A group of Connecticut High School cheerleaders went before the local Board of Education this week to complain about their new uniforms. "I don't feel comfortable wearing this," said Heidi Medina, a former team captain, standing before the board wearing a quarter-length top and exposed midriff. "The stomach and butt hangs out," demonstrated another cheerleader, who is someone's adolescent daughter, you creep.
The Connecticut Post reports that another senior on the team, Ariana Mesaros, said, "It really hurts our self esteem. I feel like if I go out, I feel trashy. I am embarrassed to stand up here dressed like this. Is this really how you want Bridgeport to be represented?" Another senior cited a rule in the National Federation Spirit rules book, the standard guide for high school cheerleading competitions, which states that "When standing at attention, apparel must cover the midriff." And these photos show
But assistant superintendent Denise Clemons defended the uniforms as appropriate, and tells the Daily News that they were given to students based on size information the cheerleaders themselves had provided. "This had all been addressed before them going to the board," she told the Post, adding that the school is ordering black bodysuits for the girls to wear under the uniforms.
The cheerleaders' protest has made national news, because it touches on important issues like adolescent body-image and self-esteem, not because stories about skimpy cheerleader uniforms are good business. For instance, a CBS report headlined "Cheerleaders Balk at Revealing Uniforms" shows the uniforms in question, and references a recent poll of college cheerleaders, which showed that young women wearing skimpy clothes were at high risk for eating disorders.