Fashion Style or Indecent Exposure: The Sagging Pants

The meaning of sagging pants refer to the practice of wearing pants below the waist, in such a manner that it reveals some part of the person’s underwear. In some parts of the world this fashion is also referred to as ‘low riding.’ Although this fashion developed in prison where inmates are not allowed to wear belts as a way to prevent self hanging or the hanging of others, it later came to signify other things. Those who pulled their pants down the lowest and show their behind a little more, were sending an invitation to engage in a homosexual act. Unfortunately, many cultures of prison have overflowed into the community and today we have come to the point where young men have adopted the clothes language of inmates in prison.

This style has flowed into the community and started with seventh and eighth graders. It appears that they were emulating this style from music videos and fashion magazines. The style has been transformed into something that represents counter culture. The sagging pants have the potential to send both homoerotic and homophobic signals. It is almost like the young men are daring people to look at their behinds or to take their manhood.

In some ways our culture embraces this style as a fad but what point do we take a greater responsibility for what we place on television and start changing these images? We see images that perpetuate the idea that it is alright. We have to set a community standard. Young people have given up on society as a result of the obstacles they face. Instead of fighting back, they join the subculture of drugs and crime as a means of what they believe will uplift them from poverty. There is a mixed message of what is cool and hip in the ‘hood’ and what is hip and cool in prison. There is a challenge to our brothers to pull up their pants and lift up their heads.

Should communities propose ordinance banning sagging pants that show too much of a person’s underwear or that can be viewed as partial nudity? To stop the wearing of sagging pants, does it really need to be up the government? Should it not start with parental control? Many parents have tried to work on what their children are wearing, some have even informed their children, “Pull up your pants or you can’t go into the store.” Although, not many children that are wearing sagging wants will want their parents telling them to do so.

We know America loves a bad guy; we can see that in movies and music videos every day. So, many young males are imitating this seemingly hardcore status. But in the process, they are degrading themselves, showing a lack of respect for themselves and others. Sometimes the outward appearance can represent something positive or tell a lot about you, but other times it can represent something that will turn others away. The bottom line is, this trend is sending the wrong message.