This I Believe

Anna - Buda, Texas
Entered on September 8, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

My hair is blonde. I am a cheerleader. I am a blonde cheerleader. Yes, I literally am a blonde cheerleader. Sounds simple enough, right? Wrong. These days being a “blonde cheerleader” has a meaning of its own, which In fact is far from its physical meaning. Shaped by society, the definition of a cheerleader typically amounts to something like, a stuck-up, non-athletic, peppy, promiscuous girl…etc. Now to add blonde in front of the word cheerleader simply enough just adds “dumb’ somewhere in front of the rest of that definition. According to the dictionary however, a cheerleader is a person who leads spectators in traditional or formal cheering, especially at a pep rally or athletic event. One can conclude that neither of those definitions are that similar.

My hair is blonde. I am a cheerleader. I walk down the hallways in school only to find myself being glared down by a group of athletes, who let out a quick chuckle as I walk past. I feel certain they’re making fun of the uniform I have on, or possibly commenting on how short they think my skirt is. Whatever. Ironically enough, I’ve never seen a volleyball player wear more than tight spandex shorts at a game or practice, simply because that is what is expected. Among the line of students in the cafeteria I stand close behind two members of the band. I overhear their rude conversation by pure chance. I hear a tale of how evil they think cheerleaders are and how much each one hates us. Personally, I love the band. I love the drum line and I love the excitement that comes from the sound of the band playing. I appreciate what they do for our school. Days go on and I feel hurt. I shake it off.

My hair is blonde. I am a cheerleader. As time passes, I begin to think to myself. What is it that we as a group could have done that was so terrible in order to bring these different groups of people to despise us so much? What could I have done so wrong which would make them feel the need to make fun of us, or mock us on a regular basis without any explanation. Then I realize that it was no specific occurrence which enabled these feelings to become aroused. No, that in fact it was simply enough the term stereotype coming alive in its own essence. Stereotype, such a powerful concept has over-taken the minds of my fellow students. Not only in this school but everywhere, people become brainwashed by such a false image of a cheerleader. My hair may be blonde, and I may be a cheerleader, but I am still just me.