Wednesday, July 5, 2023

What is 'Sagging?'

If you've ever wondered where the fashion of sagging pants came from, you might be surprised to learn that it has a long and controversial history. Sagging pants are trousers that are worn below the waist, exposing the underwear or even the buttocks of the wearer. This style of dress is often associated with hip-hop culture, but it also has roots in the prison system and the skate scene.

The most common explanation for the origin of sagging pants is that it started in U.S. prisons, where inmates were not allowed to wear belts for safety reasons. As a result, they had to wear oversized uniforms that would often slip down their hips. Some sources claim that this was also a way of signaling sexual availability or submission to other prisoners, but this is not supported by evidence. In fact, sagging pants in prison could make one a target of ridicule or violence, rather than an invitation for sex.

However, sagging pants did not become a mainstream fashion trend until the early 1990s, when hip-hop artists like Ice-T and Too Short adopted it as part of their image. They were influenced by the street culture and the skate scene, where sagging pants were also common. Sagging pants gave them a rebellious and tough look, as well as a sense of freedom and comfort. Sagging pants also allowed them to show off their sneakers and their underwear brands, which became symbols of status and identity.

Sagging pants soon spread to the wider youth culture, especially among young men of color, who saw it as a way of expressing their individuality and resisting authority. Sagging pants also became a political statement, as some activists argued that it was a form of cultural expression that should be protected by the First Amendment. However, not everyone was a fan of sagging pants. Many older people, conservatives, and law enforcement officials viewed it as a sign of disrespect, delinquency, and criminality. They blamed sagging pants for causing social problems, such as school dropout, drug abuse, and gang violence.

Over the years, several attempts have been made to ban or regulate sagging pants in various settings, such as schools, airlines, public transportation, and local communities. Some places have imposed fines or even jail time for wearing sagging pants, arguing that it is a form of indecent exposure or disorderly conduct. However, these measures have been challenged by civil rights groups and legal experts, who claim that they are discriminatory, unconstitutional, and ineffective.

Sagging pants have also evolved over time, adapting to different styles and preferences. For example, in the early 2010s, some celebrities like Justin Bieber popularized the sagging of skinny jeans, which gave them a more fitted and sleek look. Sagging pants have also been worn backwards or with multiple layers of underwear or shorts. Sagging pants have also been embraced by some women, who have added their own twist to the trend.

Sagging pants are not just a fashion choice, but a cultural phenomenon that reflects the social and historical context of its wearers. They are a way of communicating one's identity, attitude, and mood. Sagging pants are also a source of controversy, debate, and criticism. The fashion of Sagging pants are not going away anytime soon, as they continue to evolve and influence new generations of fashion lovers.

It is part of the psychology of human beings in regard to individualism and how they relate to a larger social setting, not to mention the sense of rebellion particularly among young people.  Be it as it may, the style eventually fades as young people grow older.  Dress is a big part of sociology and psychology. It gives a glimpse of how humans interact with each other and portray their individuality while at the same time seeking attention from others.  

However, it is important for those who sag to understand that their display can be offensive. No one wants to see people's underwear or booty hanging out. It is just not a prudent thing to do especially if one is in school, church, or in a professional setting.  Moreover, situations can develop when others may cross the line and engage in sexual misconduct when they see a sagger. Displaying one's buttocks can be primitively interpreted as an invitation to sexual advances so one cannot be surprised if another makes a comment or may inappropriately touch or try to touch. Furthermore, those who sag, particularly minors need to be aware of voyeurs out there who love to secretly film buttocks. They may follow a sagger or use a lens to take photography from afar. These images can then end up online or in pornography circles.  


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References:

- The Real History Behind Sagging Pants - Menswear Style

- Sagging Pants | Snopes.com

- Sagging (fashion) - Wikipedia

- Where Did Sagging of the Pants Originate? - Belowest

- Where did the fashion of sagging pants come from? (2024) - Fashioncoached

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