Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Pull Up or Pay Up

Sagging Pants Come With a Price

Do you want to see my underwear? That’s the question a Houston area teacher recently asked a second-grade student who came to class with his jeans sagging well-below his waist. The child’s style of dress is common in cities across the country and many teenagers, as well as some very famous hip-hop artists view the overexposure as trendy and hip.
In a matter of hours, the mayor of an Atlanta suburb is expected to sign an ordinance he hopes leads to a new trend, appropriate fitting pants and skirts. Dublin Mayor Phil Best says the ordinance is necessary because it’s a matter of mutual respect. Under the proposed ordinance, which is sure to draw criticism, anyone wearing sagging pants or skirts more than three inches below the waist that expose their underpants or skin could face fines from $25 to $200.

The ordinance is an amendment to the city’s indecent exposure ordinance, which may puzzle and upset some because that means baggy pants and skirts are in the same classification as masturbation, fornication and urination in public places. Other concerns about ordinance center around the possibility of the measure become a mask for racial profiling.
Duluth is the latest city to take a stand and ban what some view as a disrespectful, distasteful and disturbing fashion statement. Riviera Beach, Florida, and Flint, Michigan, passed bans against sagging pants in recent years, but the Riviera Beach legislation later was declared unconstitutional after a court challenge. New York, Atlanta and Pamlico, S.C. also considered a similar ban.
As for the Houston area student and teacher, the student’s response was “no.” They both agreed it was in his best interest to come to school wearing a belt to class, so his pants no longer sag.
What’s your take on Duluth’s sagging pants ordinance? Is it racial profiling? Do you think high shorts should be included, since you can often see more than just legs? Please forward your comments to Maniko Barthelemy at newsheels@gmail.com.