April 27, 2016

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: Relax, it’s OK for cheerleaders to look hot:

The news hit hard on the University of Washington campus. The students can’t believe it. I can’t believe it. Can you believe it?

Cheerleaders, it turns out, are expected to have a certain look.

“U-Dub” students (hey, that’s just one letter away from U Dumb!) were unloading on social media, crying to counselors and fleeing to safe spaces after the cheer team posted an infographic describing the look to strive for if you’re planning to try out for the squad. (In the routinely craven manner of all universities, the UW spirit program ordered the graphic removed and called in nine tons of smelling salts for those affected.)

I repeat: The graphic was aimed only at young women seeking to be cheerleaders. Pasty-faced Womyn’s Struggles majors attending rallies in shapeless sweatshirts, and black-clad Emily Dickinson fans emoting agonized coffeehouse verse were not the target audience. It takes all kinds to make up a student body: dimpled, flirty blond girls with Southern accents and sour, achy ones who cut themselves among them.

“I can’t believe this is real,” Jazmine Perez, the student government’s director of programming told the Seattle Times. “One of the first things that comes to mind is objectification and idealization of Western beauty,” she harrumphed.

C’mon colleges, go all the way; ban your sports programs, or make this the look of your cheerleaders!

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