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 http://tinyurl.com/c33bez) 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
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
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).