Saturday, 11 December 2010

Slot machines

There's an old saying that goes "You know you're getting older when the policemen start looking younger." But there's another sure sign that you're just moments away from filling your Costco trolley with crates of Werthers' Original.

It's when you start looking at the way young people dress and rolling your eyes at the youth of today. When I was growing up, it was the drainpipe jeans and gothy guyliner that was inspiring the ire of the older generation. Today however, the jeans are much baggier, so much so that teenagers seem to be struggling to keep them up at all.

These days, kids seem quite happy wandering the streets with their nether regions on display. For a while, it was the done thing to allow the waistband to peep over the top of one's jeans, affording a tantalising glimpse of that Calvin Klein logo. Not anymore - now it's more fashionable to show the world everything, right down to the leg holes.

Apparently, this trend for low-slung denim began in prisons, where inmates were forced to turn in their belts to avoid the suicide risk. As a consequence, having trousers halfway around your thighs was a way of showing your tough-guy credentials (not to mention your baby-making credentials). Although I always struggled to understand the logic of showing off one's private area in a predatory penitentiary environment. A bit like seasoning a raw steak and leaving it within reach of a hungry dog.

The saggy crotch is now a blight on every high street, as teenagers attempt to shuffle from shop to shop, with only their below-the-knee leg length providing any kind of mobility. Meanwhile, everyone else is treated to a display of their inseam, as well as  the efficacy of their laundry detergent on those 'ground in' stains.

Although many people are willing to shrug their shoulders and resign themselves to being the wrong side of the generation gap, others are determined not to take this falling lying down. In Memphis, one school has developed an innovative new dress code designed to name and shame the low-slung crowd.

Westside Middle School has implemented the 'Urkel Initiative', based on the annoying mid-nineties sitcom character Steve Urkel from Family Matters. Any Westside pupils found to be wearing their jeans a little too low are being forced to suffer the ultimate humiliation - an industrial strength wedgie, fastened around the waste with twist ties, and captured for posterity on the school's 'wall of shame'.

With their trousers pulled so high they could choke Simon Cowell, these sloppily dressed teens will think twice about showing the world their underwear. And it already sounds like the initiative is working, with the school reporting that it has "drastically cut the number of students who wear saggy pants or no belt".

As school Principal Bobby White explained, "What we wanted to do with our changing of the culture was to think of something that would stick with them, but not make it seem like they were being punished, and add a little humor all at the same time. You're not going to go to a job interview where I can see your underwear. You're not going to be hired. So we're just going to teach you right now." 

Now that's what I'd go to school for...


  1. May I just say that this guy looks really kinda hot like that?

    It's the laughable pants wrapped around a guy's thighs, with his booty on display in boxers, that is so stupid. The guy above? Studly. ;]


  2. Felt I needed an appealing visual to illustrate the story! That's Joe Jonas, snapped outside a store this week (courtesy of a link on DListed).