Sagging has been a hot and controversial topic for for at least 20 years. I understand the history behind it, including: 1) That sagging started in prison because guards took away belts so that inmates couldn’t hang themselves. So they got used to having sagging pants and continued in the streets. 2) Sagging pants in jail was a “code” that the guy sagging was “available” to other prisoners. 3) We all know what Saggin spells backwards.
However, I think to an extent a lot of people are over thinking this. To me, people sagging are just doing it because it is a style. A fashion trend. Recall that Mark Wahlberg “Marky Mark” used to sag his pants in Calvin Klein ads in the early 90’s:
To an extent it’s a rebellious form of expression for youth, which every generation has done in different ways. The 70’s had Afro’s and hippies, the 80’s had the Hip Hop movement, etc. I’m Generation Y. I was born in the 80’s and grew up in the 90’s. For me, I remember sagging being a big part of Hip Hop. Most kids today don’t even know what Hip Hop really stands for (4 elements of Break Dancing, Scratching/DJing, Graffiti, and then Rapping). Self expression was key. We used to rock Cross Colours, Karl Kani, fat rope dookie gold chains and Adidas suits. When I was a kid groups like TLC, Kris Kross and even MC Hammer were wearing extra big, baggy pants–so this became the cool style to represent. We wore big baggy pants too, and saggy pants naturally came with it. I used to sag my pants every single day! I didn’t care what my parents or any adults thought, their complaints went in one ear and out the other, and they would verify that to this day! They hated it. My friends and I would even laugh at people who wore their pants “correctly” at their waists–we thought that looked funny! Anyway, I think that’s all it is with these kids today. They do it because it’s the cool thing to do. In school it’s extremely important to “fit in” and be cool. If the most popular kids in school are sagging, you’re going do to it too. Especially if the girls seem to respond to it positively (which they did).
As you grow older however, this should change. I used to sag everyday, but somewhere between me being a Freshman at Morehouse and earning my degree, I changed. I stopped wearing tennis shoes, Timberlands, T-shirts, wavecaps and baseball hats, and started wearing dress shirts, ties, sport coats and dress shoes. Somewhere along the line it wasn’t cool for me anymore and I stepped my game up. I guess you could call that growing up and becoming a man. So I have a bigger concern for someone who’s 30 years old and still sagging, as opposed to a 14 year old kid trying to be cool. My solution to stop sagging however is simple: young boys will do anything to get the attention of girls. If young girls stopped kicking it with guys who sagged pants and told them it was wack, things would change immediately! Almost everything young boys do is somehow related to getting girls!
Double Standards? – We’ve all seen the bad ads depicting black kids sagging, such as this one:
In conclusion, I DO NOT support criminalizing sagging pants. I think it looks bad just like the next person (now that I’ve grown up), but realistically I only see this type of legislation penalizing minorities most of the time. Just another excuse to arrest us due to poor fashion choices isn’t a good idea to me. On top of that, our legal system can’t afford wasting so much time on this.