You Can't Be On This College's Cheer Team Unless You Look Like This -- Eff That

If you close your eyes right now and picture a cheerleader -- like the most basic, cheery cheerleader you can think of -- you picture a hot, skinny white girl with fab hair, right? Right. Well, the University of Washington cheer and dance team apparently does as well, and they turned that image into an extremely sexist and extremely depressing flyer for girls who want to join their team.


Are you surprised? Yeah, neither are we. But it's still worth moaning about for a while because at some point, everyone needs to realize messages like this are NOT OKAY, and we're going to get righteously upset when they try to pull them over on us.

Like, come on. We have to quit it with this stuff:

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Ah, yes. "Girl about town lipstick." Seems like the perfect choice for extended physical activity. But where is the description of the pre-approved length of pubic hair? And where do they leave receipts to prove that they spent at least $10,000 on braces?

Like, we know what cheerleaders are "supposed" to look like. We've been watching teen rom-coms since the beginning of time. We get it.

But aren't we past this? Are we not at a point where we can have brown girls and fat girls and one-armed girls and Asian girls and tall girls and pixie-cut girls on a cheer team and celebrate that? Did they not watch Glee?? Like...?

We get that they're going for an aesthetic. But we're talking about humans with feelings. We're talking about a super fit, size 14 black girl who doesn't feel adequate enough to represent her school because a dumb poster doesn't like her natural hair. That's very stupid. It should not be that way.

We are not the only ones who think this, and after the UW cheer and dance team posted this flyer on their Facebook page, they got dragged by students and the public until they took it down. Afterward, the Husky athletic officials told The Seattle Times that the department decided the poster was "inconsistent with the values of the UW spirit program and the department of athletics."

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But the question still remains: Are they really revising their values, or are they just taking them out of the public eye? Are they going to keep giving positions on the team to skinny white girls, or are they going to start ... not? 

The information they're trying to get across could be valuable, but they should be doing it in a way that doesn't exclude entire sects of girls by nature of the language. They should also stop telling girls to wear "girl about town" lipstick. That's honestly just creepy.

Hopefully we'll see that the 2016 UW cheer team is more diverse and inclusive than what this flyer is asking for. We probably won't, but we're crossing our fingers anyway.


Image via University of Washington/The Seattle Times

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