‘I am an adrenaline junkie,’ proclaims the broad-shouldered man eating Ethiopian food at my dinner party, ‘but I would never wear a squirrel suit!’ I am a little confused. What could be dangerous about a furry outfit, other than the ‘about to come loose’ fan whirring away inside the oversized head? Even I would risk donning a rodenty costume, and I am too afraid to have my ears candled.
I bet I would get lucky in about five minutes, especially if I adopted the same limp-wristed submission pose pictured above, at least according to the ‘How to Read Sexual Signals’ Web site. Here is an insightful tip for straight ladies: Men like cleavage. Any kind of cleavage. Any at all. [Gratuitous aside: Just the other week, I said to my partner: ‘I know how to increase traffic on my web site! I will start posting pictures of me with my tits out. Because they are great! He couldn’t have agreed more]. Back to my magnificent Saturday night: It turns out that the manly-man-guest—Fitbabe calls him ‘Ginger R’—was referring to those aerodynamic flying outfits worn by crazy fuckers who like to jump off cliffs and out of planes, waiting until the last minute to deploy their parachutes. Like this guy.
Now which character would you rather get jiggy with, fur fingers or bat basket? Obviously it would be the former, so I rest my case. Still, I am not one to judge. Consider the hirsute man who sported a tight bib suspender cycling outfit in spin class the other day. He looked kind of like the doofus below, but even worse because he was pale and skinny, covered with a thick layer of black hair. But then I thought: You never know; he might have a good reason to be so attired on a Sunday morning at the local gym. Maybe he is performing with David Lee Roth in a hockey arena later.
‘Hold on there, FFG.’ You might be wondering, ‘what does all of this have to do with cheerleading?’ Well, my non-poetic, linear-thinking friends, it should be perfectly clear. Rodent mascots are often the official cheerleaders of various sports teams. It’s interesting that critters considered pests, loathed and targeted by government bounties, shot in the head, trapped and poisoned, can also cutely represent the entire region, bringing joy to one’s heart along with chants of ‘rah rah rah.’ I am completing a chapter on that fascinating topic, but I won’t bore you with the details. Actually, I probably will bore you with them, just not right now.
It occurs to me that personal trainers are first and foremost cheerleaders. They must be fit, energetic, wear form fitting outfits, and make other people shout, cry, and jump about. They need to have expertise in sports training, physiology, and nutrition; but they also need to understand psychology, especially if they are female. As far as I can tell, women trainers are often used as sounding boards by their female clients, who unload all of their personal problems while doing push ups and burpees. Don’t get me wrong, these women have serious issues that they need to discuss. I am not certain, however, why they choose to pay for a personal trainer rather than a therapist. Or just talk to their sympathetic lady friends. I doubt that men engage in similar behaviour at the gym, but male trainers should feel free to correct me about that assumption. Anyway, I have a few female friends who are professional personal trainers, and they are exhausted by the emotional labour that they are forced to perform day in and day out. Women generally bear the burden of such labour in most service industries and I think that is bullshit!
I was also thinking about cheerleading as a ‘sport’ after having coffee last week with Deepika Mittra, who blogs at www.openingspaces.ca. I met her at a fundraiser and once we realized that we both write blogs, we planned a post-swap session. I am going to write something like ‘Bodybuilding is my Yoga, Bitches!’ for her yoga loving fans, and she will no doubt antagonize you in her own special way. In any case, Deepika mentioned that her niece participates in something called ‘Cheer,’ encouraging me to look it up. I immediately did so, finding that cheerleading has recently been transformed into an organized sport for (mostly) young girls. While they perform acrobatic feats in frequent competitions, they also wear skimpy outfits, make-up, fake nails and so forth. What an outrage! I would never participate in such an activity. … Oh, hold on a minute. What’s more, these cheerleaders always perform for an-other, not for themselves, at least in theory. They cheer for (mostly) male sports teams, providing eye candy and diversion from the main event. ‘Oh no,’ you might object. ‘Cheerleading is now a sport in its own right, on its own terms.’ But is that really the case? Don’t cheerers perform for an audience, becoming aesthetic objects, and giving voice to the desires of others? Are they not ultimately supportive of others in the usual feminine (not feminist) approved fashion? I would rather put my daughter in soccer. If I had a daughter. That would be better for her self-esteem, and would also bring me closer to hot European men with shapely legs and hairbands.
As usual, I will end with some chants liable to motivate you for the rest of the week:
Fly high, do or die, dare to dream, cheer extreme.
Cheer-ability is a talent for deciding something quickly and getting everyone in the stadium doing it.