We live in a society obsessed with fame where people will blindly follow any path they think leads to stardom.
You have your pageant contestants, some as young as five, and of course your models/singers/actresses. There are dancers, the scourge of the hotel service industry with their seemingly endless supply of props. Finally, there is the sub-species of fame seeker that I consider the most fierce and dangerous: the cheerleader.
Now before you get to excited, let me be clear: I’m not talking about the sexy cheerleaders we both laugh and cringe at on Glee. Although the image those actresses are sending out to young girls is part of the problem with today’s cheerleaders.
No, I’m referring to young ladies between eight and seventeen, at the most. Underage cheerleaders may walk the walk, but they’re not able to talk the talk. And any adult that thinks so is in danger of becoming a resident of our lovely penal system!
My humble hotel was overrun by packs of this species this past weekend and the damage is still being assessed and repaired. Not only that, but they trashed my fair city’s new convention center, leaving it a suitable filming location for The Hangover 3!
- They tore hand-dryers out of washroom walls!
- They ripped upholstery on brand-new chairs!
- They sacrificed the weakest member of each squad in the name of Satan!
Okay, so I can’t confirm that one, but anything’s possible. Seriously, today’s cheerleaders are fierce! They’re like limber little locusts in gaudy uniforms and eight ounces of war paint, I mean make-up!
Actually, war paint is a more appropriate term, considering these girls are out for blood! And as the packs of wild cheerleaders roam the urban jungle, their cougar moms carefully observe the proceedings from the sidelines and urge their progeny to go in for the kill!
To be honest, though, while their kids are roaming the halls of my hotel, the cougar moms are chain-smoking and sipping wine coolers and Mike’s Hard Lemonade in the rooms!
Seriously, these moms and coaches have no idea just what their not-so-good-little girls are up to.They’re getting hit on by would-be hockey heroes and various other forty-year-old Lotharios, that’s what.
The Hook was riding the elevator down from a call when two young guys in their late twenties were blatantly checking out a cheerleader in a particularly provocative outfit, with matching make-up of course.
Unfortunately her parents were present! When the two morons disembarked one floor before the lobby, it gave the dad an opportunity to attack The Hook!
IRATE CHEERLEADING DAD: (In booming voice) You guys were checking out my daughter!
THE HOOK: I’m not with the two gentlemen sir, and I’m forty-one and not interested in girls who are younger than my uniform size!
(This brought a chuckle from the mom and an awkward look from the daughter!)
ICD: I know what I saw!
THE HOOK: To be brutally honest, sir, these cheerleading uniforms look like they’ve been designed by Larry Flynt! I don’t think you can be too surprised by the reaction you’ve just seen. You can expect to see more of that in the future if your daughter continues to pursue cheerleading.
ICD: Well, I..
THE HOOK: Have a nice day, folks.
With that, I made my way back to my desk, leaving Irate Cheerleading Dad and his family stunned and hopefully enlightened. Nothing else transpired of the incident, so I can only assume my message, though risky to convey, was received and understood.
Sometimes you have to put people in their place, but only after they’ve started something!
AND ANOTHER THING THAT BURNS ME UP…
And the cheerleader-induced havoc continued in even more disturbing ways. Which brings me to a particularly troubling incident that occurred during Sunday morning check-out.
A young lady, afflicted with Downs syndrome I believe, took a seat on a bench directly across from my desk. She was wearing a cheerleader uniform – intended to make her feel comfortable with the squad she was traveling with in an unofficial capacity. The way she was sitting afforded a view of a specific area, which was not properly covered.
I found myself in the unenviable position of having to alert her caregiver to the fact her young charge wasn’t wearing underwear and other guests were taking notice.
Turns out the young lady had received instruction from the other girls, all of whom were in their late teens and should have known better, and was simply trying to fit in. The situation was quickly rectified but the damage is inestimable.
These girls have been negatively influenced at some point and even though they knew better, they made the conscious decision to spread that negative influence along to an innocent victim.
Cheerleading can help young ladies become leaders later in life. It can instill the value of teamwork and sacrifice for a common goal. It can even help hone their supple young bodies into finely tuned instruments and stave off the epidemic of childhood obesity.
But this weekend, I didn’t see enough of the positive effects of cheerleading, just the reasons why people so closely associate cheerleaders with sexual imagery.
Of course, I’d still rather deal with cheerleaders than hockey players.