The Year in Bans: Baggy Jeans, Burqas, Babies and More


We got up close and personal with this sign in 2011 In 2011, one word came up again and again: No. No form-fitting jeans, no baggy jeans, no toys with fast food, no fast food condiments in schools, no homemade lunches either. No cheerleaders in class. No service dogs in class. No dogs on planes. No babies on planes. No babies in restaurants. In fact, no baby photos either.

It's been a busy year for naysayers. Everyone's got an opinion they're prepared to enforce, especially when it comes to kids. While the bans have run the gamut, a majority have to do with child-rearing. Parents have been given an earful by the proverbial "village" as to how their kids should dress, consume, and act in public. Or rather how they shouldn't. Adults haven't escaped the negative reinforcement either. While a few medically-mandated bans may be positive reforms, others are more objectionable, even downright scary. Will this obsessive self-policing continue in 2012 or have we run out things to ban?

Here's a look back at everything that's gotten a great big X in the past 12 months.

January
Baby photos: A Maryland hospital banned baby photos in the first five minutes after a child is delivered. The hospital explained that family photographers were causing risky distractions, though those in opposition to the policy believed it was put in place to avoid malpractice lawsuits.

Elton's baby photos: When proud parents Elton John and David Furnish posed with their new baby on cover of Us Magazine, a supermarket in Arkansas deemed the content not safe for shoppers. The totally G-rated magazine was placed behind a "family shield."

Service dogs: A 12-year-old epileptic boy was banned from coming to school with the service dog trained to save his life.

April
Burqas: The controversial ban on women wearing the traditional Muslim head-to-toe covering went into effect in France. Police arrested or fined at least 60 women attempting to preserve their religious freedom by protesting the ban.

Brown-bag lunches: A Chicago public school banned kids from bringing food from home, forcing them to eat the cafeteria lunches or nothing at all. The school says it's healthier for kids but not all parents agree. They're also not in agreement on the price-point, considering home-made leftovers are a lot less money than the daily cafeteria fee.

May
Baggy pants: Schools districts from Florida to Pennsylvania banned students from wearing baggy pants. In Orlando an actual "baggy pants" law suspended students who "exposed underwear or body parts" with a little loose hanging fabric.

June
Babies on planes: When Malaysia Airlines banned babies from some first class flights, the hospitality industry took note.

July
Babies everywhere: Pretty soon babies and young kids were persona non grata at restaurants, hotels, movie theaters and more.

Babies with the name Lucifer: New Zealand courts decided to crack down on parents' rights, banning the name from the baby books because of it's satanic association.

Kids expressing themselves creatively: It really sucked to be a high school student in Florida this year. By the summer, Lake County's school district decided to ban "extreme" "unnatural" hair color and "bold" makeup, citing such mainstays of teen culture as causes of class distraction.

Faces expressing their lines falsely: Another big ban this year? Airbrushing. The British Advertising Standards Authority banned two makeup ads because they were overly airbrushed.

August
Teachers-student Facebook friends: Social networking has been a minefield for teachers. In Missouri,
state senators came up with a band-aid solution. Fire any teacher who accepts a student's friend request on Facebook. They probably shouldn't retweet anything from a student either, just to be safe.

September
Fur: Don't hunt for your fox vests or mink coats in Los Angeles. Purchasing fur apparel is now illegal in the City of Angels.

Cheerleader uniforms: At a San Jose high school, cheerleaders are required to buy a micro-mini uniform if they make the squad. But they're also required to take it off when they go to class, because it's way too short. Paging the office of mixed messages.

Saying 'bless you': A teacher said his class got so out of hand with sneeze follow-ups he banned the verbal courtesy from his classroom.

October
Tanning teens: First no fur, now no leather skin. That's probably a good thing. California passed a law banning the use of tanning beds by anyone under 18.

America's favorite condiment: While burgers seem to pass the health boards in France, the country put its foot down when it comes to kids dousing them in ketchup. The Los Angeles Times reported: "In an effort to promote healthful eating and, it has been suggested, to protect traditional Gallic cuisine, the French government has banned school and college cafeterias nationwide from offering the American tomato-based condiment."

November
Choosing your birth date: Hospitals in Massachusetts, New York, Arizona, Texas and California ban elective C-sections and inductions before 39 weeks gestation due to serious health risks.

Dakota Fanning holding a bottle of perfume: The British Ad Council banned this ad suggesting it's borderline pedophilia.

Having eyes: Saudi Arabia's Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice sought the right to ban women from possessing "suggestive" eyes. What are suggestive eyes? According to one Saudi journalist, any woman whose eyes have a "nice shape" could be in deep trouble.

December
Skinny jeans: At Brigham Young University-Idaho, students are getting turned away from their exams on the grounds that their jeans are far too form-fitting.

Happy meals
: In San Francisco, fast food joints can no longer bribe kids with toys. (Unless their parents want to spend an extra 10 cents.)

Happy couples: A Kentucky church actually voted to ban interracial marriages and prevent mixed-race couples from becoming members. Can you believe this really happened in the year 2011? Here's to a few more welcome signs in 2012.


Related:

The no children allowed movement is spreading

More hospitals banning elective c-sections

Church bans interracial couples

How McDonald's is getting around happy meal ban