Monday, April 20, 2009

Naked Cheer

Today's flavor: blackberry crepes - looks really rich, substantial, but be careful because if they are rolled too tightly, a hot nasty mess could splatter all over your face.

Oooooh controversy. I caught this story about a cheer coach who got fired because she posed for Playboy, and I thought, this will be popcorn-worthy. (Here's the Today Show story Some of the parents and students support the firing, some want her to get the job back, some want her branded with the a big "S" on her forehead (what "S" is for, you can decide). Ok, that's mostly expected. But the thing that's really going to get the fur flying is that the family that exposed her (get it, "exposed"?) only did so after their daughter was disqualified from joining the cheerleading team due to unexcused absences. My gut reaction is to roll my eyes at puritanical attitudes and people who are always ready to break out the torches and pitch forks. But when the morally superior family denies the notion that they might have been looking for a little payback, I move from the eye-roll to a rant of: "Oh, you nasty, petty, phony, sanctimonious, tiny, tiny people. Who do you think you're kidding?" You could almost feel them clenching when Matt Lauer suggested that they might have been motivated by their own agenda rather than their claim of the greater good. Come on people, if you're going to try to ruin somebody, and you were propelled on to your high horse by spite, well go on with your bad self, but own it. Don't sit there and talk about setting examples and respect while mentally taping your fingers together and saying 'eeeex-cel-lent" in that Mr. Burns (The Simpsons) way. The two wrongs don't make a right concept be damned - I find these parents' behavior much worse than the coach's transgression. And let's not forget all the other outraged families who absolutely had to run to their computers and burn their poor, suffering eyes with the offending images - but only to inform their objections, of course. I totally get why parents react strongly to learning that someone with (at best) questionable judgment and, ahem, loose morals, is in charge of impressionable young minds. I get it, I'm just not going to fly into a fit of righteous indignation about it.
Carlie Beck, accused of being a
very, very bad role model

I know what you're thinking, but my opinion here has nothing to do with the idea that if I looked like that chick, I'd be walking around naked as much as possible. I'm not completely without parental instincts - I don't want my kids by influenced by a depraved element any more than any other mom. But in this case: 1)nudity doesn't bother me and neither does sexuality; 2)so long as she's not recruiting fellow models; 4) she is well-qualified and effective in the job; and 4) I trust my ability to raise my kids with the moral priorities observed by my family. More over, it's a great opportunity to have a hideously uncomfortable conversation with teenagers about all that stuff so many parents are quite sure their little angels know nothing about.

But by supporting this coach aren't you sending the message that you condone her choice to pose nude? Aren't you concerned kids might find this acceptable and even pursue this course as well? Um, no. I am so confident in my parenting skills, that I'm sure my awesomeness will prevail above all other influences. Also, there's the fact that my privileged kids will damn well behave to my satisfaction if they are to be properly equipped with technology and credit cards. I don't expect that a coach who poses naked would deteriorate my child's character any more than one who smokes, or is divorced, or loves the NRA, or spends weekends in full Trekkie regalia. She is there to help girls learn how to successfully bounce around and shake their booties in tiny skirts in order to praise and encourage their male counterparts - not to teach high-minded self-actualization. (No, I don't actually know what that last bit means, but it sounds about right.)
The image of cheerleading must
be preserved for the sake of all of
our daughters who have dreams
of going pro, like this wholesome
NFL cheerleader.

Alright, you former cheerleaders and cheer moms, keep your panties on (I don't usually go for puns, but I just can't resist in this post) - I know it's athletic and teaches stuff like teamwork, sportsmanship and the importance of always nailing a big, bright smile to your face. Oh, crap. I went and flavored it with irreverence again, didn't I?

*Sigh* As much as I adore each and every one of you readers, it's just impossible (for me) to write on this topic and not offend/disgust/piss-off some of you. Well, go yell at me in the comment section, I'll respect your point of view won't delete it (unless I feel like it).


  1. Every time I hear a story like that, I'm reminded of when Julie McCullough (Julie Costello, Chrissy's babysitter/Mike's fiance) was fired from Growing Pains because TPTB found out she posed for Playboy and having her on the show went against the show's "family values." Now it's like every other actress on TV has posed for Playboy. If they fired everyone who had been in the magazine, there wouldn't be a whole lot of people left on TV, on family shoes or otherwise.

    Playboy has gone mainstream these days. For most people, it's no big deal anymore. Playboy isn't that much different from FHM in that regards, as opposed to less classier mags like Hustler. People only make Playboy a big deal when it suits their agenda, as it obviously did in this case.

  2. Ugh, I meant family shows, not family shoes. I have no idea if the cheerleader was wearing shoes in her pictorial or not...

  3. I wonder if it had been the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition if they would be upset?

    AND, didn't she pose PRIOR to getting this job?

    I'm with you on this one, for sure!

  4. I always wonder about those that "doth protest too much."
    Seriously I doubt she was teaching the cheerleaders how to pose nude for heaven's sake and talk about sour grapes. Those parents should have taught their child how to deal with disappointment not how to "get back at someone you think did you wrong."

  5. I am so with you on this one.
    I wonder if the girl and her family thought everyone would buy there load of crap and I also wonder if anyone believe it in the first place.

  6. How idiotic. Who cares if she posed? And for cheerleader parents of all things, to object. Their daughters are on the field wearing skimpy outfits shaking their *ahem* pom-poms.

    Oh, but it's a sport, they comment. Yeah. Sure. The ones that do compete as a sport I get. Oh, and their uniforms cover everything. Wouldn't want that pom-pom slipping out doing a flip over some guy's shoulders.

  7. I keep saying this, over and over again.Maybe someday someone will listen:

    IT'S MY JOB to protect my kids from the world.

    It's my job to teach them morals.

    It's my job to decide who is a good and bad influence.

    My boys would have been TOTALLY delighted to have her as a coach.


    The mom is completely condescending and dumb. She makes me mad. "I get to choose who influences my daughter"? Come on. Ruin it for everyone else because you're a jerk, lady.

    I completely agree with you.

  9. Thanks for your refreshing take on it! I am with you!

  10. I'm sure she made a lot more money posing for Playboy than coaching. Now she'll get a book deal or something from all this. Damn. I want my ten minutes of fame.

  11. I agree with you on this one!

  12. Ok. Cheer Mom here.
    And I'm in complete agreement with your entry. My daughter and I have discussed this news story and we both think it's ridiculous. As a Mom, I'm more then confident in my daughter to make good choices. I highly doubt a cheer coach could persuade her to pose nude for anything unless thats exactly what my soon to be 18 year old daughter wanted.

  13. I agree how wrong it is for parents to teach their kids how to get back at someone. And to do it in such a manipulative way. I have 2 little girls and will hate to see them loose once they start school, will hate to see their sad little faces, but hey, it's life! How else will they learn the hard knocks of reality if I don't teach them "this is how it is" and how else will they learn if I don't teach them the correct way to bounce back? I feel bad for that kid. What is she gonna do when she gets into the "real" world and she doesn't get what she wants? Go on national T.V. again with another sob story? How sad!!

  14. loved reading this and the comments on it too.

    I wouldn't want my kids to judge anyone because of something they did a while back...judge them as they are now and if she was doing her job and doing it well, then WHO CARES?!?!?!

    anyway, great post.

  15. "I am so confident in my parenting skills, that I'm sure my awesomeness will prevail above all other influences. Also, there's the fact that my privileged kids will damn well behave to my satisfaction if they are to be properly equipped with technology and credit cards."

    Thank you! That is what I am talking about!

  16. Helloooo.... Former cheerleader and former cheer coach. And parent of two daughters. I would love to say that I trust my daughter's judgment 100% but knowing how much of an influence my OWN mom was on me in high school (about zero) I just try to do my best and protect them from the rest. So I would not want my daughter coached by this woman, but I wouldn't have waited until it suited my agenda to bring it to the attention of the school district. You're right - that's petty and small for them to call her out only after their daughter failed to make the team. Isn't it funny that people don't ever think more than 30 seconds ahead of the present? Didn't this family ever consider what would happen once they followed the course of events that they did? If they'd thought for about one minute, they would have realized how bad they would look, and realize also that their daughter STILL wouldn't be on the team. So, did they really win anything here?

    But I appreciate the pic of the redskins cheerleader... Cheerleading is so oversexualized. WHY??? WHY MUST IT BE??? The girls start cheering at age 8 now... do they really need to show their midriffs and put glitter on their faces??? Deep down, it just makes me so sad.

  17. My daughter was a cheerleader from 7th grade thru the end of high school! They worked out hard almost the entire year. I have mixed emotions about what this coach did - there is that small part of me that says - Geez, if you are built like, then go for it! Then there is this other part of me that says, Why does everything have to be about beautiful women hoswing it all???

  18. "Don't hate me because I'm beautiful". Remember those commercials? Please don't persecute those who choose to "publish" what they've been blessed with (naturally or purchased). I do beleive it's a right somewhere amongst all those amendments we live by. I'm a Mom to three beautiful girls, and I am more concerned with whether or not they're honest, loving, loyal, considerate, confident, intelligent, emphathetic, understanding and a grace to humanity rather than whether or not they're going to see their cheerleading coach naked somewhere. BUT, if they do happen to find out that someone they look up to has posed nude, then I hope they're secure enough with themselves as women and their place in society that they won't look for a way to "squash" someone else because of their choices.

  19. Part of me says that this woman shouldn't be influencing kids and that she should have expected this. Part of me knows that this is sour grapes on my part since only the mammogram technician wants to capture me topless on film.

    The family should own up to the fact that they were motivated by revenge, not a sudden morality crisis.

  20. I agree with the parental-role part (and responsibility), more need to stop pointing their fingers at others and see how good had they taught their children to gain self-awareness in this brutal world (LOL)

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