Drooping Pants Controversy Down The Shore [AUDIO]
If Wildwood officials pass a new law that requires people to keep their baggy pants pulled up, so they don't expose themselves, other shore towns could soon follow suit.
"At the end of the day, most towns, especially the shore towns need to generate revenue, and if they're worried that disrespectful looking people are going to hurt their business, then they'll act accordingly," says Rutgers sociology professor Dr. Deborah Carr.
She says, in general, we've gotten more and more casual in how we dress, and when we head to the beach, they don't want to get dressed up and cover up, so we're seeing more folks walking around the beach "with no shoes, and their pants falling down."
Dr. Carr points out no one wants to feel that their freedom is being suppressed, but we already have rules.
"People cannot walk around naked for instance, and so I can see where some of these rules may be health related…And you don't want to see people walking around with their pants falling down, especially in situations where you're trying to maintain a demeanor, a respectability."
"This doesn't look good, and if it's a family-friendly resort, I don't think anyone wants to put their child at risk for having some strangers pants fall down in front of the child."
She says, in many cases, rebellious dressing is short-term, because frequently teens will dress like this just for a couple of years, and then they'll snap out of it once they enter the workforce full-time.
"Every generation of young people has been put down by the older generation," she says. "Thirty years ago, there were people thinking the teenagers were dressing disrespectfully, so we know that - every generation thinks the younger generation is going to hell in a hand basket."
She also says people who live in New Jersey know what a wonderful and varied state it is, but tourists from out of town might have their whole image of New Jersey based on things like Jersey Shore, which is not a particularly respectful image.
So it's understandable that towns dependent on tourist dollars might enact similar kinds of rules in the not-too-distant future.