Cheerleaders are often stereotyped as mean or bullies, but what is their side?
Emma Gichert, freshman at Arvada West and also a JV cheerleader says, “People taunt me about being in cheer. They say jokes in sarcastic or condescending voices. They make fun of me whenever I’m in my uniform or just when people find out that I’m in cheer.”
“Rumors say cheerleaders are treated differently but it isn’t true and it doesn’t matter. We put so much work into what we do that comments like that are just put aside,” said Gichert.
Bullying cheerleaders or anyone in general affects how cheerleaders do their sport.
“It affects my attitude towards cheer,” said Gichert. “It ruins the energy we put into it. When people say rude comments it makes us want to quit.”
Morgan Tafolla, freshman at Arvada West and also a pom says “When we are bullied or made fun of for what we do, we feel disrespected and it makes girls want to quit the team.”
Whenever girls quit the team the other cheerleaders and poms have to reorganize cheers and work even harder so that they can perform for the audience.
What do cheerleaders think of the stereotype that they tend to be bullies?
“It’s ignorant,” said Gichert. “ You shouldn’t judge someone based on what activity they enjoy doing mainly if it’s not hurting anyone. People should learn about what’s on the inside. Movies and shows make it seem like we are terrible people but we really are just normal girls that like to cheer on our school’s teams.”
“Guys think that because we are in poms and we have to wear our short skirts it gives them power to say bad things about us and automatically assume that we sleep around and do sexual things,” Tafolla said.
This is something that seems to be stereotyped in many ways, whether its movies, shows or books. Comments and rumors that say things like that often discourage the cheerleaders and poms which sometimes makes them want to quit.
“We are one big family, when things get tough we help each other out. We cannot let things like that keep us down. Our job is to be positive so that’s what we try to do,” said Gichert.
“Doing what you love and what makes you happy is what matters, not the harsh comments. Yes, having negative things said can leave makes on your self esteem but you have to do what brings you joy. When bullying happens you need to surround yourself with positivity and people that love you,” added Gichert.