Sunday, March 25, 2007

Response to TonysKansasCity post on cheerleading

My response to a post on Tony's Kansas City regarding Chiefs Cheerleaders:

"Because I am a fellow blogger since 2004 and a former Chiefs Cheerleader of three years, I may be able to lend a little light to this situation. At first glance, the professional cheerleading world and the TKC blog clash dramatically. I find that perhaps it is mostly a difference of expression, meaning that a professional cheerleader must express a certain high-level group mentality in order to be successful whereas a blogger must be individualistic in expression to be original. Let me explain:

"Professional cheerleaders are often not given the respect they deserve for several reasons, with one of the biggest reasons being that the cheerleaders are so highly skilled at performance, communication and community involvement that they make this most physically and mentally strenuous and challenging opportunity appear effortless. In fact, on top of dance ability, attitude, communication, awareness, marketability, leadership and so many other qualities that a young woman must possess to be selected for the squad, the cheerleaders are trained to be highly disciplined and polished so much so that the ladies strive for, in a sense, perfection. After all, to be on a professional cheerleading squad, not only do you have to memorize hours and hours of material, you have to be aware of 35 other women's actions on and off the field. You must be on top of your game and ensure that the other 35 women are on top of their game as well to be successful as a group. This requires constant verbal and nonverbal communication between the staff and the cheerleaders, and I can guarantee you that if there is any sort of slacking on a cheerleader's part that the behavior will not be tolerated and the cheerleader would most likely be released from her high-profile cheerleadering contract. Afterall, I'm sure you have heard that you are only as strong as your weakest member. The strength in the Chiefs Cheerleader organization lies in the ability to harness individualistic expression in such a way that they can quickly tailor it to meet the group's performance needs. I will suggest that it is reminiscent to the likes of an airshow. The precision and timing that it takes for a pilot to perform in an airshow are so crucial that any slack in performance would be detrimental to an organization's reputation, commerce, and overall health.

"Now, being that I learned so much about group expression through Chiefs Cheerleading prior to becoming a blogger, I must admit that I struggled initially in finding my own voice as a blogger. Now that I'm thinking about it, I feel that my group training is in closer comparison to that of the military mentality than that of any other organization. Even though I have not been a cheerleader for the Chiefs in the last several years, I know that some people still view me as such and that my words and actions may be associated with them fairly or unfairly. Fortunately, however, I am also a strong believer in personal expression as a means to finding who you are and your place in this world. I have taught myself not to rely on cheerleading as my identity, just as being a blogger is not my identity, but to use these tools as a means to discovering my identity.Tony's Kansas City is the blog of blogs in this town and is successful for many reasons, including but not limited to your voice, but also your inclusiveness of other bloggers' material. Personal opinion, especially controversal and unpolitically correct opinion attracts attention and can be entertaining. At first glance, your inclusion of buxom beauties into your non-buxom beauty commentary could lead a first-time reader to think correctly or incorrectly that you objectify women. Now, for the people who read your blog regularly, they should know that you appreciate a woman's inner and outer beauty and long-term relationships (because of your relationship with Sheri), and that you also try (notice that I notice you try, with try being the key word!) to relate your buxom pictures to the description of your content. To a Chiefs Cheerleader this can come across as being appalling because of some of the comments made to them by drunk, immature and unintelligent men who don't have the mental capacity to acknowledge the cheerleader's work for what it truly is. A cheerleader's work is just as technical as that of a so-called blue-collar worker polished in such a way to that of a so-called white-collar worker's standards. If any male has ever felt negatively underappreciated from women because of his job, then he should know that at least he can make a living off of it, whereas the professional cheerleader chooses to do this because of reasons other than money. You could make an argument/paradox here as to who the sell-out really is-- a man who hates his job but does it for the money or a woman who loves her job, makes little money yet finds opportunities for personal growth in what she's doing.

"Keep up the good work, Tony, and know that cheerleaders bring a certain light to this world that everyone can use. Afterall, our friends, teachers, and families are the ultimate cheerleaders that have pushed us all to where we are today."


emawkc said...

Well said.

emawkc said..., make that "well written."

Bradley Meehan said...

Yo, Steph.

Are you coming out tomorrow night (Friday)? Let me know so I can put you on my list.