Atlanta: Dress Code debate

Some lawmakers in the ATL are trying to push an ordinace to ban baggy pants.  This law would never fly if challanged in court.  I don’t agree with this proposed law, but this brings up a bigger social issue; some parents are not doing their part in raising their children. 

When I am out and about and look at how some of our youth are dressed, the first question that I ask is, why would parents allow their child to buy pants that were 2-4 times bigger than their waist line?  That is the real problem; the parents.  If parents would sit down and explain to their children where pants saggin originated, we would not have this problem. 

Which leads to another problem; it’s not only kids wearing their pants like this, adults do it as well.  When I am hanging out with friends I see grown ass men in their 20’s and 30’s trying to look cool by wearing jeans hanging below their butts.  It’s a trend and some have adopted it as a style of dress and have attemtpted to integrate it into our culture.  And it seems to be working because clothing companies are profiting from it. 

So what do we do?  Do you agree with what they are attempting to do in ATL?  Does it matter?  Tell me what you think.

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20 Responses

  1. Well if you want to know what I think check out my blog, I posted on this topic this morning. I may not be your target audience (I am a white Republican) but I think you did a wonderful job on this post.
    My son is as lilly white as I am but still the baggy pants are an issue in our home. I agree parents need to play a HUGE role in this. I haven’t completely won yet but I have won enough of the battle that my son wouldn’t dare wear his pants so low that he had a belt strapped around his upper thighs.
    Thanks again for your post.
    Your blog is wonderful, even if the only thing we have in common is that I have lived in the DC area before.

  2. I would be for putting this in a dress code if it was for a safety issue, or if it was distracting. I would want to know exactly why they want to ban baggy pants. Otherwise why aren’t they banning piercings, mohawks, strange hair colours, high heels and stuff like that? I don’t think its right to just target a particular music culture style while letting others get a pass. There are some people who are against ball caps (even though they have been around for years), chains, and any kind of urban style and I think its just because its more of a Black style than a White style so thats why I’m wary of it.

  3. Not only the baggy pants, but I see kids with dirty clothes on, hair that is in dire need of moisture and an Afro pick, shoelaces untied, etc.

    These kids just don’t seem to care and don’t have any semblance of pride in their appearance.

    You’re right…someone needs to talk to these kids.

  4. I don’t agree that it should be illegal to wear one’s pants saggy, but I am really offended every time I’m walking down the street and I accidentally see some teenager’s entire butt and underwear. “Pants saggin” is just dirty and unnecessary. There is no need for us to see the fabric that touched a person’s butt like that, you know?

    I cannot understand why people (of all races) try so hard to be someone they’re not, especially when they emulate people who are less fortunate than them. (But I also find all the Paris Hilton-imitators sickening, too…. All those women who suddenly bought big sunglasses and small dogs….)

    I just can’t make sense of why prison fashion has taken hold. I hope it goes away soon.

  5. baggy pants is not a criminal issue. its a social issue.

    same as wearing grillz.

    and

    i highly doubt the real focus behind this ban is to get folks to stop wearing baggy pants.

    i think more likely it gives overseers, excuse me, officers the right to stop even MORE Black men on the street and harrass them.

    allowing your child to wear baggy pants is not bad parenting. get a grip.

    and to Capt Jack:
    prison style has taken hold because enough folks are familiar with the prison culture.

  6. Yes probably if this ban is passed Black men will be harassed by the police left and right. I don’t think the police should be brought in every time Black people adopt a fashion the mainstream doesn’t like. Why isn’t there a ban on short skirts or bikini’s then? Why isn’t there a ban on g-strings that show when women bend over. I don’t believe for a second that this isn’t something racial. Kids have always adopted new styles that their parents didn’t like and this is another case of the same thing. I think its kind of weird bending over and letting everyone see your underwear but its not like it disgusts me.

    I helped with a parenting teenagers class once and it helped parents to figure out when they should intervene. They should intervene if their rights are being disrespected, if their child is being put in danger, of if someone or their property is being hurt. Fashion doesn’t involve any of those issues. So parents are advised to let their kids dress as they please as long as they are not violating the above conditions. It leads to less conflict that was and kids are allowed to learn their own lessons. They can grow out of it and figure out when and where they should pull up their pants. I think adults need to stay out of it.

  7. I will say this; I just don’t want to see anyone’s underware. When your pants or 2 times the size if waist and your boxers are on display, that’s a problem for me.

    Bronze you are right, no one comaplains about g-strings and thongs and they should. But the clothing industry thirves off of revealing clothing; low rider jeans etc…..

  8. actually, the dude that came up with this proposal includes showing thongs and women wearing bras as shirts in public. now that i can stand behind. women showing the crack of their asses is way too much for me. but not as a law. more like society shunning it.

    it has to be racially motivated. when white teens started wearing gothic clothing no one banned that. and thats a lot worse than saggy jeans.

  9. I can dig it but some of these young people today will pop a cap in your ass if you tell them to pull their pants up. This is not like the old days where every parent in the community had the right to whip your ass if you mis-behave. Young thugs today with their fancy grills and loud music will whip their parents asses and your’s too if you get in the way. Just go to the malls, even some of the wiggers are throwing down.

  10. I agree with Jolli, whatever the intent or logic behind the law, it will ultimately be used to facilitate the harassment/arrest of black men.

    Another fashion that isn’t scrutinized are the fatigues that make you look like a modern day separatist/terrorist group member. The wanna-be militia types should be put on the list as well.

    Or we can all mind our own business, and let the general society enforce its own standards. Leave the government out of it!

  11. Baggy pants are one reason why the police have such an easy time rounding up people. I’ve seen guys running and trying to hold up their pants at the same time. I’ve also seen guys trip and fall because their pants have fallen to their ankles.

  12. When I see these folks wearing those baggy pants, I just shake my head in disbelief. The looks so stupid constantly pulling up their pants every four steps or so. However, passing a law enforcing proper dress is not the answer. One has to change the mind of the offenders. Let’s start an advertising campaign like they did with cigarettes. The ads stress that smoking is dumb. Have pretty young girls “diss-ing” this dress in the ads. When it is no longer cool, they will change this trend. Young guys are very impressionable.

  13. Nobody said it better than Ross did. Can’t wait for some brave group of parents to decide to be the ones in charge again. All this damned PC/touchy-feely crap about how to raise kids was just an excuse to allow weak parents to be weak.

  14. Sadly, the pants issue is a symptom of a much larger problem…

  15. “All this damned PC/touchy-feely crap about how to raise kids was just an excuse to allow weak parents to be weak.”

    Would you advocate beating children with sticks then? I think many child rearing practices are based on psychological and sociological research about what parental actions cause harm to children. Researchers studied parenting tactics and recommended the most useful and effective tactics. Of course you can just throw that all out and do whatever your gut feels because somehow you “know” exactly what children need.

    I don’t think its about allowing weak parents to be weak. I think its about stopping abusive, negligent, and incompetent parents from raising children with psychological, social, emotional, and behavioural problems.

  16. Bronzetrinity-

    Are you KIDDING ME! You seriously think that all these kids running around out there with their backsides hanging out is the results of “abusive, negligent and incompetent parents”????

    You do realize that some of these kids have perfectly fine home lives. Some of them would not even dream of wearing their pants like that at home but once they leave that door….

    I remember as a kid from a highly non-abusive home waiting until I got out the door to hike up the skirt a bit and adjust the top just so. NEVER would I do this at home but when I was out it was an entirely different story. I would never say this was a reflection on my parents though. Instead I would say it was a CHOICE that I was chosing to make.

    I wouldn’t consider my home to be abusive or that I am an incompetent parent and I still battle my son and his desire to “fit in” with those in the community around us. I am trying daily to step up to the plate. I refuse to let him go with out a belt and I REFUSE to buy pants that are too big. The issue comes when a kind neighbor brings over some Hand-me – downs and the smart kid that he is discovers that the pants are just big enough to achieve “that look”.

    I feel for the parents of those older kids who work and earn money. Not that working is a bad thing. Heck no, that is what they should be doing. But then they also have an income and can buy their own clothing.

    Not all parents are stepping up to the plate and could do more to help the youth understand how disrespectful this really is. But I do think some of us are trying and I don’t think we deserve the titles you so rudely threw out there.

    Just my opinion

  17. Rowdyrodi, thanks for stepping up to the plate with your response. You’re right about how hard it is to raise decent kids in a world that looks down on you for having the character to make your kids live up to the standards you set. Keep up the good work. You are not alone.

    Bronzetrinity, Shame on you for missing the point. When did I ever advocate beating kids? Sure, I’ve spanked my kids (and step-kids) when it was deserved and I can promise you that it never hurt their butts more than it hurt their pride. Plus, I’ve never had to spank any of them more than once for the same offense, and never more than three or four times each.

    When my seven year old was playing with matches this week did he get his ass tagged? You bet he did. And cried harder over the shame of doing wrong than he did from the two swats his butt took. But that’s not the point is it?

    The biggest psychological, social, emotional, and behavioral problems we have with kids today is they don’t understand boundaries. Why don’t they? Because they have parents that are afraid to be real parents and make their kids live up to the standards that were enforced by parents a generation or two ago. That’s weak people being weak parents. You don’t have to beat kids to be a tough parent.

    You have to establish with your children the moral standards that will turn them into productive and respectable adults. Allowing them to wear pants that fall off of their asses does not do that.

    People with out the balls to raise children shouldn’t be allowed to breed. It’s that simple. Parents have to set the example for kids, then they have an obligation to the society at large to hold their kids feet to the fire. Kids that are allowed to do as they please with no responsibility will grow up to be a drain on our society and nation.

    Don’t you think we already have enough of that?

  18. rowdyrodi you misunderstood what I said. I was responding to TC the terrible who said “All this damned PC/touchy-feely crap about how to raise kids was just an excuse to allow weak parents to be weak.” I think that being PC/touchy-feely is better than using traditional forms of discipline and punishment such as beating children (the norm in households before child protection laws.) I did not say that kids who wear low pants have neglectful parents at all.

    TC I am not ashamed of anything and no one should be ashamed for their opinion or in for in your opinion “missing the point”. I disagree that I missed the point. Thats a little dramatic don’t you think? Anyway, you state “The biggest psychological, social, emotional, and behavioral problems we have with kids today is they don’t understand boundaries.”

    Have you studied psychology to know that? Have you had family counseling and is this what the counselor said? Did you hear this in a parenting class? Did you read it in a parenting book written by a trained professional?

    You also admit, “Sure, I’ve spanked my kids (and step-kids) when it was deserved and I can promise you that it never hurt their butts more than it hurt their pride. Plus, I’ve never had to spank any of them more than once for the same offense, and never more than three or four times each.”

    So this is someone who advocates and admits to physically hitting children. Spanking is hitting. I don’t think you will find many trained (i.e., people who have learned about child rearing in university and have read research about child rearing practices) who would condone spanking. So shame on you for using an antiquated, barbaric punishment on your children instead of learning how to raise children in a respectful, researched, and rational way!

  19. I have nothing against the baggy pants as that was a style back in the 30, to 50,s but they did not sag them to show off anatomy and boxers they held them at the proper waist with a belt or suspenders and thats what is so discusting today the showing of butts and boxers just like they do in prisons.

    The other thing that is stupid is these big long baggy things they call short pants???

    We used to call those things FLOOD PANTS !!!1

    Lets face it folks this baggy sagging thing is a prison fashion and i find it amazing that kids today would want to emulate prison thugs but they do,,, I really think we should put some of these wanna be thug kids into a prison for a week or two then they will find out how beloved thier role models really are if ya catch my drift.

  20. LET ME SEE.I REMEMBER BACK IN THE DAYS WHEN I WAS IN SCHOOL WE HAD HOLIDAYS WHERE WE WOULD HAVE TACKY DAY OR WACKY WEDNESDAY OR BACKWARDS DAY WHERE WE WORE CLOTHES BACKWARDS.BUT AS A CITY FASHION STATEMENT.I DONT SUGGEST PEOPLE WEARING THEIR JEANS PASSED THEIR A$$ AND SHOWING THEIR UNDERWEAR.I FIND IT INDECENT EXPOSURE.LIKE WOULD YOU THINK THIS TEACHES ANYONE ANYTHING? IT LOOKS STUPID AND PEOPLE RIDING AROUND WITH PACIFIERS TO PROMOTE THE GANGSTA IMAGE? RETARDED IF YOU ASK ME.TOO MANY BORED CITIZENS HERE IN AMERICA IF YOU ASK ME.BUT I DO BELIEVE THEY HAVE THEIR RIGHTS AS US CITIZENS TO DO WHAT THE FUCK THEY WANT.WASNT THIS WRITTEN IN OUR FUCKING CONSTITUTION??? YOU TAKE OUR RIGHTS AWAY AND DESTRUCT OUR CONSTITUTION.WHAT DO YOU GET??? MORE LAWS….LESS FREEDOM AND MORE LAWS AND LESS FREEDOM AND MORE PISSED OFF PEOPLE CAUSE NO ONE SEES WHAT IS GOING ON BUT HEARING ALOT OF DAMN COMPLAINING.HOW ABOUT THESE SOCCER MOMS DRIVING ON THE INTERSTATES ON CELL FONES AND NOT PAYING ATTENTION WHAT IS REALLY GOING ON???.THIS IS NOT ABOUT INSTRUCTING OUR OWN OFFSPRING HERE.IT IS INSTRUCTING ALL OF US IN A PATTERN TO FOLLOW.NOW IF WE HAD NO LAWS NO JUSTICE SYSTEM,NO GOVERNMENT,NO WARS NO PRESIDENT I THINK WE WOULD DEFINATELY BE ALL SCREWED UP AND DEATHS WOULD MULTIPLY BY THE MILLIONS…SO STOP AND THINK.WOULD YOU DO WHAT THEY DO?OR WOULD YOU DO WHAT YOU DO TO MAKE PEOPLE WONDER WHY YOU DO WHAT YOU DO AND NOT DO WHAT SUPPOSED TO BE DONE.

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