Imagine! College cheerleaders are supposed to look pretty!
According to the Seattle Times, the University of Washington took down, after only a few hours, an infographic advising female students how to do their hair, makeup, and clothing when trying out for the Huskies cheerleading and dance squads. The reason? The graphic, featuring a tanned and wholesome-looking young blonde modeling the required tryout attire of black sports bra and shorts, exemplified the "objectification and idealization of Western beauty." as one of the numerous protesters who flooded Facebook with angry reactions, put it.
Well! Everybody knows that it's forbidden to have anything "Western" at a West Coast university!
The UW athletics department had posted the infographic on Facebook “in response to a high volume of student questions about cheer and dance team tryouts," according to the Seattle Times article. The design of the infographic was modeled after similar audition graphics posted at Washington State and Louisiana State universities.
The University of Washington graphic advised aspiring cheerleaders not to wear "too much makeup" or sport "visible tattoos" or "distracting fingernail polish." They were told to wear their hair down (no ponytails) and to cultivate a "bronze, beachy glow, false lashes, girl about town lipstick, flattering eye shadow.”
“I can’t believe this is real,” said UW student Jazmine Perez, director of programming for student government, via email.
“One of the first things that comes mind is objectification and idealization of Western beauty, which are values I would like to believe the University doesn’t want to perpetuate,” she said. “As a student of color who looks nothing like the student in the poster, this feels very exclusive.”
Said Signe Burchim, a UW senior: “I think it’s really upsetting and kind of disheartening the way it’s basically asking these women who want to try out to perform their femininity — but not too much.” Such a message would never go out to men trying out for a sport, she said.
In a statement, UW athletics officials said they took down the graphic after they “determined that some of the details and descriptions provided were inconsistent with the values of the UW spirit program and department of athletics.”
"Values" on a campus these days means giving in to every student protest, no matter how silly.