This infuriates me. Not the report on this study, which I found interesting, if not surprising, but the stupid decision to slap a cheesecake photo of a cheerleader at the top. It’s so damn hard to get any respect, I swear it is. Go ahead. I’ll wait while you click through.
Professional cheerleaders are incredible athletes, that much is indisputable. But they’re also eye candy for boys. That’s the main reason they’re paid (poorly, I would bet) to be there on the sidelines of pro sporting events, clad in tiny little sparkle-studded fairy skirts (like the one in the photo on that article, my God, are we all twelve?) and halter tops. Sigh.
The study suggests that women make up a small minority of pro sports fandom because we are more interested in events as social gatherings, places to connect with friends and enjoy the party-like atmosphere. And you can find a respectable write-up of the article reporting on the study (I know, that’s twice removed) at After Atalanta, a blog dedicated to discussions of gender and sports, but I could hardly get past the photo when I clicked through to the Ottawa Citizen to read the article. Who the hell’s idea was that?
And there was only the lamest attempt to connect the image with the article (which has absolutely nothing to do with cheerleading as a sport) with the caption “Cheerleaders are the ultimate fans, right?” One might think (if one were a complete idiot) that the behemoth Getty Image site had no pictures of female fans at a sporting event, or male fans at a sporting event, or ticket sellers in front of a line with mostly men, or pro athletes (heaven knows there aren’t many pictures of that subject matter), or anything related to the actual content of the article.
I’m reduced to typing expansive profanities and resolutely hitting the backspace key.
Somebody please douse me with the contents of the drink cooler before I combust.
Image credit: Photocapy on Flickr (Gasp! With Creative Commons licensing! Anyone can use it! For free! Ok, I’m done snarking now. Maybe.)