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University of Washington Cheer Requirements

LasMaLasMa 10768 replies138 threads Senior Member
There Are 29 Hair, Makeup, and Body Requirements for University of Washington’s Cheerleading Tryouts
The University of Washington's cheerleading squad was forced to take down a poster that illustrated 29 hair, makeup, and body-shaming requirements for trying out for the squad. Not sure how a "natural tan/spray tan" helps someone do a backflip, but here we are.

After a social-media frenzy erupted over the poster, the athletics department realized that it could be seen as offensive and asked the squad to remove it. Detractors of the poster argued that it prioritizes physical appearance over athletic ability. In fact, ability comes (vaguely) into play only twice — "physically fit" and "athletic physique" are body dos. The other 27 points focus on clothes, skin tone, makeup, and hair.
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Replies to: University of Washington Cheer Requirements

  • Dave_BerryDave_Berry CC Admissions Expert 511 replies3012 threads CC Admissions Expert
    "… According to The Times, the department removed it after it was 'determined that some of the details and descriptions provided were inconsistent with the values of the UW spirit program and department of athletics.'" …

    http://1010wcsi.com/university-of-washington-removes-cheerleader-infographic-after-outcry/
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  • romanigypsyeyesromanigypsyeyes 34203 replies770 threads Senior Member
    I don't even care that they used a white blonde woman and tried to make sure that women conformed to white ideals, but I'm so sick of the objectification of women. Infographics like this send a clear message to women that their appearance is what is most important.

    And people wonder why young girls and women have low self-esteem and body issues.
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  • marybee333marybee333 746 replies20 threads Member
    Even though cheer leading is considered a sport and requires skill, strength, and stamina, there is as much emphasis on the clothing style, femininity and sexual appearance parts, as there is on the athletics from this info graphic. (look at the do's and don'ts ) To coach about eyelashes, lipstick, hairstyle and bronze skin tones, bare midriff ??? This says this is not about the athletics, but about their appearance and it better be to the acceptable standards of whoever created this "how to" poster.
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  • LasMaLasMa 10768 replies138 threads Senior Member
    I'd hoped that by now, ability was at least as important as the eye-candy factor.
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  • barronsbarrons 23087 replies1956 threads Senior Member
    Udub just trying to compete with Nike U
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  • MarianMarian 13230 replies83 threads Senior Member
    I don't particularly care that the requirements are appearance-focused. I do care that they seem to be written with only white women in mind.
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  • GoNoles85GoNoles85 730 replies51 threads Member
    Complete and total nonissue in my book. Granted, I am not female but seriously does anyone think for one second that men do NOT have the same sorts of objectification imposed on them? If you aren't six foot two with washboard abs you may have body issues also. It just means you've got to work, like anyone else, to find the right mate and make kids that you can be obsessively proud of. In summary, I really wish people wouldn't get into knots over stuff like this. Like someone said, shocking, cheerleaders are expected to be fit and attractive. Shocking. Just shocking. By the way, my sons played high school football. Most of the cheerleaders fit the U-Dub profile. A few did not and no one really cared although I bet, behind their backs, they were made fun of for not fitting the profile and you know what that is life. That is how it works. That might not be how it should work but that is how it does work.
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  • T26E4T26E4 23243 replies1031 threads Senior Member
    edited April 2016
    My daughter is a competitive cheerleader for a top tier college team. I can tell you that any over the top objectification is school specific and should not be assumed across the board. We just got back from the NCA Cheerleading nationals in Daytona a few weeks ago. Many teams had women of all sorts of body types. And on her squad, it's all about physical ability and athletics. BTW, a knock on the article writer -- a "cartwheel" is hardly a collegiate level skill...
    edited April 2016
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  • Erin's DadErin's Dad 34024 replies4678 threads Super Moderator
    I think competitive cheering is a far cry from the cheer outlined in the poster. And I agree a cartwheel is very low bar (though I can't do one :) )
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  • fallenchemistfallenchemist Honorary Super Mod 24269 replies860 threads Inactive User
    edited April 2016
    @GoNoles85


    I don't expect to convince you, but if you really think that the manner, level, and most importantly consequences of women objectifying men are remotely similar to the reverse, then you live in a very different world than I do.

    Also, I have to strongly second @kelsmom when you say:
    A few did not and no one really cared although I bet, behind their backs, they were made fun of for not fitting the profile and you know what that is life. That is how it works. That might not be how it should work but that is how it does work.
    First, just because that is how it works in private in large portions of society is absolutely no reason to make it sound like that makes it OK for institutions, especially our public ones, to further it and seem to support it. I am sure there are still large chunks of society that would rather see women not working at all except for being teachers and nurses, or have blacks and Hispanics anywhere but the mail room, as janitors, etc. Would you be OK with having college groups that further those notions just because "that is how it is"? And to add to that, don't just put it in the context of where we are today. Put yourself on a campus right after Brown v. Board of Education or after the Civil Rights Acts of the 1960's, when a majority of the country still favored separate and who cares if it is equal. Kind of appalling to think now how easily many tolerated exactly that at the time, isn't it?
    edited April 2016
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  • intparentintparent 36291 replies644 threads Senior Member
    I think the poster just displayed the rules that have been unwritten for cheerleaders forever. Others might make the team, but mostly because not enough that fit that mold showed up. I am very glad my kids had no interest in cheerleading.
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  • soccerguy315soccerguy315 7168 replies77 threads Senior Member
    isn't the whole point of cheerleading at athletic events objectification?

    when the cheerleaders in a football stadium "lead a cheer" how many people do you think can hear them?

    10?
    15?

    I don't understand how you can claim it is anything else. Surely everyone that goes to the tryout knows this?

    competitive cheerleading which is more gymnastic-ish is different.
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  • intparentintparent 36291 replies644 threads Senior Member
    My kids' high school made an intentional decision not to have cheerleaders when the school was founded in the 1980s. The school founder said he wanted their young women out on the playing fields or practicing other ECs, not cheering from the sidelines.
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  • fallenchemistfallenchemist Honorary Super Mod 24269 replies860 threads Inactive User
    @soccerguy315

    You are thinking only of the huge stadiums for the top programs, and that is only football. That covers about 1-2% of what cheer squads do. And if it is only for objectification, then why have male members? Despite the previous comments, I really don't think most women attending the games ogle the male cheerleaders.

    So no, it clearly isn't the whole point by a long shot and to the extent it remains part of it, there is no reason to help such antiquated values along.
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