Lengthen those skirts, ladies: San Jose high school adds sweatpants to cheerleading uniforms

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September 14, 2011

As a former rejected band geek who used to play Beatles jams with my 50-year-old music teacher, I have long been bitter about cheerleaders. Their peppy, swinging ponytails and mascara-crunched eyelashes have always made me feel like a gangly teenage boy who mediocrely wails “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.”

So when I saw the San Jose Mercury announcing that San Jose’s Piedmont High School’s cheerleaders had to start wearing sweats beneath their skirts at school, the arpeggio-loving adolescent in me celebrated. Basically, these girls were kvetching that they can’t wear their cheek-baring “clothing” to school. Really, ladies?

The miffed muffies argued that they couldn’t express their school spirit with sweats under their skirts. Believe me, I’m all for school spirit. I’m on the Mills College swim team and love the Cyclones like a cheerleader loves hairspray. But do you hear me running to the press complaining that I can’t strut around in my swimsuit in class? No.

Plus, Piedmont High  just started “dress-code sweeps” this school year, where students rocking less-than-appropriate garb are pulled aside and must wait for their parents to bring more tasteful clothing. That may seem extreme, but in theory, school’s about learning, not scoring booty.

And just as the school decided to wrap away some adolescent skin, the cheerleaders made their skirts shorter. I’m not an expert with logic, but if A equals B and A has to put some clothes on, doesn’t B have to keep her heiny under wraps.

Piedmont High’s attempt to keep cheerleading mating season to a minimum indicates what needs to happen elsewhere. Sure, let the cliques form, let the football games roll and let the ladies dance on the sidelines, but keep it tasteful. It’s hard enough for the pimply tuba players as is; don’t torture them with a prepubescent girl’s booty bumping on the sideline, incinerating any semblance of self confidence they may have garnered from playing the fight song.

The rally squad girls have the rest of their lives to shove themselves into too-tight polyester get-ups and let men feast their eyes on them. They should enjoy their mothers taking them to Ross to purchase grandma-approved gear while they can, because goodness knows mama won’t love seeing the Vegas poolside pics that surface five years down the road.

Not that I’m bitter. I’m successful, not horrible on the eyes and chat up a fellow or two. Still, I’d like to get some revenge while I can, and no, that doesn’t include me recording some moaning and groaning cover of “Yesterday.” 

I’d rather tell the girls to put some damn clothes on and keep their perky ponytails out of my face.


Lengthen those skirts, ladies: San Jose high school adds sweatpants to cheerleading uniforms was published on September 14, 2011 in Column, Opinions

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