The American culture has had many different trends. Though older individuals have never quite approved of young men and women’s dress code, it has been excepted and never severely charged. Fashion trends have become an expression of one’s personal style among today’s youth. In some cases, it can be thought that a certain type of dress is directly connected to performance, attitude, and overall behavior in school, outside activities, and life in general. The continued argument between parents and their children over what is considered to be deceit has lasted since the beginning of time.
A very popular yet rarely fashion statement among teenagers these have raised the question of indecency and criminal activity to many older concerned individuals. Sagging pants worn below the waist line, intentionally revealing undergarments is considered by some to be highly inappropriate, to such a degree that action must be taken. The style of pants sagging was said to be founded by people in prison. It’s a style that was copied from incarcerated individuals that were gay. This inappropriate trend has started an epidemic in the world that keeps growing.
The style of sagging pants has affected communities throughout the world. It has a strong effect on many individuals way of living. Many people say that the hip hop culture is behind this widespread movement. Some areas of the world are trying to put an end to this silly trend. Many Americans see it as a style that shows no steps forward to ending. This negative trend seems to have a bad influence on the younger generation. Sagging pants worn below the waist line, intentionally revealing undergarments is considered by some to be highly inappropriate, to such a degree that action must be taken.
Pastor Diane Robinson of Jacksonville, Florida was the first of many to take it upon herself to correct what she saw as “personally offensive” (Goodwyn). The Pull up your Pants campaign, started by Robinson in April of 2007 has many people beginning to take initiative behind attempting to convince young people that their “inappropriate” apparel is not attractive. Robinson’s goal is to collect as many belts as possible and distribute them to young men and women with the slogan “Pull up your Pants!
Need Help? Here’s a Belt” (Steiner). Robinson’s campaign has been seen as both inspirational and unnecessary, from either side of the controversy’s stances. Many people of higher positions have also decided that they are fed up with having to see the youngster’s underwear. State Sen. Gary Siplin feels that the sagging pants worn by young people hinders hygiene and has taken a stance by “sponsoring legislation that would ban the popular fashion statement at public schools. Suspension would be issued to any students caught wearing their pants at an inappropriate level below the waist line. (Steiner). With the right to self expression on the line, more adolescent individuals are having a hard time accepting the punishments given by an older generation. It should not be thought that because a young man is walking around with the top of his colorful boxers showing he is a criminal. The lack of respect given by teenagers is not due to the fashion of today’s youth, it is directly connected to the rebellious mind of a young person.
A campaign entitled “Pull up Your Pants! ” may sound intriguing to someone older than the age of thirty, but to a younger crowd the motto is nothing more than a way of making jokes of their attire. What the older, more conservative men and women do not understand is that no matter what they try to make this into, it will never sound good to a teen. The distribution of belts by Mrs. Robinson is less likely to convince young men to pull their pants up than our chances of getting out of the Middle East anytime soon.
Not because it would help the teens become better dressers, but because adults are attempting to convince them that their choice of outfit is wrong. The belt campaign is said to be viewed more symbolically than anything, since without a belt it would be impossible to wear one’s pants as low as the fashion industry requires (Goodwyn). The issue of sagging pants has become so controversial that today’s television shows are discussing it. Dwaine Caraway (who sought to pass a city ordinance to make saggy pants illegal), the deputy mayor pro tem of Dallas, Rev. Al Sharpton, two mothers against the trend of saggy pants; a dad who approves the trend and wears his own pants low his two sons, and the two members of the hip-hop duet Ying Yang Twins, who were split on the issue (D-Roc is anti, Kaine is pro) (Tomaso). Caraway made it his mission to come to Los Angeles, despite his fear of flying. “If the Lord wanted me to fly, he would have made me a bird, he had said. But he went anyway, because the issue is that important to him” (Tomaso).
His argument against the style included the moral stance of respect, “It is disrespectful to females, an offshoot of hip-hop culture. It’s disrespectful to a 3-year-old. It’s disrespectful to an 89-year-old grandmother” declared Caraway in a heated debate during the episode, though unlike the other guests he refrained from shouting and speaking out of turn (Tomaso). The issue of sagging pants has become more and more controversial in the last year; there are many different stances and many different arguments for and against the trend.
One interesting argument against the fashion statement is that the pants worn below the waist began in prison, it was a gesture to let the other men know that one was easy and “available” (Overton). Trends come and go all the time, think about how many poodle skirts have been worn in the last forty years. If the issue were left alone it would have eventually taken care of itself. Unfortunately the crusade against the sagging trousers will prolong the trend rather than prevent it. The more attention showered on young men who decide to wear their pants around their knees, the more likely the trend will last a long time.
Though it may seem inappropriate to some, the display of the tops of boxer shorts is not totally offensive. The “indecency” claim many people are trying to make sounds silly, mostly because it isn’t meant to offend anyone in particular. Most people would rather have to look at a small strip of design above someone’s pants than the butt crack or ridiculous cleavage of a very young girl. The right to self expression is what is at stake here, and there are already twelve states with passed ordinances banning baggy pants in particular areas (Goodwyn). One targeted group should not be tolerated, if sagging pants are too be banned then so should thong lines and Dixie shorts.
Emil Steiner. “Florida Preacher Fights Hip Hop Fashion. ” April 9, 2007. Washington Post < http://blog. washingtonpost. com/offbeat/2007/04/florida_preacher_fights_hip_ho. html>. Wade Goodwyn. “In Dallas, a Hip Hop Plea: Pull Your Pants Up. ” Oct. 24, 2007. NPR. Bruce Tomaso. “Dwaine Caraway featured on ‘Dr. Phil’ over campaign against saggy pants. ” Jan. 29, 2008. The Dallas Morning News. Deborah Overton. “Christian Rapper Says Up with Pants. ” Oct. 21, 2007.