"No shoes, not shirt, no service" is a common rule posted outside many restaurants, but now you can add "saggy pants" to the list of forbidden attire. At least two Houston-area McDonald's have put up signs banning low-slung, baggy trousers. "The signs say, 'Pull your pants up or don't come in. Try to have some decency and respect for others. No one wants to see your underwear,'" the manager of one of the restaurants tells Yahoo Shine (he preferred not to use his name). He adds that the rule doesn't apply to young children.
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A spokesperson for McDonald's tells Yahoo Shine that she had heard of the bans and that individual franchises are free to impose their own dress code policies. "It's our understanding [the restaurants] chose to do so of their own accord and to reflect what they feel is appropriate for their community business," she wrote in an email. "We continually strive to maintain a positive restaurant environment in which everyone feels valued and accepted."
While the trend might just be starting in North Texas, Dallas council city member Dwayne Caraway has made it his personal mission to "stop saggers" since he first ran for office in 2007. He says that in his city, the number of businesses, including at least 25 McDonald's, who have followed his lead "are too many too count but not enough." Caraway has been speaking out against men wearing pants that expose their underwear and hopes to spark a national movement. "They show a tremendous disrespect for society, themselves, and especially women," he tells Shine.
In July, when a New Jersey town banned saggy pants on the boardwalk, it faced accusations of racism. Bone Thugs-N-Harmony member Bizzy Bone told The Urban Daily, "Are they talking about black people? How can they do that? This is racist and ridiculous." West Coast rapper The Game promised to reimburse the fines of the first five people ticketed under the law. Caraway, who is African American, counters, "All saggers are not bad people. I'm not trying to stereotype anyone. It's an educational process." He adds "You change the attitude of people and you have a better, safer environment in the city."
He even calls for rappers like Kanye West and Jay-Z to back the anti-sag movement. "They should be the ones out front, people like their music so they won't suffer from encouraging fun, clean, respectable behavior." He adds that while Jay-Z might wear saggy pants as on stage, he wears more professional attire "to the bank."
While some schools and businesses have sought to slap bans on other clothing such as leggings, skinny jeans, and t-shirts with offensive slogans, saggy pants are the most commonly targeted item. In Texas alone, entire malls have banned people from wearing them, as has the Fort Worth public bus system. Recently, more than a dozen Houston area apartment complexes have instituted a fine of $100 or even eviction for renters who wear saggy pants on the properties.
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