Cheerleader! by Natalie Guice Adams
An American Icon

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Entertainers, sex objects, or athletes? Leaders, porn stars, or superstars? Cheerleaders, numbering 3.8 million in the United States alone, are part of everyone's school experiences and memories. Looking beyond the poms and megaphones, Cheerleader! An American Icon explores how cheerleading reflects our shifting beliefs about sports, entertainment, gender, and national identity. Natalie Guice Adams and Pamela J. Bettis trace cheerleading's history from its inception 135 years ago as a male leadership activity, through the sexual and sassy era epitomized by the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, to its current incarnation as a physically demanding sport. Integrating history, pop culture, and interviews wiht cheerleaders of all ages, even those in the cheerleading business, Adams and Bettis simultaneously celebrate cheerleading and provide a critical analysis of this perennially popular activity. Poignant, hilarious, powerful, and ground-breaking, this is one book you won't want to be without.

About Natalie Guice Adams

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Natalie Guice Adams is Associate Professor in the College of Education at the University of Alabama and was a Winnsboro, Louisiana cheerleader from 1975-1980. Pamela J. Bettis is assistant professor in the College of Education at Washington State University. She tried out for the Churchland, Virginia cheer squad in 1969; for unknown reasons, she was not selected.
Published January 1, 2003 by Palgrave/St. Martins. 182 pages
Genres: History, Arts & Photography, Sports & Outdoors, Science & Math. Non-fiction

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Adams and Bettis astonishingly miss the opportunity to look at the concept of subversion in depth, instead choosing to state the obvious: "Through their performance, the X-Cheerleaders make explicit the contradictions, constraints, and joys of girls' and women's lives in this society."

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