News Headlines

Atlanta Considers Saggy Pants Ban

News Headlines: Aug. 23, 2007

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Proposal Would Ban Underwear-Exposing Pants — "Exposed boxer shorts and thongs would be illegal in any public place in Atlanta if the City Council approves a proposed amendment to the city's indecency laws. The target is young men who wear their pants low off their hips to show off the two pairs of boxers they wear beneath their saggy pants, said Atlanta Councilman C.T. Martin."

Do you think this ordinance is a good idea, or is it just another form of racial profiling?

More Headlines:
USA Today: Venus, Serena Reclaiming Their Dominance

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Husband Attacks Evangelist Bynum in Parking Lot

The New York Times: A New Museum Is Frank in Its Exploration of the Slave-Trading Past

The Independent (UK): Winehouse Leads White Artists In Line for Black Music Awards

The Associated Press: Playwright Fights for Congolese Women



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

I enjoyed your discussion with Julianne about the sub prime mortgage situation. It caught our people especially off guard since we were in the process of trying to keep up with the Joneses buying enormous homes that under fixed rates we could not afford.
I was always told that just because the bank will loan you 3 times your income never take them up on the offer. My parents always said buy a home you can afford and pay off by age 45, then live your life.


Sent by Jason | 1:13 PM | 8-23-2007

I guess next they will ban "Crunk". How do you legislate fashion? Why not make people advertise on the exposed skin while there are in public. Then add the law to this list.

Sent by BlackinUSA | 1:39 PM | 8-23-2007

While they're legislating fashion, can they put out a hit on spandex, blue weaves, grills, gators and pimp suits too.

Sent by James | 1:46 PM | 8-23-2007

If enforced evenly, this ban will end up equally affecting all the drunk white sorority girls whose thongs ride above their low-rise jeans (muffin top syndrome).

Sent by Erika | 3:25 PM | 8-23-2007

Freedom's on the march!

Sent by Megen Ellis | 5:28 PM | 8-23-2007

I agree that seeing saggy pants, exposed boxer shorts or thongs is an eye sore. But doesn't the Atlanta councilman have something better or more substantive to do with his time?

Maybe I'm a product of my environment, so I see it through a different prism. So please don't get angry that I laughed when I saw such headlines because I thought the officers in my neighborhood wouldn't be able to do anything than issuing citations for "indecency" of outfits.

You have got to be kidding me with these preposterous rules. The story said a person will be cited for wearing a jogging bra; that's part of an outfit (for some) to run into the grocery store down here. Also, the ordinance will include "not showing a wisp of bra strap." Oh my! That's called "fashion" in my locale.

Sent by Moji | 6:03 PM | 8-23-2007

I don't care for the "Baggy" look, although I have two boys who do. I don't believe anyone has the right to make fashion illegal. I also don't believe this is racially motivated. I have seen a lot of kids black and white wearing this look. Maybe I'm naive!

Sent by Gillie | 10:14 PM | 8-23-2007

I must say I hate seeing young men with their pants sagging but this is the wrong way to try and change this fashion trend. Why do we always try to "police" our kids into doing the right or proper thing? I definitely would not allow my child to wear his pants that way so obviously there is something missing at home. Why dont we try dialogue on fashion as an alternative to policing fashion

Sent by ronnie | 10:22 PM | 8-23-2007

please while you at banning saggy pants and thongs, can you at the same time illustrate to us how high we should wear our pants, briefs and all other things you are planning on banning. Or better put, can you utilize your time well with other things happening in the world that needs more attention than this. Focus please!

Sent by julie | 11:02 AM | 8-24-2007

I wrote and erased a novel on this one, trying to explain how I felt about the proposed ordinance. All I can really say is that this is pointless. Just pointless.

Sent by Lalita | 12:08 PM | 8-24-2007

You might as well add to the list of banning bright colored weaves.

Sent by Matthew | 1:06 PM | 8-24-2007

I'm no fashionista and I'm not a young woymn either, but I wonder why it is that the more outrageous the "style" be it in clothes or hair styles/colors the more it is celebrated? No one, man or woman, should walk around with pants riding so low that their underwear is showing; why would anyone want to wear pants below their hips? The whole saggy/baggy pants "style" is Moronic and sloppy. I imagine the City Council along with mature citizens are sick and tired of seeing youngsters walking around looking like Morons and are trying to discourage that style of dress, but like Jheri curls, styles come and go..thankfully, as will this!

Sent by Toni | 6:43 PM | 8-25-2007

Atlanta is a great city every city has it's bad points. I'm an african american male who believe one has the right to dress anyway they want to. Me I don't sag my pants just not my style but for my brothas and sistas I say stay focus on the prize and focus on education and reaching your goals. I can say this though I love seeing us owning nice homes there and the music scene and black folk in business there the ATL is a great city for us I can care less about the sagging pants it's not about how one dress it's about how one go about staying out of trouble and staying out of prison or hurting others.

Sent by trajjic | 3:48 AM | 8-28-2007

I agree on passing a law on the saggy pants, I'm so digusted evertime I go out, the have to keep grabbing their straddle just to keep their pants on!! I just want to tell them to put a belt on or by normal clothes! I don't think they are targeting any race, get real look around, all races are doing this disgusting look. It's time to seo up and outlaw this in all states!!!! I'm a mother of a 22 year old, I wouldn't buy or let my child wear anything like that.

Sent by Denise Underwood | 12:27 PM | 8-28-2007

Passing a law against a fashion that started in prison? Just how much sense does that make?
I would like to propose a song contest with the prize being a video and some exposure on seems people will do about anything for that.
The song is to be about how out of style and foolish it is to have draggy pants. How hard could it be to make fun of something that is so blatantly foolish anyway.
The glorification of criminal culture is a sure way to make sure your children stay on the fringes of society.

Sent by J.M.Richardson | 2:48 PM | 8-30-2007

If a man or woman was walking down the street wearing only their undwear they would be cited for indecent exposure. Can't we already make an argument that the sagging pants phenomenon falls into that category of indecent exposure?

I personally think it's a horrible way to dress. I can understand young people dressing like that to make a rebellious statement. What amazes me however is when I see grown men dressing like that. If our adults can't even get it together how are our young people going to ever grow out of this fashion phase?

Sent by Dave | 5:32 PM | 8-30-2007

I don't know which people are the bigger idiots; the ones that think there should be laws to tell people how to dress, or the imbeciles that dress like this.

Seriously! WTF is wrong with you stupid-a**, dumb mother-f***ers!?!?! Not only do you look like a f***ing retard, but you are emulating losers! Wake the fuck up.

They say this style originated in prisons. Perhaps it did. I always thought it originated from poor black people that didn't have enough money to buy clothes that fit properly. Either way, when you decide to dress like this on purpose, do you realize how idiotic you are for going out of your way to look like someone that might be poor or a criminal?

Obviously, I feel pretty strongly about this fashion style. I feel just as strong however, and think it is even more ignorant to tell people how to dress. Yes, we see their underwear, but it is boxers that still cover everything. This is not a matter of decency, where perhaps we are really seeing someone's ass. (They are asses for dressing like this.) This is just a matter of people publicly displaying what complete fucking morons they are. I don't like it either, but I am intelligent enough to know that once you go down the slippery slope of legislating if someone can wear saggy pants, we aren't far from the point of forcing women to wear veils.

As Dr. Evil would say; "Why must I be surrounded by freakin' idiots!"

Sent by Steve | 4:58 AM | 8-31-2007

its funny that in the land of nude beaches,low baggy pants are being banned for the exposure of innerwear.

Sent by chris | 4:09 PM | 9-12-2007

This is one of the mostly racially motivated bans i have heard in the last decade. It will not affect suburbia all that much but it does give power to police officers to profile city youth and another reason to unrightously apprehend them.I am for any movement that stops and shames this legislation.

Sent by Conor Bell | 1:43 PM | 9-17-2007

How can an ordinance in wearing baggy pants be racial profiling??? Every culture seems to be doing this. They apparently have no idea that it comes from the jails and is called the "prison wedding band". Hey, maybe there are a lot more men that have sex with men out in the real world than we know of. Or, that generation has no problem with it and is very open about advertising their sexual preferences (or that they have sex with other men when they cannot find a woman in proximity).

I could care less what it means. I am offended looking at boys and mens underwear ALL the time. What it is just plain ignorant.

Sent by Jana | 10:22 AM | 10-24-2007

While a law may or may not solve this, going back home for some home training most certainly would. Folks need to be taught that they need to set examples of good and honorable behaviour, rather than emulating the knuckleheads that spend time as guests of the county and the state. I don't see this as racially motivated, all children seem to enjoy doing this tacky mode of dress. We could all start by teaching and encouraging each other to wear our undergarments under our clothes, where they belong, this goes for boxers, thongs, briefs and bras. There is a difference between style and just plain trash.

Sent by Timothy | 11:59 AM | 10-24-2007

Is it unfair to connect sagging pants with prison? Though I've heard a historical link asserted many times, I've never seen any solid proof. Could it be that the connection came out of white America's linking black people with prison and sagging pants both, rather than historical fact?

Sent by Nuriel Heckler | 1:49 PM | 10-24-2007

I am disgusted with the sight of the pants or shorts "saggin" and exposing undergarments.
But legislation to stop the fad is not the answer to the problem. The leaders of communities and the leaders of the rap and hip-hop industry need to come together to change the images that they are releasing to the younger generations. I believe that it is already beginning to happen.

Sent by Tony | 11:38 AM | 10-27-2007

Well, I think it is foolish to pass laws to control fashion. I just laugh at the folks that are saggin' - they walk like they have full diapers because of the drooping drawers.

Sent by Robin | 9:06 AM | 10-31-2007

You can legislate common sense into people too inherently stupid to know better than to waste their formative years following each other around in circles trying to get any kind of attention. Just let them grow on up to be the bums they were destined to be. They never learn. And, who said anything about race?

Sent by donnie | 3:48 PM | 11-2-2007

I am a student in middle school. We are doing an essay on this topic. Ater we found out what it really meant everyone started using belts. I dont think we should have law against it but we should eduacate the people around us what it means, because we are a free country... right.

Sent by Libby | 8:10 PM | 12-3-2007

What Next - Legislating that all males have to wear white shirts, black suits with jackets and ties and that all women must wear black or black and white dresses that come to the ankles with stockings that are black cotton and black old granny shoes. This is going too far. I think it's time for the people to stand up against this kind of foolishness.

Sent by Mart | 7:02 PM | 1-28-2008

This issue is a complete waste of time and, worse, a waste of public resources. Atlanta has bigger problems on its hands, and this is not the kind of thing that requires legislature. People have the right to make asses of themselves in public by baring buttocks. They're not infringing on anyone else's civil liberties by looking foolish.

Sent by Enrique | 10:16 AM | 3-26-2008

Saggie Pants is not fashion it is indecent exposure and that is that. Anyone saying it is not is WRONG. It is not racial profiling or anyting else that it is indecent exposure. I do not want to see your underwear and I will not show you mine. Get with it Mothers of the world. Teach the youth of America right from wrong.

Sent by Cathy Drucker | 11:11 PM | 8-16-2008