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Skimpy outfits and hip gyrations start national uproar

By Sloane Solomon

The suicide rate has recently skyrocketed among members of due to proposed legislation banning hot pants, midriffs and all that is cheerleader-y. Ok, maybe the suicide rate hasn’t skyrocketed, but the lengths of cheerleaders’ skirts surely have plummeted. Outraged (and probably bored) parents all over the country banded together to ask for legislature outlawing the skimpy outfits and hip gyrations that plague American high-school football games.

Texas legislator Al Edwards who proposed the bill said, “I can’t describe what sexy is to you, or somebody else, but as an adult, you know it when you see it.” (Read: bouncy teenagers in hot pants and scrunchy socks.) Edwards’ “cheerleader booty bill” has called for less revealing outfits and dance moves during practice and games for cheerleaders, dance teams and drill teams. Although no law has been passed outlawing provocative dance moves and glittery baby T’s, the National Federation of State High School Association decided that effective nationwide as of fall 2006 cheerleaders and the like will no longer be allowed to expose their midriffs.

Texas Commissioner of Education Shirley Neeley sent letters to all the superintendents last month pledging that she would monitor the dances and outfits at practices and games and determine penalties and punishments if applicable. If the schools fail to comply with monitoring the events, more severe disciplinary action will be taken against those schools.

      Other schools around the country aren’t sitting around waiting for the OK from the government to outlaw sequined sports bras, but instead taking matters into their own hands. DeKalb county schools near Atlanta, Georgia have already implemented a rule that drill team outfits fit less snug and show less skin.

While most cheerleaders all over the country are up in pom-poms over the new rule, University of Missouri freshman, and MU Golden Girl dance team member Laura Winkleman said, “Some girls aren’t cheerleaders for the right reasons. We’re not there to make MTV music videos. We’re there to entertain. So if you have a girl that’s doing it because she wants to be on the spirit squad and another girl doing it because she likes the attention, it’s probably better to have regulations on dress code. The outfits can effect the reputation of the girls on the team.”

      If people such as Al Edwards and Shirley Neeley spent half as much time developing a cure for cancer as they spent getting their Spankies in a twist over cheerleaders being too provocative, there would be no more terminal illnesses in this world. Is it really so bad for some cute little teenage girls to parade around a grass field to the delight of their overachieving mothers? I think not.

From the dawn of the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders to Kirsten Dunst’s career boost in “Bring it On,” cheerleaders have been a fun and positive (albeit sexy) icon of American sports. Regulating the amount of stunts performed during a routine I understand, but couldn’t more time be put into safety regulations on that?

The stereotypical cheerleader image died out with Molly Ringwald’s career; it’s a thing of the past and a moot point for the argument against skimpy outfits. Perhaps it’s the community newspaper liberal writer in me coming out, but I just don’t see the point in putting so much time and effort into something that will never really change: the length of every cheerleader’s skirt.


0 0 174 01 October, 2005 Entertainment, Fashion, Lifestyle October 1, 2005

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