published Monday, April 16th, 2012

Saggin' no more

"Bustin' a sag," "lookin' hot" are terms that have their own search results online and are sprinkled in the conversation of the youth culture.

"Bustin' a sag" has its own entry in urbandictionary.com as wearing "one's trousers around the hips instead of the waist, thus exposing the top of the underwear." While this practice by young men seems to be a harmless trend, it has proven to interfere in the gait of the average male: one hand is devoted to holding up "one's trousers" to prevent complete exposure. Not the best first impression to make.

As a young, African American friend told our son, his mom threatened him with severe parental discipline against "bustin' a sag." She explained to her son that the practice originated in male correctional facilities to "tell others you were open for business."

Way to go, Mom!

Then, for the ladies, there's "lookin' hot." Not to be outdone, wikiHow.com explains "How to be a Hot Girl." The search engine results admonish, under the "youth" category, that you should "show off your best assets...wear denim miniskirts, shorts and low-rise jeans." And, come on girls, "try a push-up bra to show off your bust. You can wear low cut tops...," all demonstrated with brightly animated "hot girls."

Certainly, the Tennessee General Assembly had much better issues to address in this legislative session than to legislate the prohibition of exposure of "underwear or body parts in an indecent manner that disrupts the learning environment." Yet, several state legislators led by sponsor Tennessee Representative Joe Towns-D, Memphis were compelled to do just that. It seems the inappropriate appearance of students in their dress and presentation "distracts students from their major purpose for being in school."

After the passage of this bill only Gov. Haslam's signature is needed for Tennessee to join Arkansas and Florida with higher standards of dress in the academic environment.

Have our young men and women in their liberated, saggin', hot state demonstrated an advance in their learning, their employment status and in their posture in the areas of character and personal-responsibility?

You answer that question.

Here's a challenge: Let's make it a personal habit and a community commitment to discard the term, "hot" when addressing our young ladies and the future mothers and female leaders of our communities. Let's also demand that young men focus on greater ideas and aspirations rather than groping to keep their pants up.

Rep. Joe Towns and Tennessee General Assembly, thank you for reminding us that our students, our parents, our professionals should wear the attitude of excellence and inner beauty. It looks good on us.

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