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The latest battle in our house revolves around the fashion trend made popular among young black men, spurred by the hip hop culture. Our son’s habit of sagging used to be related to his body type being too thin for standard kids jean styles. We spent his early elementary years saying “put on a belt, I can see your underwear.” In the last year or so, his daily viewing of hip hop videos on You Tube has sparked a growing interest in skinny jeans. At his urging I purchased him a pair for Christmas, much to Tom’s chagrin. I had no idea that the pants would spur so much drama in our house. We are now at a point where the middle image is the norm.
E’s mentor, a professional black man, picked him up on New Year’s Day for an outing. Upon returning E home, the mentor stated to him “I don’t want to see those pants sagging again.” My hope when we began to seek a mentor for E was that a strong adult black role model would be able to counteract the perceptions that E held of what made black men/boys cool and successful. Yeah, this comment from the mentor reinforced the message that Tom and I have been sending all along.
Today brought clear evidence to me that the message will need to be repeated ten fold before E will be convinced that sagging is not cool.
The following link is an editorial response to this latest fashion trend and it’s negative impact on the public’s perception of black men.
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