Tonya Rease Miles Bring It On Analysis

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La'Tonya Rease Miles discusses her thought process while creating the syllabus for a class dedicated to cheerleading in the article American Beauty: The Cheerleader in America Literature and Popular Culture. In the article, Miles reminisces about her personal experiences as a high school cheerleader and points out various stereotypes of cheerleaders in the media. Miles's experiences as well as my own can be compared to the well-known cheerleading movie, Bring It On, in order to reveal the movies missteps and accuracies in its portrayal of high school cheerleaders in America.
Early in the film, we see the Rancho Carne Toros hosting tryouts to find a new member for their squad. This scene is unrealistic in that most, if not all, high school cheerleading
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She mentions that cheerleaders embody "conventional femininity" by using their voice and bodies to support their teams. This is one aspect that the movie gets right. In the film, there is a huge emphasis on the bodies of the girls on the team. Messages about the effects of body shaming are shown throughout the movie. Girls starving themselves and, in some cases, becoming anorexic to look good in their uniform and avoid the scrutiny of their fellow teammates is extremely common in cheerleading. I, myself, can recall having a teammate pass out at a game because she refused to eat beforehand. Miles then goes on to say that "a cheerleader is also not expected to know anything about the sport for which she cheers." In my personal experience this has proven to be false. Cheerleaders must know when to call specific cheers for touchdowns, first downs, offense, and defense. In the movie, even though the cheerleaders are shown more favor than the football team who is not expected to win the game, the cheerleaders cheer them on anyway. They know exactly when to call a defensive cheer and how to get the crowd engaged all at the same …show more content…
Though I am not sure how this stereotype came to be, most cheerleaders are not expected to be good students. In my personal experience, this stereotype has proven to be false. On my high school cheer team over half of the girls were honors students. At graduation, one of my teammates was the valedictorian while my captain and I (co-captain) tied for salutatorian. Throughout the season, if our grade fell below a C-average in any of our classes we were made to sit out at the games and eventually were kicked off the team if our grades were too bad. High school cheerleaders are still student athletes, and the student part of that phrase is just as important as the athlete part. The movie correctly portrays the stereotype, but not necessarily the truth, as there is always a token "dumb cheerleader" in every movie in the franchise. One aspect that the film does highlight, though Miles does not, is the presence of male cheerleaders. In my experience, male cheerleaders are somewhat rare in high school cheer. This seems to be the case across the county. Of the teams that I have competed against, only about two of the teams have had a male cheerleader. Even those teams would only have one male cheerleader. In the movie, male cheerleaders

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