T Nation

Teen Poverty in America


I just spent several hours observing teenagers hanging out at our local mall. I came to the conclusion many teenagers in America today are living in poverty. Most young men I observed didn't even own a belt; there was not one among the whole group.

But that wasn't the sad part. Many were wearing their daddy's jeans
Some jeans were so big and baggy they hung low on their hips, exposing their underwear. I know some must have been ashamed their daddy was short, because his jeans hardly went below their knees. They weren't even their daddies' good jeans, for most had holes ripped in the knees and a dirty look to them.

It grieved me, in a modern, affluent society like America, there are people who can't afford a decent pair of jeans. I was thinking about asking my church to start a jeans drive for "poor kids at the mall." In the winter we could stand in store doorways and ring bells for donations to buy teen jeans."

But here is the saddest part..... it was the girls they were hanging out with that disturbed me most. I never, in all of my life, seen such poverty-stricken girls. These girls had the opposite problem of the guys .

They all had to wear their little sisters clothes. Their jeans were about 5 sizes too small! I don't know how they could put them on, let alone button them up. Their jeans barely went over their hipbones. Most also had on their little sister's top; it hardly covered their midsections.

Oh, they were trying to hold their heads up with pride, but it was a sad sight to see these almost grown women wearing children's clothes. However, it was their underwear that bothered me most. They, like the boys, because of the improper fitting of their clothes, had their underwear exposed. I never saw anything like it. It looked like their underwear was only held together by a single piece of string.

I know it saddens your heart to receive this report on condition of our American teenagers. While I go to bed every night with a closet full of clothes nearby, there are millions of "mall girls" who barely have enough material to keep it together. I think their "poorness" is why these 2 groups gather at the mall, boys with their short daddies' ripped jeans, and girls wearing their younger sisters' clothes. The mall is one place where they can find acceptance.

So, next time you are at the mall, doing your shopping, and you pass by some of these poor teenagers, would you say a prayer for them?

And one more thing .. Will you pray the guys' pants won't fall down, and girls' strings won't break? It would be a national em-barr-ass-ment!


Oh your so funny, my pants sag but I wear long t-shirts so you can't see my naughty boxers and tight pants on girls is pretty looking

Whatch-u-talkin' about?


Hope you enjoyed writing that long post. Must've taken awhile.


It is humorous how many males now dress- big baggy clothes over meager muscle spare frames.

But come on- I bet some of those girls in the tight pants are giving you a hard on.


Above is a picture of poor little Stephanie, who is so poor she had to make a top out of a pair of discarded jeans.

Please donate generously.




Don't accidentally use humour to stop girls from wearing undersized clothing!


Ya, you are right. What the hell was I thinking. I take back the part I said about the girls..


Very funny post!

My wife and I always get a kick out of how the teens dress when we walk through a Mall. Sometimes I laugh out loud which draws some very nasty looks from the pack.

I remind her that way way way (is that enough "ways") back in the late 60's and early 70's teens wore their hair really long and looked like they hadn't taken a bath in a really long time.

It's funny how when that group grew up and entered into the real world (jobs etc) they conformed. They cut their hair, took off the dirty jeans etc. I wonder how some of these kids are going to hide the facial tattoos and nose piercings?

Oh well......


A Letter From Grandma
Written by Lenny Santee
Sunday, September 05, 2004

It's making the rounds on the Internet:


I'd like to adopt poor little Stephanie. That's only $.60 a day, right? Less than one cup of coffee?