Saturday, March 02, 2013

Traditionalist TV: Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders - Making the Team

Television is the chief messenger of cathedral propaganda. What has its reach to as wide of an audience in as compact a manner as a tv show? As women make up a majority of viewers, the narrative in shows, movies and even reality tv fits the liberal messaging system for modern women. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, all women are beautiful, women are independent and don't need a man, women should be doing roles traditionally reserved for men, and countless other subtle and not so subtle messages are in every show on American television. There is also the flip side to this, which reality tv excels at (ex: Bad Girls Club), where women are often portrayed as sluts, bitches, gold diggers, enemies, psychotic and unstable children or scheming Lady Macbeths. Television is a fountain of modern feminism, not equality feminism, but modern, marketed feminism. There is one tv show running against the curve. It is the chief anti-feminism program on television that is geared towards women. The Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders Making the Team reality series is traditionalist counter programming. It airs on CMT, is successful, and has a female audience. Even if it is carefully edited reality television, it is their choice to craft this narrative and project this image.

How does it attack modern feminism? Let us count the ways.

1. Beauty is objective. Beuaty is valuable. You must be pretty. They will pick you apart, but these women are on display in little clothing for four hours eight Sundays a year and at numerous appearances. They will find the Barbie version of whatever you are. You are a cute redhead with long, gorgeous hair? Who cares, they have two (here + here). Skinny brunette with nice eyes? They had a classically beautiful brunette with striking grey-green eyes (here), and it took her two seasons to make the team. They have every type of golden haired beauty in America. They even had a hot, deaf cheerleader. Even if you think you're hot, they instruct you about how to wear your makeup, hair and nails.
1a. They are looking for the sexy girl next door, not the slutty skank. I have not seen a tattoo on a girl. The choreographer + director told one potential to change her nails and watch her style of dance because she lookresembled a stripper. In a later episode, they cut that girl for having photos on her Myspace account at a bikini contest. The pornification of American does not breach the DCC levee.

1b. A lot of hot girls cannot dance sexy and get cut. Some have to be taught that. maybe hot girls don't have to work at being sexy because their beauty is enough to get what they want. Just a theory.
2. Your weight matters. "No cheating when eating!!!" was written on a sign on a mirror at the home of one rookie. Every episode has references to weight, weight gain, and maintaining their weight. the director will not push them to lose it now, but will instruct them to tighten up. There was even one moment where they discussed safe weight loss vs. doing it the wrong way. The DCC body fat percentage target is 11-15%. That percentage band supposedly looks best in the uniform, per a fitness expert in one episode. It is always a woman mentioning weight to a cheerleader.

3. The DCC is bigger than you little rookie. You better be the shining symbol of the DCC for the outside world at all times. They cut a girl for not wearing makeup at her normal job (okay, there were other reasons, too).

4. The women constantly refer to their faith, their family, their dads, their boyfriends and/or husbands, and their love of children. You will see them hold hands praying before different things. Traditional female roles are promoted on the show.

5. There is a hierarchy and some nepotism at work. There is the travel show squad that is even more exclusive, and getting the invite for the bikini calendar shoot is a boost. Some girls have family members who were cheerleaders. Two idolize their moms for being cheerleaders that they want to emulate (not surgeons, cheerleaders). The choreographer and Meredith Oden's mom were cheerleaders way back in the day, and they are proud that their daughters are trying out for the team. Both daughters resemble their pretty moms, and follow in their footsteps. I'm surprised NOW isn't up in arms over that.

6. It is a meritocracy. About 700 women try out for 36 spots. They come from all states to try out for the team. You consistently hear women say they wanted to be a DCC since childhood, and that it is their dream just to try out. Giant filtration process. No favors. No affirmative action. Seriously, the black chicks are hot black looking black chicks that dance well with great stage presence, not biracial cop out tokens.

7. You need to be a good dancer, have stage presence, be pretty, have a rocking body, polished for public appearances, and football savvy, but if you don't look right in the uniform, they will cut your ass. The DCC does reward people they cut who do improve in the off-season by selecting them in future seasons. It's a nice way to run a training camp as a developmental program for future squads.

8. There is a sisterhood feeling. They are all in it together for the DCC. They know that there were hundreds of other women trying out. It is an honor to be in the DCC. This might be the magic of editing, but there seems to be a lack of divas. Either way, divas don't get screen time.

9. To be the icon of cheer leading, a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader, you must wear the uniform. The uniform is why Debbie did Dallas and not Philadelphia. the girls treat getting fitted for the uniform like a guy making the football team trying on his uniform for the first time. The most often said line, "dream come true". The uniform is indifferent to your dreams. The uniform doesn't care if you're cute. If you aren't lean with a slight curve, you're gone. The type they seem to be after is Britney Spears "Slave 4 U" era. Even if you look perfect in the uniform, you still need to be a great dancer, as this girl found out and was cut.

10. Emotions run high, but not modern girl, raving bitch emotions. Women cry all of the time. The cheerleaders don't usually give attitude. When they are critiqued, they say "Yes ma'am, no ma'am, thank you ma'am". If they do, the director smacks them down and will cut them.

This show works despite running in the opposite direction of all television programming. There is the behind the scenes draw, the drama, the glamour of the DCC, and sometimes the girls. There is also their director. The director, Kelli Finglass, is a perfect bitch. That is a compliment. Perfect in that she is a perfectionist who will make them the best squad possible, but there is not an episode that goes by where my wife (a choreographer & dancer) doesn't say, "what a bitch... but she's right". She makes them the best, and they know it. It's like the unique quirk to the old "American Idol" of Simon's criticism and behavior. The director was a cheerleader for 5 seasons in the '80s. She has been there in those dance shoes and makes the show fun by being deliciously evil. She's also a fox still, having been a cheerleader in the mid-'80s. Her standard of excellence is the foundation for the attitude of the squad.

I'm a Cowboys fan. I had the "Dallas Cowboys Weekly" delivered to my door as a kid. I loved reading up on the team.... and seeing the centerfold profile of a cheerleader each issue (this is pre-Internet). To this day, I can recall my favorite cheerleader (Gigi Pittman). Once I started dating, I probably subconsciously looked for a redhead that resembled her. Mock cheerleaders all you want, but the sport, this show, and these women are a reflection of one piece of America. It has enough of a following to be in season seven. The DCC is made up of elite, sexy women in a nation that constantly tears down anything claiming to be superior. These women are the total package, sexy girl next door. Why else would the USO have them visit our troops? There are quite a few traditionalist messages on display each episode. They succeed despite the entire liberal propaganda of television working in opposite manner. They are the best cheerleaders in the NFL, and the throwback, anti-feminist reasons above and their director are parts of the "why" this show is a reality franchise.... and the uniform.

1 comment:

Mmetzger said...

This show is a bright spot on television. Thanks for the write-up!