11-Year-Old Kicked Off Cheerleading Squad for Refusing to Straighten Her Curly Hair

Teen cheerleader claims her squad discriminated on her because of her curly hairTwo-four-six-eight! Did this cheer team discriminate? A Texas mother isn't too happy with the Woodlands Elite Cheer Company, after they allegedly kicked her 11-year-old daughter off the squad for not having straight hair.


There's a good chance you won't catch Jenny doing a pirouette or dancing with pom-poms anytime soon. When her tween daughter Makayla told her the powers that be wanted all cheerleaders to rock straight hair during competitions, Jenny didn't want her to feel as if her curly locks weren't special.

After Jenny took a meeting with cheer director Kevin Tonner and the owners, Makayla was later kicked off the team.

Now obviously this is a case of he said/she said, as none of us know exactly what happened behind closed doors. I would hate for Makayla to think her mane wasn't as worthy as her teammates' because it needed to be straightened, but I don't think leaders of this cheer team were specifically targeting her.

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As with the majority of competitive teams, there's a certain uniformity that's needed. Sometimes it's hair; other times it's makeup, or an outfit. It doesn't sound like there was anything out of the norm with this case, especially when you consider that Makayla and other girls on the squad were asked to wear their hair straight in a ponytail.

Personally, I don't think Makayla's hair is super curly (it looks more straight and wavy), which makes me wonder what the heck the big deal was if it was going to be in an updo anyway. So what if there would be a few crimps? Makayla's hair is thick and would get tossed around doing her cheerleading routine.

As someone with natural hair (you can look at my profile pic), I would definitely need to make a decision about participating -- seeing as it seems counterproductive for me to straighten my hair for a competition, sweat, and then have it get curly again. If Makayla complied, would she have been allowed to continue competing if and when this happened to her?

There should've been a happy medium, as everyone is different. Perhaps Kevin and others involved aren't hip to the damage heat can cause on certain hair types, but if straight hair is a part of the squad uniform, what can you do?

I wonder if Mom and the cheer squad director were okay with Makayla's wearing a ponytail piece that looks like she has straight hair? Hopefully this incident will make them reconsider certain aspects that might need adjusting.

I just hate that there wasn't any sort of compromise for this 11-year-old to cheer with her friends.




Image via KTRK-TV/ABC 13

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