“The short skirts, the sometimes sexually provocative moves of a cheerleading routine, the bright red lipstick and the public gaze of adult men and boys all contribute to a cultural activity that openly celebrates female sexuality. However, female sexuality is typically unacknowledged in schools, and the connection between the erotic and cheerleading is silenced by most adults associated with cheerleading.”
Never in my life have I portrayed cheerleading in this way. REAL cheerleading isn’t about how short your skirt is, and if any of the girls on my high school cheerleading team would have come ready to cheer with red lipstick on, she would have been dragged to the restroom to take it off. What Bettis and Adams are describing is the way cheerleading is shown on TV and in movies. Perhaps this is what cheerleading is like in other places but in all the years that I cheered I can’t name one time that I saw a team act in the way Adams and Bettis have described. Cheerleaders don’t try out, go through 3 hour daily practices, cheer at games, and use all their free time to prepare for competitions just so boys can see them in a skirt. That’s the most ridiculous thing i’ve ever heard. Cheerleaders are atheletes just like basketball, soccer, and softball players are. I do agree that in movies cheerleaders are shown as blonde, skinny, slutty-dressing, know-it-all, run-the-school girls and that’s not fair. It doesn’t give cheerleaders the credit they deserve and makes them look like trash. A quote was given by the Saturday Review that explains how cheerleaders should never be suggestive with motions or words that may cause people in the crowd to engage in crude or inappropriate actions. I agree completely with that statement, and if anyone from my team was doing such a thing our coach would have had us benched, that is if our parents didn’t come and pull us off the field first. It’s so unfair the label that cheerleaders have anyway and I feel like this article didn’t help the matter at all.