No to butt showing trousers
A beach town in the US state of New Jersey passed a law Wednesday night banning overly saggy pants on the boardwalk, prompted by numerous complaints from long time visitors about having to see people’s rear ends hanging out in public. The sight of exposed skin or underwear has attracted complaints from tourists, says Wildwood Mayor Ernest Troiano. The town has introduced a dress code prohibiting trousers that hang more than 3in (7.6cm) below the hips.
Wildwood joins a handful of other small US communities that have acted against wearing low-slung trousers.
Under its plan, people are also required to wear shoes and shirts on the boardwalk.
Mayor Troiano said: “When you have good families who call you up and say, ‘I’ve been coming here 20 years, 30 years, 40 years and I’m not going to any longer because I’m not going to subject my children or my parents or grandparents to seeing some kid walk down the boardwalk with their butt hanging out,’ you have to do something.”
Anyone who breaks the new law, which could take effect as early as July 2, would be fined $25-$100 (£16-£64) the first time, and $200 for a repeat offence, or might have to complete 40 hours of community service.
Civil libertarians say the law is unconstitutional and predict it will be overturned if challenged in court, but Mayor Ernest Troiano Jr. said the issue is simple. “This is just adding a little bit of decency to our town,” he said. “It’s amazing — and this is a pun — how far decency has fallen through the cracks.”
Many residents of Wildwood seem to agree with the major as they strongly support the new law.
“It’s long overdue,” said Mary Erceg. “People who choose to dress like that offend any person. There has to be some common standard of decency. It offends all of us.”
“We need it,” added resident Dennis Flynn. “This is our city. You have to respect it.”
Swimming costumes are already banned on Wildwood’s boardwalk.
The fashion trend is believed to have originated in US prisons, where inmates are not allowed to wear belts. But the look was taken up by hip-hop artists and is commonly worn by young people.
Tell us what you think about the ban on wearing soggy pants in Wildwood. Do you think your city should follow suit and put a ban on wearing the butt showing pants in public, or do you think it is every person’s right to decide what to wear?