So what do you think of men wearing their pants below their hips? Must we really see the patterns of and holes in their underpants?
Sagging, as it is called, began in the United States and is said to be a throw over from prison, where the trousers issued are loose and baggy and belts, like in every other prison in the world, are prohibited to keep prisoners from using them as weapons or to hang themselves.
The style was popularized by rap/hip-hop artists in the 1990s and is now regarded as “a symbol of freedom and cultural awareness among many youths or a symbol of their rejection of the values of mainstream society”, according to information on the internet.
While it has been claimed that in prison, sagging connoted a sexual invitation or availability and this is still debated today, it has also been dismissed as an urban legend.
Countless young men continue to parade about the streets in their ‘boxers’ rebellion’, wearing trousers so low that they can barely shuffle along and a common sight is many of them constantly pulling them up as they walk. However, this ‘style’ is considered indecent by most older folk and a surprising number of young men as well.
In the US a number of states attempted to outlaw the style using the legislature and seeking to have fines imposed on those who wear sagging pants in public, however most of the bills have failed. Nevertheless, schools have used various methods of keeping it out. Many businesses, including airlines do not allow ‘saggers’ to access their services.
Sagging pants is an issue in Guyana, of course. Young men wear sagging pants to parties – wherever they have the opportunity. Some who work in the more informal industry – for instance as minibus conductors or vendors let it all hang loose.
All schools in this country have uniforms and are particularly strict on how students dress. And regardless of how much the North American culture has seeped in parents still have great control over how their children dress, especially since they, for the most part, still live with their parents.
On the other hand, everyone tries and wants to look their best. Who is to say sagging isn’t ‘it’? Is it indecent exposure or is it ‘Swag’?
In a mini poll, some young people said saggy pants are disgusting and classless. Others said guys with sagging pants are revealing their “group think” tendencies, negative peer pressure and low social class more than anything else. Yet others argued that the style dares to defy social norms.
Of course, fashion is subjective and people really should wear what makes them comfortable. But are pants that make you look like toddlers who have pooped in their diapers comfortable? Really, guys? Can it really be comfortable to wear pants that you have to keep hitching up after every five steps?
And then there are guys who apparently dress in the dark and whose sagging pants reveal grimy or holey boxers and briefs. I mean come on! I dare you to walk into an office with that style. See if you don’t get chased out.
I mean if men are so desperate to put their underwear on display, why don’t they just put them on their heads? What do you think? Share your views; make a point; log on to www.stabroeknews.com/category/the-scene