Stop The Sag

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When I read this headline, I thought that someone had developed a new product to help 40-somethings reverse the effects of gravity on their soft parts.

Nope.

Though it's not a new concern, "Stop the Sag" is a new campaign by New York state senator Eric Adams to bring attention to the "insidious spectacle" (his words) of low-slung pants.

In the campaign, on which Adams spent around $20,000, he uses early stereotypes in provocative advertising—for example, Aunt Jemima—to show why the imagery of sagging slacks is problematic. Most at issue for Adams is that these teens and young adults (all of them in the video are African American males) who wear their blue jeans below their butts are exemplifying a "degrading and self-imposed icon" and insists that it "perpetuates a long tradition of negative stereotypes" (aren't most stereotypes negative?). He says it is all the more troublesome because this particular fashion trend (Adams' campaign insists that is exactly what it is not) grew from prison culture, something he says these young people should not be proud to identify with.

But young people have long expressed a sense of solidarity with their peers by what they wear ... and sometimes they also just want to dress like their friends. Many of the men who wear their Levi's low probably don't even know the genesis of the style.

Maybe if Adams lets this particular fashion statement ride, it will eventually run out of gas. And maybe, though he's passionate about it, he isn't the best person to get this message across to the trouser draggers he's trying to reach: In the video, Adams looks like he's about to be stabbed in the throat by his collar pins. Collar pins.

One of the many taglines in Adams' video is "If we raise our pants, we raise our image." But maybe if he was wearing a T-shirt while he was saying it, the right people might hear it.