By Judith Rasband, AICI CIM and Sarah Ward, Conselle Affiliate
By now you’ve likely seen the recent American Idol audition of General Larry Platt, singing his song “Pants on the Ground.” If you haven’t, check it out here.
Pants on the ground! Pants on the ground! Looking like a fool with your pants on the ground!
Call himself a cool kat, looking like a fool. Walking downtown with your pants on the ground!
Watching this song video reminds me of an encounter I had at a gas station recently. I was filling up and noticed that the gas station attendant was wearing his pants so low that I got a full view of his yellow-print underpants. After working up some gumption, I struck up a conversation with him to try to understand his reasoning for dressing with his, well, pants on the ground.
He said it was comfortable — though I’d seen him tug at them three or four times since I’d been there. That this was the way he’d always worn them — though we know his mother didn’t dress him with his pants on the ground when he was a little boy. That it was different — but from who? He dressed the same as a lot of the kids his age.
As I countered his reasonings, he was at a loss as to how to explain or excuse his behavior. Perhaps he’d formed no real reason. Perhaps he’d never really thought about it. He was just blindly going along with the trends.
“I know, it’s the trend among a lot of boys and men,” I told the young gas station attendant. “But why do you think it’s the trend? The look trickled up from street kids and hip-hop celebrities, copying the look of prison inmates. Can you guess why prisoners go around with their pants hanging down?”
“Uh, no,” he murmured, shrugging his shoulders–but by now he was mildly interested.
“Historically, prisoners have their belts taken away from them, for two reasons. One, so they don’t hang themselves with it. And two, so they can’t escape. A man can’t run very far, very fast, holding up his pants. Is that who you’re trying to look like—a prison inmate?”
“No, not at all,” was the solid answer at this point.
“So tell me, what do you think you communicate to the people who see you? What are you saying about yourself? That you don’t know how to pull up your pants and fasten a belt? That you’re so brave ‘cause you dare to wear them that low? That you’re cool? That you’re a little bit bad? Do you think people want to come in here and get gas from a guy who’s a little bit bad? Where’s this look going to get you in life?”
Turns out he’d never thought about his clothes that way before.
So unless you want to look like a fool with your pants on the ground, do like the General says and get those pants off the ground!
Copyright Conselle L.C. 2009
Judith Rasband is the Image Expert and would love to help you! Visit www.conselle.com or call 801-224-1207 to learn more.