Story & Photo – Joseph Boyle
What goes through your mind when you see a lad wearing his pants at half-mast like the guy in my photo marked Exhibit A (above)? It drives me nuts when I see one of these throwbacks.
We should not forget that we live in America with abundant freedoms. I defend his right to dress anyway he wants. His attire is clearly his choice. I get that.
I do also realize I am an old guy heading towards everything in life that geriatric physicians study in medical school. Yes, I admit it. I am locked into a time warp where young men, who want to get somewhere in life, subscribe to the concept, “You do not get a 2nd chance to make a 1st impression.
This disgusting mode of dress is not new. Back in the 1950s, young people of my generation were dressing just like this except for one significant difference. Kids in my day did not wear boxer shorts. To be fair, I am compelled to compliment today’s youth for making boxer shorts a part of their strike for an independent fashion statement.
In my day the kids had what some refer to as “plumber’s butt”. On top of that, there was a phenomenon called “pantsing” where one guy would run up behind the throwback and jerk his pants down to his ankles. Let me hasten to inform you, I possessed enough personal confidence and common sense to not wear my pants like this, nor did I ever pull some guy’s pants down. The benefit of my choices was my ability to get a good job when I was only 15 ½ years old. My clean cut socially acceptable appearance allowed me to quickly move up to better and higher paid jobs in the company. My fashion choices worked for me, not against me, as I attended college and started on my career path.
If you watch these fashion kings today, some of them have a difficult time with basic walking. Old overweight cops love this clothing craze because young criminals can’t run. They fall down as they try to make their escape and are more easily captured.
When I get up in the morning I put my pants on one time. I am then finished dealing with my pants for the entire day. With pants no longer on my mind, I have the freedom of going about my day’s activities.
I calculate these guys work a minimum of 112 hours a week fussing with their pants. That is more time than a full time job. They pull them down to half-mast. They pull them up. Pull them down and cycle goes on all day and all night. They constantly run their thumbs around their waistbands. They hang onto a corner of their pants as they walk to keep them from falling off their body. This gives them only one hand free, which I understand many use for smoking weed. They can’t reach stuff at the bottom of their pockets. They do not have two hands available, so how in the world could they hold a job?
One giant benefit of this fashion statement is that it is easier for employers to separate job applicants into two categories. Category 1: Individuals who make a positive first impression. They are judged likely to be a desirable representative for the employer’s company. Category 2: Individuals who make a negative first impression based on their appearance, which also puts their judgment in question. They can easily be eliminated as job candidates during the hiring process.
Many choose to dress in this manner because they allow themselves to be victims of human respect. Their peers dress this way, so they let social pressure guide them on their clothing decisions. Maybe they need to new friends.
Another motivation for young people is their desire to make a break for freedom and to gain independence from their parents. They want to be different, so they drop their pants. What they fail to grasp, is that they are not different. They are just like everyone else in their group. This becomes their uniform.
While I recognize their freedom of choice, they fail to recognize my freedom of choice as an employer. I will not hire them. So you can be hip, but generally, the squares control the hiring decisions.
When you think of it, we all have our own uniforms, some obvious and some not so obvious. Examples of our uniforms include fire fighters, police, businessmen in suits, nurses and doctors in scrubs, yard clothes, motorcycle riders wearing black leather, tennis players in white tennis shorts, recreational skiers and the list continues. We all dress a certain way and most of us have more than one uniform.
Yes, this is America and you can dress anyway you want, but if you are unable to make good judgments about something as simple as how you wear your pants, I have to tell you, I will not hire you. I will not award you a college scholarship. Oh, and one last thing, stay away from my daughter.
My second photo, marked Exhibit B, is of a squared away guy who is an example of what people, who are serious about their future, should look like.
Which of the two would you want to hire? Which of the two would you want as a son-in-law?
If you care to comment, I would be interested in learning what you, my kind and enlightened readers, think?
Old Centurian says
Thanks for the chuckle first thing in the morning, Joseph! Of course, it’s always risky to read one of your humor pieces before I’ve hit the latrine, given my weakened-by-age bladder!
Idiot, good for nothing.
Lynn Geyer says
A few years ago, as you remember, the style was to wear jeans which were about six sizes too large for you.
I asked my grandson why. He announced that it gave him freedom and felt good.
My response was, did he wear his briefs that many size larger as well.
His response was…. silence!
Yeah, I sure remember the low slung jeans of my youth. The guys then used to wear long white T-shirts to cover that which would be uncovered and get them kicked out of school!
Pr Kristi says
I just found out you wrote this column!! Thanks for putting to words so well what so many of us are thinking. Especially liked your tribute to the younger set for at least adding the boxing shorts! I hadn’t thought of that but at least we are spared the bare flesh in that regard! Ha. This is the first time I’ve even looked at the Suburban times so you are a real draw.
Bev Bills says
Karla Stover says
This look started with African-American males supporting their “brothers” in jail. I lived through the era of beehive hair in which (supposedly) vermin lived. These young people have no foundations at home and little hope for a future. We live in a society where life has so little value even a fetus developed sufficiently so it feels the pain of abortion can, nevertheless, be snuffed out. Women, whether they like it or not, have traditionally set the standards for a civilized society. Is this look any worse than cleavage all over the place? We do not live in a modest or moral time.
Fortunately, clothing styles are fleeting. This odd trend, which sometimes also involves the wearer’s appearing to be holding his crotch, is particularly obnoxious. And I agree with the cleavage comment. Leave that element to the privacy of the home! Let’s hope these both flee as soon as possible.
Now you, Joe, you have style, real style and you are always good for a laugh!
Jerry B. says
All I do is smile at them. To me, it’s funny. How they perceive my smile is up to them. Every generation has/had some quirks.
Mary Hammond says
It looks like Exhibit A’s problem is not pants too big, but rather pants too small to pull up over his bulging midsection. You might also have included a photo of an overweight adolescent boy wearing nylon athletic shorts a size or two too big, worn loose, sloppy and so low that they approach the kid’s ankles. How unflattering can you get?
The fashion statement makes me laugh after seeing a prison documentary that the “statement” for a man in prison to wear their pants half mast is a prison term for men being available to other men in prison.So when I still see young men doing this and them either not knowning the real context of this “statement of fashion”and where it came from is hilarious to me.