Saturday, April 26, 2014

Cheerleader appeal

Forget the debate over paying NCAA football players. The more pressing question is if NFL teams should pay their cheerleaders:
They are not, after all, being forced. They audition for spots on the team, and the reason that management can get away with being so obnoxious is that for every woman who makes it, many more would love to take her spot. So they must get something out of their performance: status, the joy of dancing in public, esprit de corps.

It seems conceivable to me -- indeed, likely -- that women who get a spot on the local cheerleading squad enjoy better job prospects and enhanced dating opportunities. Forget whether these women should want to date men who want to date them because they like telling people that their girlfriend is a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader. I’m sure cheerleaders like the oohs of appreciation they get when someone drops the name of their squad, just like journalists don’t mind the reaction when they tell folks they work for the Economist or the New York Times. And while you wouldn’t want someone whose only interest in you was your prestige employer, you probably wouldn’t really mind if they considered that a small plus factor.

The team, then, has something these women value. Should we be angry that the team trades it on the best possible terms?
There is no question whatsoever that it ups their dating prospects. I went out with several Minnesota Vikings cheerleaders and a few Minnesota Timberwolves cheerleaders, and I probably would have only been attracted to two of them if they had been non-cheerleaders.

I mean, if you're a sports fan, you've been seeing cheerleaders through idealized lenses for pretty much your entire life. So, when someone says, "this is X, she's a Vikings cheerleader," she is instantly two points hotter. Maybe even three. It's just that simple.

It's no different than telling a woman "this is Y, he's the CEO of Whatever corporation." She doesn't even hear what the corporation is called, she just hears those magic words, "CEO", and he's immediately anywhere from 2-5 points more attractive.

What is +2-3 points of attractiveness worth to a woman? Quite a bit, obviously, or they wouldn't be willing to trade so much time and effort for it.

That being said, with the amount of money the teams are making from their TV deals, if one considers how often the cheerleaders are put up on camera, it is obvious that they should certainly be paid more conventionally for their time.

23 comments:

b1bae96e-6447-11e3-b6bb-000f20980440 said...

3 points is ridiculous unless you are counting the physical shape the woman needs to get herself into in addition to the premiere the cheerleader fantasy status provides. The rose colored glasses themselves are probably only worth 1-1.5 points. But even a 1 point increase is valuable. That is why the cosmetic industry is in the US is $55 billion annually.

Robert said...

Now, wait just a moment. They get to see the game for free, don't they?

whoresoftheinternet said...

Well, cheerleading IS sex work, by which I mean the job is more than 75% based on the woman's looks. Other examples would be model, stripper, hooker, go-go-dancer, pro wrestling valet, etc,

But I wouldn't push a woman's SMV up for cheerleading; perhaps many men would, but I have yet to know them. Most cheerleaders are hot, so the only thing we think about when they say "I'm a cheerleader" is having sex with them in their little outfits, and only then its for the naughtiness/high school verboten aspect of it all.

I have seen a few cheerleaders that have very beater faces, and it is only their bodies saving them. Madden NFL used to have little cut scenes when the game loaded when a different cheerleader would say "EA Sports--It's in the Game!" About 80% would be the hottest girl at a trendy bar, 15% would be the hottest girl at a normal bar, and 5% would be plain girls at a bar.

LibertyPortraits said...

Fans should be allowed to go up to them and give them some cash at the games.

badgerhut said...

I can't quite tell if Vox is being sarcastic with a male-hypergamy satire, going to go with that idea though.

Can't have this discussion without a reference to the Cheerleader Effect:

https://badgerhut.wordpress.com/2012/06/14/dont-get-jealous-of-another-mans-quarry-unless-you-really-know-the-score/

"In the HIMYM episode “Not A Father’s Day” (in which Barney invents a holiday to celebrate the resolution of a pregnancy scare), Barney lectures the rest of the gang that a gaggle of women at McLaren’s are not actually attractive.

“The Cheerleader Effect is when a group of women seems hot – but only as a group. Just like with cheerleaders – they seem hot, but take each one of them individually? Sled dogs.”

Barney notes other names for the phenomenon: “The Bridesmaid Paradox; Sorority Girl Syndrome; and for a brief window in the Nineties, the Spice Girls Conspiracy.”"

2870b918-77c0-11e3-b9bd-000bcdcb8a73 said...

It's no different than telling a woman "this is Y, he's the CEO of Whatever corporation." She doesn't even hear what the corporation is called, she just hears those magic words, "CEO", and he's immediately anywhere from 2-5 points more attractive.

It's similar, but somewhat different. The qualities of personality that CEOs tend to have (forcefullness, the ability to dominate) are attractive to women. When a woman is first introduced to a man, she can't tell if he has these qualities, but if she's told he's a CEO, she knows he's likely to. Telling her he's a CEO gives her information she didn't have, information which relates directly to his SMV.

The qualties cheerleaders tend to have (pretty face, good figure, nice legs) are attractive to men, but some or all of these are obvious to a man when he first meets a woman; whether or not he knows what she does. If she's wearing a long dress that doesn't hug the curves, knowing she's a cheerleader will likely increase his attraction; if she's wearing shorts and a tight top with a bare midriff, he's either already drooling or not about to.


Doom said...

Meh, lots of people who do more important work are not compensated rightly for what they do. Simply, there isn't enough money or impetus to pay people to do what they want to do. Many critical services are performed by volunteers who actually end up putting some, or much, of their own money into just gearing and learning and then doing. I don't have much sympathy here.

I consider what the average soldier in the military is paid, and what can be expected for that chump change. Regardless if you are a pacifist, or otherwise don't believe we should even have a military, the simple analogy holds.

tz said...

Doesn't it really depend on the quality of the pom-poms?

Also, when we have Gay players, will we then have male cheer-leaders? (equal opportunity - even pro sports could use a strong dose of blacknight,),

Akulkis said...

Cheerleading started out as a male pasttime--and the cheers were coordinated with what was actually going on in the game.

Then in the 50's or 60's, a rise in the number of women attending college combined with women's attention-whoring proclivities turned it into what it is today--women thinking that cheerleading is a sport in and of itself (heavily egged on, of course, by clothing manufacturers and pissants selling choreography--both selling a lie that women want to believe.)

Doom said...

tz,

Cheerleaders used to be all male. I can't remember how far back, but I think Nixon was the last cheerleader leader at college. Back in teh dayz it was the cheerleaders who were considered the real men, and future leaders. Still, I hate men in skirts, it just sits wrong with me. :p

Doom said...

Bleh. Didn't mean to double Akulkis. Sorry...

The Original Hermit said...

"That being said, with the amount of money the teams are making from their TV deals, if one considers how often the cheerleaders are put up on camera, it is obvious that they should certainly be paid more conventionally for their time."

I'm not disagreeing with this, but I want to know how the market would determine appropriate wages. They've demonstrated they will work for free, even though they would rather get paid for it if given the option. If they decided it wasn't enough and Unionized, then went on strike, the scabs (ew) would then work for free if given the option.

Bobby Dupea said...

I am going with the NFL cheerleader "tip jar" idea, above. I suspect the gyrations would improve, improbable as that sounds. I also recommend it for flight attendants on the legacy airlines.

Bobby Dupea said...

And one cannot let this pass without referencing the late great Pete Gent: "When I tell you it's a game, you tell me it's a business. When I say it's a business, you tell me it's a game."

Fortunately, such ... weighty ... issues as cheerleaders wearing underwear and bouncing on NFL fields are now central to the American imagination.

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mmaier2112 said...

Whatever, Vox. They don't SHOW cheerleaders enough on TV for them to make money off that.

That said, a decade or so ago I had an offer to be set up with a Colts cheerleader and immediately thought... yeah, one date that will set me back a few hundred and all I'll get is maybe a kiss on the cheek and a story to tell.

THESE days, I'd take her trail hiking or kayaking and go for more. Oh well.

LibertyPortraits said...

Slightly, but not completely, off topic, I think back in HS the appeal of cheerleaders is that they seemed to be the only bubbly girls in school. They were also (mostly) in shape, pretty, flexible (amiright, amiright?), and feminine. Of course there were a lot of other girls like that, but there was a mystique to the cheerleader that drew one in, almost like the effect when someone puts their money where their mouth is.

papabear said...

" I also recommend it for flight attendants on the legacy airlines."

Too bad many of the female flight attendants are legacies themselves.

2870b918-77c0-11e3-b9bd-000bcdcb8a73 said...

Some of them don't need the money. Just now I was watching a rerun of a game show from a few years back, and one of the contestants was an NFL cheerleader--and an aerospace engineer.

PhantomZodak said...

I know most men don't agree with me, but I like cheerleaders because of their toned legs. I could care less about their job.

Marissa said...

Cheerleaders used to be all male. I can't remember how far back, but I think Nixon was the last cheerleader leader at college.

It is still a high-status position at Texas A&M, by the name of "Yell Leader", I believe. Rick Perry, the governor of Texas, was one, if I remember correctly. Good-looking guy, but gayer than a picnic.

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