underwear would have been interpreted as borderline indecent exposure. But then again those who did show crack were the cliché overweight plumbers bending over on their knees to repair pipes under a kitchen sink.
The funny thing about sagging pants is that they don’t really irk me as much as they once did.
I still don’t want to know whether you are a boxer, brief, or bikini guy. Besides you never see a saggy pants guy wearing bikini briefs — thank goodness — and rarely do they wear briefs. Instead they go for the puffy clown rear-end style made possible with boxers.
Nor do I laugh any more about guys who believe their waistline is south of their buttocks and wear their pants accordingly. It’s their problem if they develop a nasty habit of walking slightly bow legged to keep from tripping on their “personal” fashion statement.
Actually, that is where the pants hit the ground. Sagging pants are part of a persona.
It’s supposedly tells the world you’re cool, bad, chillin’, dope, legit, sick, tight, badass, the bomb, epic, rad, boss, sweet, awesome or the cat’s meow.
Given the fact saggy pants have been around for almost 40 years, it means saggers are no more badass than their grandparents. That’s pretty lame.
What’s worse the look has been hijacked by Justin Bieber.
Sorry but egging your neighbor’s house doesn’t make you a badass.
So if deliberately sagging your pants is a sign of rebellion it is pathetic.
It isn’t exactly rebelling if your father’s generation and his father’s generation did the same thing.
If anything it makes you a conformist.
Completely rebelling would be wearing just your underwear. Given how low some extreme saggers go this wouldn’t be much of a stretch, or more apropos, much of a drop.
The message saggers send to most of the world today is that they are losers.
It’s not a case of not pulling up your pants so much that make you a loser as it is the fact you think the best part of you to draw attention to is your rear-end/underwear.
If that’s your proverbial “best foot forward” the world shouldn’t be trying to criminalize saggers but instead show them sympathy for essentially feeling they need to tell the world they are losers.
The American Civil Liberties Union has the right reaction to the Alabama city’s proposal to address “inappropriate clothing.” You can’t make a law that does what the council members want to accomplish.
This is America. People have the right to be losers if they so choose.
This column is the opinion of executive editor, Dennis Wyatt, and does not necessarily represent the opinion of The Bulletin or Morris Newspaper Corp. of CA. He can be contacted at email@example.com or 209.249.3519.