Why do young folks sag their pants? My top 10 reasons!

I work with teenagers.

I live with teenagers.

I hang out with teenagers and young adults.

I actually pride myself on the fact that I can speak their language and tend to “get” them, (for the most part).  I like hanging out with them.  In fact, I find myself thinking about my own teenage-hood when I am hanging out with them.

My kids don’t read my blog and for that I am often grateful.  After all, since they don’t read the blog I can bad mouth them, talk shit about them, generally smear their names, or I can tell things about myself that I don’t necessarily want them to know.

So, back to my original point, which is that I feel that I “get” them for the most part.  I have learned not to share too much about me, but am able to get them to open up about themselves.  They seem to trust me. And even though my 19 year old always said I was the “best nag” about his homework when he was in high school, I NEVER embarrassed him in front of his friends, or gave him a hard time about his girlfriends.  I am one of those adults who believe that teens can experience true love, and have NEVER said to a teenager, “You don’t even know what love is”.  Of course they do.  They have the same feelings adults do, to the extreme in many cases.  They fall in love.  They care for each other.  The fastest way to stop your teen from listening to you is to tell them they don’t “really” love their girlfriend or boyfriend.

And even though I “get” young people, there are still many things about them I don’t understand.  Many things really haven’t changed from when I was a teen and young adult, (drinking, partying, hanging out with friends, staying up too late,  driving too fast, making reckless decisions, falling in and out of love) but there are also quite a few things that are different (technology, technology, technology). And this! This trend that I have seen for a few years, mainly among young males, although I have seen a few females engaging in this behavior as well. What is it?

Sagging their pants!

This is behavior I just don’t get.  I mean, really, I just don’t understand why they do that.  I can’t even tell you how many times I have wanted to walk up to the young guys I see on the campus where I attend college classes and say to them, “Listen, I know I am a middle aged white lady who just really doesn’t get it, but could you please tell me what it is that goes through your head when you get dressed in the morning, and choose to put on your pants, and then belt them around your thighs?”
What is attractive about this?:
sag pants                                                        Is this sexy????

Ridiculous

Ridiculous

I am a gal who wears my pants at the appropriate place on her body.  Which for a plump, middle aged woman is waist high or thereabouts.  No low riders for me……..no ma’am.  I have a hard enough time keeping the muffin top under control as it is.

But back to the matter at hand…which is why do young men wear their pants so low?  Do you remember the old Letterman top 10 bit?  Well I have developed my own list of:

Why do young folks sag their pants? My top 10 reasons!

10:  They just have too much junk in their pants (i.e. well endowed) and they need more room for things to “spread out”, shall we say….

9. They have just spent lots of money on VERY cool boxers and want to share their amazing undies with the world.

8. The are working on their arm muscles, and having to reach down and hitch up their pants every two steps while they are walking is a mini workout.

7. They have a new amazing belt, and think if they belt their pants around their thighs, you will have more opportunity to see it.

6. There was a super clearance sale at the Big and Tall shop, and they just couldn’t pass up a good bargain, even if the pants are three sizes too big…

5. They received hand me downs from a much larger person, and just couldn’t refuse accepting and wearing them.

4. They have recently lost LOTS of weight and therefore their pants don’t fit properly anymore, and constantly fall down.

3. They have decided they are taking a stand on running, they are just NOT going to do it, hence the low pants…(you can’t run in those things even if you needed to.) People who need to make a fast getaway do NOT wear saggy britches…….Just sayin’……

2. They have decided to boost the economy in their later years by ruining their hips now (have you seen the wide stance walk they have to use to move in their way too big pants), so they can spend money later on things like walkers, canes, etc. to get around.

and the number 1 reason men wear their pants low:

1. They are overheated and just need the butt and nut air conditioning…….

air flow

air flow

I have to say that I did do some research on this topic, (so I could point out to my sons where it really started), and found that the long held truth that this is about men showing their sexual availability is WRONG and is just a myth. The myth is that this started in prisons so men could show they were “available” for some “attention”. NOT TRUE!   However, the style is related to prison garb, which is usually too large for inmates and they are not allowed belts, so they have to constantly hitch up their pants.  Then some hip hop and rap artists took on the style as their own, and young men, (particularly young urban men) started copying the rappers they admired. Some cities have banned the style, and at my son’s high school “sagging” is not allowed, and you can be sent home if you can’t conform to the dress code.

And who can forget General Larry Platt:

So youth of America, listen to the General!!

25 responses to “Why do young folks sag their pants? My top 10 reasons!

  1. I heart The General! #1 and #3 had me LMAO. They don’t allow sagging at the Commissary either — for hygiene reasons, obvs.

  2. I dislike that it is “banned” from some cities, because to me it seems unconstitutional to ban something just because someone doesn’t like the look of something. I don’t like seeing guys pants at their knees, but some people may not like a particular t-shirt I wear. As long as their body is properly covered I see that a ban is unconstitutional. Schools are a different entity, because there some social cohesion must be maintainted by a bunch of people who are at varying levels of maturity. I don’t have as much against a ban at a school. Maybe this makes me a hypocrite, but I am open to arguments about the lack of a ban at a school.

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  4. Hey what up, my name’s Dirk and I just read your article, it’s pretty sweet. I’m 18 and I sag my jeans and shorts a little bit cuz all my friends that i hang with do it, but not as much as the ones in these pictures, that kinda gross. I wear mainly slim or regular levis jeans or dickies shorts. I play on my school’s basketball team, but i don’t sag my b ball shorts. Levis look cool saggin a little, especially with red nikes or dc shoes, even more if you got big feet which i do, size 13. Dickies shorts saggin look cool with black socks pulled up too. I like the way jeans feel saggin too when walkin around, cruising in my truck, etc. My parents don’t like it but most of time I’m hangin with friends, smoking cigs, chillin, just being a teenager.

  5. Natalie Rose Euley

    I understand why they do it- it’s supposed to be cool, masculine, and bad-boyish. I have talked to guys who do it. Some African Americans say it’s because they are black, some say because they want to defy authority, some say because they don’t think they are manly otherwise. Mostly social, societal, cultural reasons. Few do it for reasons like they want to show their underwear or feel the breeze. In fact, most guys that I know that do it wear shorts underneath because they hate the feeling. Some are actually very good kids who are afraid of being outcast. I am not saying this because I agree with the fad. I am saying this because you are not looking deep enough into the issue.

    • Hi Natalie,
      I totally agree with your comment. When I wrote this piece I was really just trying to bring humor to a piece of our culture I find interesting. I know that there are many many reasons young men participate in sagging. It crosses, cultural, socioeconomic, and racial lines. There is no “group” who participates more than others, which is why I used photos that show a variety of people.

      Thanks for your thoughts. Truly!!!

  6. Well for me sagging is a form of rebelling against authority or societal standards,most african americans do it cuz they grew up seeing their dads and brothers do it,i dont have nothing against it,its quite popular here in Nigeria though.

  7. i am a teen and i hate sagging

  8. I am also a Nigerian and live in Nigeria. The act is common among cultists and bad boys here in Nigeria. I don’t know what they like about it. To me, it looks irritating. When i actually wanted to know their reasons, i Google-searched it and I got linked to your blog.

  9. why should they band sagging ppl can sag if they wanna i mean people dress how they want to thats like if u are wereing somethin ugly i can try to ban ugly stuff no i cant because people are diffrent people should just have a freedom to sag

  10. Sherie Buchanan

    Seeing the tops of a young man’s boxers is no big deal. What is a big deal is wearing your pants so that the entire butt hangs out and are being held up by the young man grabbing at his crotch constantly. It is disrespectful to the women and children who have to see it, and disrespectful to themselves!

  11. Sagging I believe is promoted via popular music. Music played on the radio. Many things that people do is not a direct cognition developed in their homes but that of what is forced upon them in media. Similar to learning a language or how to act like girls/boys your age via societal norms. Sagging is seen in the popular music videos and forced down the throats of ethnic minorities. It is an issue assisted by big media companies which suprisingly are not owned by blacks and minorities. Much of the violence and foolery in minority culture can stop if more positive images are shown. It tears down the self esteem immediately of those being fed this crap daily!

  12. Men should pulled up their pants belts

  13. Jerri Gossett

    I work @ a middle school n I hate th sagging fad! I ask these particular boys if they would like seeing my underwear. If the answer is “no”….think about it…..I don’t want to see yours! (I am a middle-aged female n overweight! )

  14. I don’t sag my pants, my face looks too feminine for it to look good, and my body is pretty well-developed, but I’m still a twig so at most my pants will hug my hips. While I’m multiracial and I am not trying to point out that it’s a race issue or anything like that I’m going to give information about where the trend comes from and it doesn’t have anything to do with prison… It’s the black equivalent of the grunge style from the 1980s and then urban style of the 1990s and with a confluence of hip-hop and pop-culture in the 2000s which includes today.
    From what I understand and I’m 21, There is a trend in hip-hop culture which at one point was synonymous with “black culture” it was a lazy-style in the 90s supposedly “gangsters would keep their guns and things at their waistline and that would cause their pants to sag or you have so much money that your pants start to sag due to the weight of your cash. This lazy/relaxed style that was popular in 90s music continued to trend. Then with skinny jeans on the rise in the early to mid 2000s people started to sag those because quite frankly it was weird to just wear bright colored skinny jeans that showed outlines of everything…… when they were sagged these jeans loosened up a bit but also remember that urban culture was growing and more trendy styles became increasingly urban. Today we have metropolis-urban style. While sagging your pants is still the in thing, that is only with certain looks but the really in thing is the “fitted” look.
    This was simply just a trend that spread from hip-hop culture and then forward. No one really said anything about Justin Bebier sagging his pants…but each young black male that does seems to pose some kind of psychological trauma… I don’t really hear anything about white guys sagging their pants either even though they do it in a prominent display than black men it’s always been about black guys sagging their pants and the implicit association some people have with what is perceived as “black culture” being negative, dirty, or violent.
    No one ever stopped to think that the clothes this young black child has may sag off him because his family is unfortunately low income and may not be able to afford clothing in his size. OR could it really be that the reason why people are so concerned with sagging when it happens to be done by minority group men specifically black teenage men and adult men is because they don’t wear the “bright” colors that seem to be associated with pop music and whatever misappropriation of culture they so choose in order to go through some rebellion against standard norms or to seem more masculine but this is the same for black men who do it as well. They want to be seen as more masculine… how is this more masculine… I’ve yet to figure that out because they seem to be sagging the wrong side lol.

    If you google search sagging black guys and then sagging white guys… There are pictures that show that black guys are more frequently photographed from behind showing that it’s more of a cultural phenomenon they do it for a cultural passive reason…while when searching white guys sagging you’ll see brighter colors, guys poking their buttocks out, or posing for the pictures showing that these instances were done mainly for attention.

    I don’t think it’s unconstitutional to pass a law to stop sagging, but I think it would become unconstitutional to pass a law that stops sagging and gives a specific reason as it being unsightly, or public indecency yet don’t think the same thing about breast feeding. Not to mention the risk to the child’s health by exposing the child to potentially dangerous airborne pathogens.

  15. I just clicked on this post cuz I really wanted to know why people do something so unattractive (in my opinion, if someone out there thinks it’s attractive, then you go with your bad self.)
    My friends and I hate it when guys at our Middle school do it, but it has come to a slight convenience. Not kidding you, we can tell if they are mean people just by the fact that they sag. I know that it’s not the same thing in other places, that some people out there sags and is nice, but that’s not how it is where I am. All of the bullies, Homophobics, and self-proclaimed “cool” people do it.
    This post was actually really cool to hear about. my friends and I had known about the rapper part but nothing else. I also love the humor you inplanted into it, that part just got me!
    Oh, and have a wonderful day!

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