|Once upon a time|
During my early teens, I began to notice the older version of a cheerleader. Watching football with my stepfather introduced me to the Dallas Cowboys’ cheerleaders. There were no pleated skirts.
At my college, the cheerleaders donned the pleated skirts. With a little bumping here and there between the athletic stunts, the pleats got their share of attention… or that that was under the pleats.
By the time I was well into my adult years, I’d decided that if I ever had a daughter, I would not encourage cheerleading, i.e. dissuade her from it. It seemed like entertainment for the guys; especially the professional sports’ cheerleaders.
Fast forward to the present.
I still see titillating entertainment as the reason for professional cheerleaders, which does not appeal to me; however, I respect the rights of the women who choose to perform; which prompts the question, “Are they cheerleaders?” In a 2010 New York Times interview, John Mara, co-owner of the NY Giants, said, “Philosophically we have always had issues with sending scantily clad women out on the field to entertain our fans. It's just not part of our philosophy."
As for young girls basically doing sideline cheering—I think they’re cute. High school and college girls/young women have added more gymnastics to their routines, along with more boys/young men, therefore creating a little interest for me if I just happen to be at a sports event. The heavy makeup, bare midriffs, and glamorous attire—I’ve become indifferent to it. The look fits in with the clothing that kids wear nowadays.
A newfound opinion, though, stems from competitive cheering. I’ve heard a lot about it and seen bits of it on TV, by chance. I can see myself in the audience at a competition.
The whole cheerleader thought entered my mind when I read Stephanie’s post on competitive cheering. There is a picture of her daughter’s team holding their arms up to catch four girls who are rocketed 15 feet or so in the air, waiting to be caught. Scary.
Regardless of my opinions on various types of cheerleaders, I give all of them credit for their hard work and their ability to dedicate themselves to their specific talents.
What are your thoughts about cheerleaders and cheerleading?