Cheerleading is considered a sport in the United States and the concept of having them in the Indian Premier League (IPL) is not solely to make it look like a sporting event. The impact is much beyond the boundaries of sport where scantily-clad girls are cheering for every run scored by their team but for some it is just objectifying women.
Recently an IPL cheer girl took to a social networking site Reddit in trying to share her experience as a cheerleader with pom-poms in the cash-rich cricket league.
The unnamed cheer girl did an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit where people had come and asked her random questions and some of her replies are good enough to raise some serious questions on the conduct of fans in the stadium.
Ogling and groping at women is a pretty common occurrence these days and just to believe that none of these cheerleaders face any of that at IPL venues would be like closing your eyes to it.
So her obvious response to that question is, “All the time. I hate it."
It is a no-brainer to even ask which part of the stadium is first occupied as the area directly behind cheerleaders podium is probably the most happening place in the stands.
But not everything can be bad, at least not cricket, and she has no qualms in accepting that. “The games are always so much more fun if we’re winning. It’s much more boring to sit in a chair than it is to dance. I wasn’t a cricket fan before this, but I am now!"
But the problem is not with India alone as she goes on to emphasise and it is a global issue that needs to addressed.
“I’ve only cheered in India and one other western country. The men in the crowd in India are much more intrusive. But you’ll find pigs wherever you go," she explained.
Most of the spectators do not shy away from shouting abusive and cheap words at the cheerleaders and her take in the entire matter when asked was pretty much in the face.
“For the most part I can’t hear them. The music is loud enough and the accents are thick enough; I’m mostly oblivious to the words. This doesn’t mean I can’t tell that there are some obvious slime-balls behind me. I try my best to ignore them. And I’ve made a personal rule for myself not to take pictures with fans unless they’re women or children. I’m not keen on becoming someone’s fap bate for the night," she replied.
Responding to a question of lack of Indian cheerleaders, she said, “I agree. I love doing it, but I’d honestly prefer to see at least a mix of Indian women. Sadly there’s nothing I can do about that. If I refuse, I’d be breaking my contract and they’d replace me with another white girl anyway."
And she also equated that to something racist.
“I hate the racism. Why is my team made up of 99% white girls? Why do Indians feel it’s ok to dress white girls up in skimpy outfits but they won’t let their fellow Indian women do it? It’s messed up," she wrote, sharing her disappointment.
She further added, “I’ve asked my managers [about why no Indian girls as cheerleaders] and they don’t know. I’ll keep asking around, though, because I’m curious too. They could probably just get good dancers and train them; there’s no shortage of those."
Cheerleading can be a strenuous job in itself and there is no denying that as she goes on to throw some light as to what goes behind the ever so smiling face that most of us think to be fake.
“It’s not really a fake smile. I mean, when I get on the stand, I might put a smile on when there might not have been one a moment ago, but it’s still genuine. It’s tiring to smile constantly, plus who does that in real life anyway?"