Politics
2:21 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

'Sagging Pants Bill' Supporters Say The Style Has Medical Repercussions

Members of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen debated a bill that would place a fine on sagging your pants in public.

The Public Safety Committee spent about an hour and a half debating the much-publicized bill's merits. A big focus was on sagging’s supposed impact on health.

“Everything from their spine curving the wrong way, problems with their knees," the sponsor of the bill, Alderwoman Marlene Davis said. "Many of them will have to replace their knees within a number of years because they would have crushed their knees from walking so inadequately in order to hold up the pants with their knees.”

Davis said repercussions of the style included arthritis and the inability to maintain an erection.

We asked if Davis had medical studies to back up her claim, and were provided an opinion that said heavy backpacks, combined with sagging pants can have negative impact on health. That was the opinion of Aaron Parnell, a so-called “posturist,” who is not medical doctor.

Supporters of the bill claim the style is indecent and causes medical problems. Detractors of the bill say it’s the older generation trying to define indecency, similar to bell bottoms and long hair in the 60s and 70s. They also argue that the enforcement would single out young black men.

"It's alright to have your own swag, but it doesn't need to be indecent," Davis said during the committee.

Davis said after the meeting that reasonable critiques were brought up.

“I think a lot of the questions brought up were valid questions," Davis said. "I’m never opposed to making sure we’re thorough in our process. This is just the beginning and it needed to happen.”

The bill was not put to a vote. Davis says she would like to hold public town halls on the topic soon.

Follow Chris McDaniel on Twitter@csmcdaniel