Hitting Below the Belt (or the Lack of One)

The headline reads "Green Day Frontman Kicked off the Plane for Saggy Pants." The New York Times mentioned the incident, as did USA Today, and a slew of other mainstream news organizations that I can only hope printed this story to take a stand against fashion nonsense rather than because they deemed Billie Joe Armstrong's actions fashionable.

Unlike Southwest Airlines, I won't back peddle or apologize. In fact, dare I say, Don't stop there! If the cracks of non-porno performers' asses are showing, let's kick them off the stage, too. Although, I know my protest is probably falling on deaf ears and bare butts.

I'm showing my age here in that I'm being a bit of a square breeches. Still, let me shoot from the hip: When I was a kid, showing one's tukus meant you were mooning someone, akin to dusting the chin or flipping the bird. Not a good thing.

Where did this sense of public decency go? Apparently, it has plummeted even lower than Armstrong's jeans. Billie Joe is a grown-ass man with a wife and kids. What is he doing adopting this inane style?

I don't care if he is a rebel filled with angst. So were Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and John F. Kennedy; and they all kept their pants on—the latter two men, at least as far as their politics was concerned—and still made bold, noteworthy statements.

Which fashion (role) model does Armstrong want on display for his offspring?

I'm positive Anderson Cooper won't mind my stealing a page from his "RidicuList" to notate this style as the most ass-backward of any trend in fashion and pop history. Worst than men in tights, guy-liner, thongs, and big hair. This includes all manner of pompadour, bouffant, and beehive as worn by A Flock of Seagulls, Amy Winehouse, James Brown ... and God help that gnarly coiff of Steve Stevens in MJ's "Dirty Diana" music video. I think Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard circa 1950s may be the only tolerable exceptions.

Baggy pants wreak of the new Spinal Tap. When will their 15 minutes be up already?! (Yes, I'm whining.)

In case you're still at a loss for where the baggy pant style originated, it's based on the ill-fitting, usually one-size-fits-all attire prisons supply their inmates. This is the closest some of these lifers will ever come to bespoke. I accept that. Even more so, I value the legal authorities tasked with pulling the switch on pedophiles, murderers, and rapists, if only to rid the world of one less pair of saggy pants! While we're at it, I also want these perpetrators charged for crimes of fashion? (Darned if I'm not thoroughly amusing myself hurling all these puns!)

I hit the music festival North Coast over the weekend, and I could swear that that's where Wiz Khalifa's pants had gone. Or maybe they went South—I dunno. I do know they were everywhere, except on his butt.

My family and I were discussing saggy pants just yesterday morning as we prepared to enjoy Labor Day breakfast. Mother shared with us a dream she'd had the previous night. Her subconscious was no doubt inspired by my brothers-in-law, who were in town for the holiday and a birthday party. She dreamt that she had bought a Christmas gift for the youngest of the three fellows, purchasing for him paper clips, staples, a belt—anything to help him hold up his pants.

Knowing Mom's gift-giving as I do, I'm sure that to soften the insult, she spent good money on and professionally gift-wrapped with bright, fluffy bows all these fasteners.

I remember Liberace once asking his audience members if they loved the gaudily bejeweled ensemble he was wearing, to which most of them, many sporting blue hair, answered in the affirmative. The flashy showman was quite pleased with their enthusiastic approval because, after all, Darling ... he gloated, "You paid for it."

Now, I can excuse those little old ladies for their senility. Plus, good music can make you do strange things (like fool some of us into thinking we can actually dance). At the height of his popularity, Liberace was receiving hundreds of marriage proposals a week. Likewise, Tom Jones' memory probably fails him when he's asked how many pairs of women's underwear he's had to dodge onstage during his illustrious 50-year career.

If I can forgive the delusions billowing from the peanut gallery, I suppose I must also overlook those saps attending North Coast Festival who paid to hear deejays spin the music instead of demanding that all the performances be live. But to continue supporting these hip-hoppers wearing their below-the-hip-huggers, I'd be an ass to turn the other cheek.

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    Cindy Barrymore

    I am internationally published, award-winning journalist who has worked in just about every facet of media from TV and film to magazines, promotional materials, newspapers, and books. I currently work as a media consultant, which (in addition to coaching executives in Corporate America) also includes writing and shooting photography for PR and journalistic publication. I have covered entertainment, specifically, since the 1990s, as well as performed as an actor and singer in TV commercials and industrial film, and studied arts, fashion and pop-culture history. My writing has published in such publications as the Chicago Tribune, Us Weekly, Reader’s Digest, Vibe and Circus magazines. My photography has appeared in People, the Daily Beast, OK!, Self, Life and Style, Glamour, and on E!, Wendy Williams Show, and Oxygen, to name a few. I've interviewed celebrities as diverse as Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, Kiss, STP, Dio, Kanye West, and Presidents Clinton and Obama. In between blogging for Chicago Now, I also founded my own successful entertainment blog ChicaHollywood.com and have also blogged for VH1. As a kid I once danced on the shows Soul Train and Hangin' with MTV. I have three graduate degrees in communications and continue to further my academic education. (Hopefully, I will finish my PhD this decade!) With this blog, I look forward to making you think and to ask questions. But most importantly I aspire to make you smile. Because hopefully as I do with myself, I do not take those wacky celebrities that seriously.... Kim Kardashian for President! Lindsay Lohan for V.P.

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