Of all the atrocities and crimes against humanity currently happening in the world, which we should all be taking up the sword to fight against, I am shocked at the attention being given to….fashion? More specifically to the trend of sagging pants. The Twitter, Facebook and Blog rants are quite frankly ridiculous. I read comments crying for the kids wearing this look to be jailed! beaten! and even raped! Really? If you were to read a comment on a picture of a girl wearing booty shorts ,a low cut top or a bikini calling for this kind of aggression most people in North America would be shocked and demand the commentators be punished. How then is it ok to to vilify boys/men for wearing pants low that expose their boxers shorts, not even their bare asses or the more revealing thongs that women wear?
In the sixties, seventies or eighties long hair on men frequently found them being labeled dirty hippies, hoods,punks or some derogatory term for homosexuality. At the turn of the century two piece bathing suits were all the scandal. In my youth someone with tattoos was to be feared since they were most likely a criminal and had been to prison. Now long hair on a guy is passé at worst, bikinis are heralded as sexy and everybody and their grandmother has a tattoo…not an exaggeration.
I hear people trumpeting the believed background for this style, “did you know it started with men in prison doing that to signal they were available for anal sex.” Huh. Did YOU know that it originated in poorer urban communities as a way to turn poverty and the sad reality of kids being forced to wear ill fitting hand me downs into a chosen fashion trend in order to remove the stigma and make an otherwise miserable existence just a little more bearable? No? Of course the people exclaiming their rage of this clothing choice didn’t know that because it isn’t quite a exciting as their version of events nor is it a useful tool to shame the kids who choose not to dress just like them.
I remember in the 80’s hearing the older generation proclaim that boys or men who wore pink shirts MUST be gay. I cleaned up the language here for obvious reasons but you get the point. Now, to hear someone make that comment you would think they were ridiculous. For the record, I thought that then. Remember getting flack at one time or another in your life for a fashion choice or a celebrity crush? I do and lets be honest I laughed it off and thought it was just “old people” who were not cool and their opinion didn’t matter anyway. It was never a case of hearing that negativity and narrow mindedness and thinking , geez I should change. No, it made it that much more exciting because what did those old coots know. So the next time you hear yourself criticizing, vehemently, the latest trend just remember all you are doing in showing your age and how out of touch you are with the youth. Even the youth that don’t like that particular trend will cringe inwardly to hear you rant.
If you are a woman reading this look down at what you are wearing….. is any of your skin visible? I mean any, ankles, wrists, neck? If you answered yes to this and I’m sure you did, you need to realize that their are some parts of the world where your attire, or to them the lack thereof, is considered shameful and you are a sinner! whore! jezzabel!
If one of the many members of cultures around the world who view North American women like this were to personally confront you would you agree with them and scurry off to cover up? No, of course not. What you are wearing is fine. You like it. Its comfortable. So why is it that your opinion matters more than theirs? Why is what you want to wear acceptable and they are therefore wrong? Why is it ok for anyone to confront and condemn anyone for their choice in clothing?
The argument that you dislike the trend simply because it makes it so hard for these kids to walk (yes, I’ve heard this one) doesn’t hold water either. How many of us in our youth wore too tight jeans (men and women), sky high heels( in the 70’s men and women) or some other form of uncomfortable clothing simply because we liked how it looked and comfort be damned? The answer is virtually every one of us at least once in our lives.
So here’s an idea, let the kids be kids. Encourage the to express themselves in such a harmless way as through fashion. As a parent consider yourselves lucky if the worst thing your kid ever does is sag his pants. Teach the kids that its ok for them to have a voice and be themselves and you know what, they will go on in life as strong, confidant adults who may or may not,one day in their productive lives, shake their heads over the clothing they wore in their teens. To criticize and tear them down only sets them up for failure. If you don’t like the style…..don’t wear it!
Love the kid in the sagging pants for who he is not what he wears.