Baggy Pants: Outlawed in Atlanta?

Critics say outlawing baggy pants is an attack on culture, not clothes.

ByABC News via logo
January 8, 2009, 1:13 AM

Aug. 24, 2007 — -- The fashion police are cracking down in Atlanta. The city council is considering an amendment to ban baggy pants, but critics argue the legislation is a crackdown on culture, not clothes.

Back when he was known as rapper "Marky Mark," actor Mark Wahlberg helped make baggy jeans and exposed underwear cool. It was a trend celebrated by fashion designers Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger, just to name a couple.

But today, not everyone thinks they're so cool. In Atlanta, where the look is just about everywhere, the city council is now considering an amendment to public decency laws, which would make it a crime to wear baggy pants.

"It's ridiculous. People should have the right to wear their clothes how they want to wear their clothes," said one Atlanta man.

Atlanta City Councilman C.T. Martin said he's tired of seeing kids and young black men wearing their pants down around their knees. His ordinance would make exposed underwear no different than sex in public.

"It kind of doesn't make sense. It is hard for people to walk," Martin said.

And the councilman has plenty of supporters.

"[There] should be a law against it. I think they should be arrested. They should be fined," said Atlanta resident Beverly Thomas.

But the American Civil Liberties Union has stepped in, arguing that, among other things, this new legislation is racial profiling.

"Is it distasteful? Maybe. Does it need to be legislated? We don't think so," said Benetta Standly of the ACLU of Georgia.

This wouldn't be the first city to pass such a law. In Louisiana, there are several cities where residents can be fined up to $500 for showing the world their Calvins.