Ahh...nothing says summertime like the Major League Baseball all-star game, NBA Summer League action, free-agency rumors, and cheerleading tryouts.
Yes, cheerleader rosters are equally revamped year-to-year like their athlete counterparts, which they share the field/court with. And it's almost that time for the Golden State Warrior Girls Tryouts.
But here's an interesting criteria for consideration:
Wear a form-fitting half dance or sport top and boy shorts or briefs
For those that don't know, a half dance-top, from my brief research on-line, is similar looking to a sports bra. This seems like an interesting request for a tryout. But what does this request for "form-fitting' and not to mention revealing clothes reveal what male fans expect from cheerleaders?
As the saying goes, "sex sells." Cheerleaders provide mid-game entertainment, wearing some heels that look too difficult to even walk in. Based off some rumors of certain cheerleaders and how they act and dress, we assume that they are all just trying to tie their successes to the next superstar. Given these existing ideas of cheerleaders and based off this Warrior Girls criteria for participation, is it us male fans that expect cheerleaders to dress this particular way in order for them to be "cheerleaders."
Granted, dance skill is probably very important. But if men make up a larger portion of paying fans (I have no statistical evidence of this aside from seeing more men than women at some sporting events), then is it us male fans that contribute to the negative portrayals of cheerleaders in professional sports?
Also, I've heard many Warriors fans say that the Junior Jam Squad, the Warriors kids dance squad coached by the Warrior girls, dances better than the sometimes scantily-clad Warriors cheerleaders. But I can't help but think that this open call for cheerleading tryouts tell us more about what us fans expect to see from cheerleaders than what cheerleaders inherently are. That is, do we as fans desire this image of women prancing around in high heels, which we also publicly denounce?
This brings up another question, if Warrior girls dressed in ordinary clothes like the Junior Jam Squad and not their usual tight, revealing half-dance tops and boy shorts, would we pay any attention? Or is our evaluation of cheerleaders really just about the dance moves?