WASHINGTON — A poster urging cheerleader hopefuls to boast an athletic physique, wear their hair down, and don “girl about town” lipstick and beachy bronze skin, has drawn an enormous ‘boo!’ from the Internet arena, with complaints that women are being pressured to conform to a Western ideal, and objectified to boot.
A Facebook backlash ensued after the “do’s and don’ts” infographic was posted on Facebook by the University of Washington cheerleading team on Monday. It has since been taken down.
— FOX 5 DC (@fox5dc) April 29, 2016
According to a write up by The Seattle Times, the infographic — showing an attractive white woman clad in black exercise gear — supports false eyelashes and midriffs, but not “dark smoky eyes” or “nude lips.”
While some of the pointed suggestions seem cliché — if not fairly common sense — for a sport that demands uniformity in appearance, the posting is drawing fire from feminists and minority voices who say it suggests a white, conventional view of beauty, and forces women once again into a position of sexing up their physical attributes for social acceptance.
“One of the first things that comes to mind is objectification and idealization of Western beauty, which are values I would like to believe the University doesn’t want to perpetuate,” UW student Jsazmine Perez told the Seattle Times. “As a student of color who looks nothing like the student in the poster, this feels very exclusive.”
In response, the school’s athletic director told the paper they created the graphic “in response to a high volume of student questions about cheer and dance team tryouts.” It was removed after the department “determined that some of the details and descriptions provided were inconsistent with the values of the UW spirit program and department of athletics.”
— euneaux (@euneaux) April 29, 2016
— Melissa Drozdowski (@Melissa_iPR) April 29, 2016
Others met the controversy with a big ‘meh’ :
— DaveCothran ☕ (@DaveCothran) April 28, 2016
— KittKat❤️Bama16 (@jkittkat) April 28, 2016
Of course, a little humor is always welcome:
Saw the UW Cheerleader Tryouts Do’s and Don’ts lists, obviously.https://t.co/Zbp3LiJPDf
— Toblerone, That Dog (@Leonard_Su) April 28, 2016