Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Saggy Jeans - aka "May I buy you a belt?"

I've been wanting to marvel with you at the style of dress where young people wear the waist of their jeans around their thighs or knees. Seriously, I ask you, WHY?

I was most struck by the ridiculousness of this style when I watched a young man walking down the street. I watched as he had to make sweeping motions with his legs to walk, just to help keep his pants up!

I wonder how many people are walking around the world with an adapted stride in order to keep their pants up. Or how much time one of those young people spends each day pulling their pants up when they've fallen too far (although what is too far, really, if they're already at your knees!). Think of all the time they would have to work on issues like World Peace if they'd only wear a belt.

How long can this style possibly last? It's been roughly 20 years now and it continues going strong. I had really hoped it would phase out. Please, Lord, let it phase out by the time my kids are teenagers...

I learned recently that this style of dress originated in prisons. Oftentimes the correct size of prison attire wasn't available for an inmate, so he or she was given a size that was too large. Additionally, belts could be used in harmful ways, so some prisons did not allow inmates to have belts. Put those two elements together, and you have saggy pants.

Now, what is it saying when our young people sag their jeans? They are in essence copying prison inmates. Hip-hop culture has adapted this style, and I believe that most people who wear saggy jeans are showing they are part of the hip-hop culture, but let's really get to the source here. Do we want our children wearing a clothing style that originated in prisons? What does their clothing style say about their attitudes and aspirations? Can you picture a group of Congressmen waving at the camera with one hand and holding up their jeans with the other?

I wonder how many kids would continue to sag their jeans if they knew the origination of this style.

I wonder what other things are accepted as part of our culture that have shady beginnings.

On a side note, I'd love to watch a group of about 20 people in saggy jeans try to run a foot race. But alas, that's a different blog for a different time.

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