Sagging pants: Florida’s not buying it!


Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Cher* (from the movie, Clueless. 1995): “So okay, I don’t want to be a traitor to my generation and all but I don’t get how guys dress today. I mean, come on, it looks like they just fell out of bed and put on some baggy pants and take their greasy hair (eww!) and cover it up with a backwards cap and like, we’re expected to swoon? I don’t think so.

It’s been a look for almost 20 years: boys wearing baggy, sagging pants with their underwear exposed. And ever since I heard these words uttered by Cher, the main character of the movie Clueless, about the grodiness of it all, I have been aware of this particularly offensive look. But now, there is a growing trend in some cities to change it with legal ordinances. News today via Fashionista, that in Ocala, Florida, the City Council has voted that wearing sagging pants and exposed underwear carries a punishable fine: up to $500 and up to six months in jail, the maximum punishment. Specifically, Ocala City Council defines ‘sagging’ as pants hanging “two inches below their natural waist in a way that exposes underwear or bare buttocks.”

But, according to Fashionista, the question is raised: can this ordinance be misused as racial profiling? In the South, which includes Florida, the issue of race continues to be complicated and sensitive. In the past, similar laws have been challenged by the ACLU. And then there is the question; does it even make sense to pass laws about clothing? In 2008, when asked about the sagging pants issue, President Obama said, “Here’s my attitude: I think passing a law about people wearing sagging pants is a waste of time. Any public official who is worrying about sagging pants probably needs to spend some time focusing on real problems out there.” He continued: “Having said that, brothers should pull up their pants.”

Where do I stand? I am definitely not buying the look of sagging pants and exposed underwear. I agree with Cher when I say, I don’t think so! But, I think it is a waste of time to generate laws about clothing. We can be doing a better job of working that out at home, as parents, and leave the law-making for more serious issues. I’m not buying it!

*Cher, the character in the movie, not the public figure/performer, as in Sonny and Cher

Your thoughts?

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2 thoughts on “Sagging pants: Florida’s not buying it!

  1. ooooooh Brother! Ridiculous that now the law is deciding what and how people should wear their clothing? Hellooooo, Saudi Arabia, where women are still told what to wear and how to wear it. Its a slippery slope, people…

    Do I personally like the baggy pants/underwear look? NO! BUTT (haha), I would rally beside the baggy pants boys for their right to wear them that way.I start feeling very uncomfortable when others decide how we should dress and fine us for not dressing
    the way that they believe is appropriate.

    Racial profiling? Nah…I have seen a lot of different ethnicity trending the look. I think the President’s comment “Brothers should pull up their pants” was racial profiling. Why did he not say “Young men”? Why was it “brothers”, which is a terminology often used by the black race.

    I am more concerned, not with the racial profiling aspect of a baggy pants ordinance, but with the ramifications of clothing control! That is was terrifies me the most!

    • As always, Kylie, I look forward to your thoughtful and honest comments. Thank you. I did note that the President used the word “brothers,” and that made me stop and think. I share your concerns and although I find the look ‘grody” myself, I think the lawmakers should leave it alone. xx Mel

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