I realize the topic of pants worn below the hips has made many readers weary. The sight of young males walking about with their boxers on display has become a regular detail of American neighborhoods and urban locale alike. While local ordinances pointlessly address the issue with flimsy warnings and rarely administered fines, the sheer ignorant acceptance of this low-brow fashion statement seems beyond even my simple means of understanding.
As the old saying goes “It’s OK to be ignorant-just don’t open your mouth and remove all doubt” takes flight in this instance. I groan a little for humanity each time I step out of my vehicle and observe a young male walking with one hand holding a cell phone while the other tugs at his waistline to keep his pants up. This is cool? What makes my disappointment more aggravating is that these gentlemen lurch past the same police officers who are duty-bound to enforce local ordinance prohibiting such displays. Their reason-“They’re really not hurting anyone.” Jeez….
The history of this absurd fashion statement has its dubious origins behind bars at your local and state departments of correction. When suspects are brought into for questioning or custody, shoelaces, belts, or neck chains are removed to prevent the suspect from attacking other suspects or harming themselves. The removing of belts caused some pairs of pants to slide down past the hips of the suspects. Somehow, this became a badge of honor to some repeat offenders. Word on the street reached the ears of hoods and thugs who carried the “bad boy” appearance to unusual heights.
My friends, this is a bunch of crap. The idea of looking like a “bad boy” is a ridiculously misguided attempt to gain respect and acceptance. As a former employee for the Arkansas Department of Correction, I witnessed first-hand the intake process for new inmates. The idea of a street-hardened thug fighting the authorities when being introduced to prison life is a Hollywood myth. The cold reality is that the biggest and strongest of thugs are often brought to tears as the doors slam behind them.
The intake process of most prisons is similar to childbirth-all come into this world naked. New inmates are stripped down to the bare skin to document scars, tattoos, and also to conduct cavity searches for possible contraband such as tobacco or drugs (you would be surprised what folks will stick “up there” before coming to a lock up!) Inmates are issued either a one-piece jumpsuit or prison-issue clothing, and are given a quick medical exam. The next step in the process involves placing the new inmate in solitary for no less than three days to observe and evaluate behavior patterns. Finally, the inmate is removed from solitary and is placed within the general population or in a special needs facility, depending upon the outcome of the intake evaluation.
This is the look of prison life-not the glamorous, over-glorified style being spotted past the hips of some misguided young men. I cannot believe that anyone would want to be associated or identified with someone else’s unfortunate life choice. Believe me when I say that inmates don’t like looking like inmates-why should you? However, this pet peeve of mine isn’t just about looking like a thug. Consider for a moment other instances where pants should have been higher on a person’s body such as Uncle Leo’s crack showing when he gets up from the sofa, Bob the plumber on his knees looking at a clogged sink, and other moments that made you utter “eeeuuuuwww!”
Don’t get me wrong, the human derrière (ass) can be an alluring thing to behold-but not when the buns in question look like two Cooper Mini’s trying to cram into one parking space. And why does the pulled-down pants style restricted to only males? I’m all for the ladies stepping up and dropping trow for a fashion statement, with the exception to the before mentioned Cooper Minis. However, my own tastes are decidedly different from someone else’s. Beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder, and your version of the perfect ass is what your mind conceives-fair enough.
What has me riled is someone disregarding my personal taste and space by dragging their pants below the hips, and forcing me to notice them. Thank God for the mall security personnel who have stepped up to the task of making these idiots pull ‘em up or get the hell out. Sure-the folks who improperly wear their pants in this fashion believe that rules of courtesy or candor don’t apply to them. Just don’t rant, rave, or bitch when many of us disagree and ignore you.