Wear Your Jeans Low? New York's Anti-Sagging Billboards Target You

New York State Senator Eric Adams wants you to pull up your pants. And he's putting up six billboards in Brooklyn to convince you.

The Senator has waged the "Stop the Sag" campaign against "urban" men who wear their jeans so low that their underwear is exposed. He alleges that the fad started in prison when inmates weren't allowed to wear belts via WWD claiming: "The sagging pants culture represents an immature disregard for the basic civility, courtesy and responsibility that our young men should display."

The billboards display two young men, one of them African-American, wearing their jeans so low that you can clearly make out their boxers and their butts. The accompanying slogans include "We are better than this!" "Stop the sag!" "Raise your pants, raise your image."

The response has been divided. Russell Simmons feels Adams is unfairly targeting and condemning the urban male African-American community:

“I like Sen. Adams, but this is wrong-headed and a waste of time,” said Russell Simmons, the founder of Phat Farm and Argyle Culture. “This is the latest example of adults trying to repress the creativity and individuality of kids. Why would kids want to dress like Sen. Adams? There is no connection to saggy pants and the ability to succeed. Just look at what buttoned-up America has done to the rest of the world and each other. Why can’t kids be different?” 

Jeffrey Tweedy, Vice-President of Sean John, doesn't necessarily embrace the sagging jean trend, but feels it is freedom of expression:

 “We are a sophisticated brand. I actually get offended when I see some stores style their mannequins with saggy jeans. But remember, this is about youthful rebellion. They are doing it to get attention — there’s a cool factor involved.” 

President Obama previously gave MTV the take on saggy jeans I most agree with:

“Here is my attitude: I think people passing a law against people wearing sagging pants is a waste of time.…Having said that, brothers should pull up their pants. You are walking by your mother, your grandmother, your underwear is showing. What’s wrong with that? Come on. There are some issues that we face, that you don’t have to pass a law, but that doesn’t mean folks can’t have some sense and some respect for other people and, you know, some people might not want to see your underwear — I’m one of them.”

In this economy, the money Adams is putting into Brooklyn billboards could fare better by, I don't know, restoring the city's struggling education system.

Not that I love seeing a man's boxers exposed. I just don't see the value in waging a campaign against how kids choose to dress.

Why? Because it changes all the time. If it's not saggy jeans, it's long white tees that look like dresses that you'll take issue with.

Furthermore, I'm sure the young "urban" men who sag their jeans will feel attacked by the billboard's message and further alienated from the older community as a result. Consequently, they will continue to rebel by wearing their pants low and nothing will change...well, nothing except the gap between the young and older communities, which will widen.

What should he have done instead, you ask? Enlisted Jay-Z to deem sagging jeans "wack" in a song. And told T.I. to wear fitted jeans with a belt in his video. That would have changed everything.

What are you thoughts on the campaign? Discuss.




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