Posted by: Reginald Cyntje | May 3, 2013

Are Saggin’ Pants the Problem?

When I was a kid, I was heavily into dancing. I remember we wore baggy pants, sweats with one leg pulled up and various other styles. As a hip hop dancer, your pants had to bag a certain way or folks said you looked tight.

I remember kids coming to school with pants too big for them and wearing belts to keep those pants from falling off. I had one science teacher with a huge gut. His pants also sagged.

There was a brief time when many young males would “gun” (VI style) their pants. This process involved sewing the inseam of the pants leg making the pants fit as close to you as possible. I danced a lot so I wasn’t into that style.

My parents had rules about certain styles. One rule was no piercings. When I left home for college, I pierced my ears. Now I have four piercings. Two in each ear. In many circles, piercings were looked down on. One person said, “Do you know that a male with pierced ears means he is gay in some circles?” Another person said, “I thought only women pierced their ears.” When I heard these comments, I would smile and ignore those individuals.

In my early twenties, I dyed my hair and wore blue shades with baggy pants. This look gained more responses that made me laugh to myself. Socialization was funny.

It was funny until I realized I was caught up in the mess I fought hard against. Three years ago, while addressing young male students, I made a mistake using the prison inmate analogy. I was wrong.

I understand that some prison inmates advertise for each other by sagging their pants. But can I honestly say that the style of sagging pants originated in prison as a precursor to a sexual act? No. You don’t have to take my word for it…

Many argue that sagging pants mean that you are advertising for homosexual sex. My question is do homosexuals “advertise” this way? My other question is do we really have a problem with prostitution or just when it involves males with males?

We are socialized to think so many things. Gangsters wear suits. Crooks on Wall Street wear suits. The folks poisoning our food also wear suits. We have to be careful who we label as bad or a problem simply because of how they dress or look. There is a campaign against saggin’ pants but very few are willing to attack the real enemy in power.

We have to use critical thinking when discussing any type of social norm or social rebellion. We live in a world where Assata Shakur is a terrorist and Margaret Thatcher a sheroe…

Do I like to wear my pants below my waist? No. But I don’t think people wearing saggin’ pants should be vilified.


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