Freedom to Sag | Teen Ink

Freedom to Sag MAG

By Anonymous

     When I was around seven years old, I began to realize that I lived in a bad neighborhood and that I was not like my friends. The main differences between us were the brands of clothes we wore and how we wore them. My friends wore FuBu, Jordans, Tommy Hilfiger, and Starter jackets while my clothes were from Wal-Mart. Also, while their clothes were loose and baggy, mine were tight and confining.

Now while I couldn’t buy the brands my peers wore, I could wear my clothes the way they did. So, with my courage up, I walked around with sagging Levis and the laces out of my Mickey Mouse light-up sneakers. I thought, So far so good, as I walked down the sidewalk exclaiming “West side” - my geography and hip-hop knowledge not quite in consensus.

Then, to make this awkward moment worse, my 70-year-old godmother appeared and lectured me in the perils of being a “gangster, gang-banger, thug and/or hoodlum.” I was then spanked (beaten, actually) and told never to embarrass her by sagging again, which was probably good because tight sagging Levis are not a good look.

Since then I’ve found my place in hip-hop, identifying more with conscience or “backpack” rap than gangster rap, and I no longer try to sag although I do buy my pants baggy simply because tight Levis aren’t a good look either.

So when a neighboring town passed a “no sag” ordinance, I did not agree with it, but I also did not immediately feel directly affected either. I remembered my godmother’s reaction to my sagging and understood the ordinance as old folks responding adversely to youth. It made me think of the angry mob that chased Johnny in “Rebel Without a Cause.” They were on a witch hunt against all things non-traditional. But then I thought about it from a Constitutional point of view. This ordinance would give the police free rein to search whomever they choose, with no probable cause; after all, it’s up to the officer to decide what is sagging. Also this extreme form of censorship must be in violation of our First Amendment rights.

Case in point, it’s completely legal for the Ku Klux Klan to gather and march down the main street of any American city. Often the police escort them in order to protect their First Amendment rights. Now let me ask you a question: In what bizarre world is sagging more offensive than the Klan?

I live in a part of the country where the rebel flag is sometimes displayed proudly on government buildings, pickup trucks, and T-shirts, all of which is offensive, but it seems that my complaints have fallen on deaf ears.

Maybe I’m simply overreacting. After all, our nation wouldn’t be the first to institute a dress code or sweeping restrictions based on the opinions or pet peeves of the few. Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Communist Cuba, Red China, Soviet Russia, and modern-day Iraq have all had similar laws. Also, it’s not like there’s a single problem in America bigger than sagging pants because we’ve achieved world peace, won the war on drugs, ended government corruption, solved poverty, created a fair and infallible judicial system, and mended race relations forever.

Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe sagging is a pressing issue on everyone’s mind, maybe this ordinance isn’t racially motivated, and maybe I really do look like every robbery suspect since ’97. In closing, censorship is great, and that is all I am allowed to say.

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This article has 17 comments.

i love this so much!

on Mar. 9 2015 at 11:03 am
southcarolinacountryboy BRONZE, Easley, South Carolina
1 article 0 photos 11 comments

Favorite Quote:
Life's a Garden, Dig it.

The only problem I have with people and how they dress is sagging. We don't want to see peoples butt cheeks hanging out of their pants and I think its disrespectful towards woman as well. that's just my opinion

on Feb. 9 2013 at 11:46 am
IndigoElisabeth SILVER, Woodbury, New Jersey
5 articles 1 photo 171 comments

Favorite Quote:
John 1:1

Well, I think everyone should have the freedom to dress how they like, but that doesn't mean that I like 'sagging'. When I see a guy in super baggy(or super tight) pants, I shudder. It's just not attractive to me.

on Dec. 24 2010 at 11:23 am
I totally hear you, I sag but just cause its comfortable and everyone in my neighborhood does.  I think if people have a problem with sagging, they should have more of a problem with biker shorts. 

on Jul. 23 2010 at 3:54 pm
lizzymwrites GOLD, Miami, Florida
13 articles 0 photos 56 comments

Favorite Quote:
The only people for me are the mad ones... the ones who never yawn and say a commonplace thing but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow Roman candles exploding like spiders against the stars." - Jack Kerouac

Wonderful ending!!! =D

on Jul. 1 2010 at 1:20 pm
toxic.monkey SILVER, Tashkent, Other
6 articles 0 photos 210 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Homo homini lupus"

you are completely straight to the point but not boring. i think it's a good opinion piece with style- goooood job :)

on Jun. 9 2010 at 8:14 pm
Artst123 SILVER, Burlington, Massachusetts
5 articles 3 photos 60 comments

Favorite Quote:
When life gives you lemons, throw them back and tell life to make its own lemonade.
When life gives you melons, you know something is wrong

"I write to create
In the world’s massive novel
A page of my own"

-By Emily M., NW Washington, DC

Yeah, I think that this is an awesome article too. I personally think that there are more important things to make laws about. At my school, some of the guys wear shorts so low that they look like skirts, and you can see their boxers. Any lower, and there shorts would fall off!

Bethani GOLD said...
on Jun. 9 2010 at 3:47 pm
Bethani GOLD, Highlands Ranch, Colorado
10 articles 0 photos 508 comments

Favorite Quote:
Life is perfect until you sit back and realize how boring it is without risks.

At my high school there is a fine if sagging pants show underwear or a butt. I think you can sag but don't show off your butt or underwear please. Good article! I love it!

-Mz.S- SILVER said...
on Jun. 9 2010 at 1:21 pm
-Mz.S- SILVER, Quincy, Illinois
9 articles 1 photo 37 comments

Favorite Quote:
two fingers up & i'm out! ;)

I'm fine with it as long as they have their pants pulled up enough not to show their underwear or butt. That's just plain nasty.

on Apr. 26 2010 at 4:27 pm
Lanna8o9 BRONZE, Medina, Ohio
2 articles 0 photos 16 comments

Favorite Quote:
We can do whatever we want to do whenever we want to do it

Haha well I have to say I do not enjoy staring at someone's underpants hanging out of their sagging pants, but I will admit that they have the right to do what they want with what they wear.

on Nov. 11 2009 at 8:46 pm
whisperingofdawn GOLD, Colorado City, Arizona
17 articles 12 photos 87 comments
geez... i agree.

putting out a law against something as simple as sagging?? give people freedom to display their fashion!

this kind of reminds me of Ray Bradbury's book Farenhiet 451... is that really how we're going to end up??


niya pooh said...
on Oct. 14 2009 at 9:35 am
rite do wat u want

Sunshineyday said...
on Aug. 20 2009 at 7:19 pm
I personally don't like seeing someones undies sticking out of their pants, but it isn't different than seeing a woman with a low cut top.

We cannot make laws based on the views of overly sensitive people. People do alot of things I don't like, but if it doesn't HURT me or anyone else, who cares? you are right, we have bigger fish to fry

ballanbrad said...
on Jan. 21 2009 at 8:55 pm
yeah im in the hood and i can sagg

on Jan. 21 2009 at 5:30 pm
Yeah, when you think about it, if the KKK can walk down the street, why can't we sag? I also live in a part of the country where the Rebel flag is shown >.> Although I imagine Shreveport is a lot worse than Dallas, haha.

teenreader said...
on Dec. 5 2008 at 1:16 am

your own grandma beat u becuz of sagging? :O

anyways great writing thingy

peaceandlove said...
on Oct. 28 2008 at 1:11 am
an amazing essay. makes me think. i like it.