Forest Park mayor, Anthony Calderone, sponsored an ordinance to ban sagging pants in public. The ordinance "would prohibit people from "wearing pants or shorts falling more than three inches below a person's hips and exposing that portion of the person's undergarments, buttocks, pubic area and/or genitals." (Chicago Tribune)
Mayor Calderone must have caught the stupid virus making the rounds of news desks this week. How is he going to enforce such a law? Issue staple guns to his police officers to correct the fashion faux pas? Cite violators? Arrest them? Drive them out of town?
Will he hire specially trained fashion police with measuring tapes to prowl the streets of his town?
There are plenty of fashion terrors on our public streets. Chubby bicyclists in Day-Glo spandex, men wearing utility kilts, fat guys walking around in their underwear, basically anyone who does not own a mirror.
Then, there are cross dressers. Do we outlaw them too?
How about men who wear their pants almost up to their chests?
While we can judge, who are we to outlaw fashion choices?
What if they passed laws prohibiting ties, suits, or brogans? How about banning mini, midi, and maxi skirts? Skinny jeans is a prohibition some could get behind, especially if their name is Kim Kardashian.
Plumbers crack and the female equivalent could also be banned along with thong exposure.
We could outlaw décolettage exposure, so women can stop complaining about men staring at their breasts.
Some skirts and dresses might be banned on windy day, just in case of an uplifting gust. Banning bubushkas in public should be considered too.
Banning yoga pants in public is something certain of people want.
Down jackets that make even the skinniest person look like the Michelin Tire guy ought to be considered.
Better yet, maybe we should all be forced, by law, to wear a uniform. Khaki pants with Mao jackets. We would all look alike. There would be no individuality, creativity, or lascivious leering.
Fashion bans are as ridiculous as the politicians who sponsor them. Everyday we see people wearing clothing or, lack thereof, that offends our personal sense of fashion. They see us too and probably are offended. So what?
Where is the compelling government interest?
If private entities want to ban certain fashion, they are well within their rights. They are private. The same holds true for schools. But, banning fashion in public goes beyond the pale into the realm of stupidity.
If they can ban sagging trousers they can ban any kind of dress. Open shirts, shorts, spandex, camouflage, dressing all in black, backward ball caps, or any other fashion expression. They could even ban people who own small dogs from dressing them like humans.
Just think, elected officials are actually paid to come up with such nonsense. Maybe we should ban them from appearing in public. It would be a more beautiful world.
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