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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Published January 1, 2003
by Palgrave/St. Martins.
History, Arts & Photography, Sports & Outdoors, Science & Math.