Cynthia: In honor of Super Bowl Sunday, I thought I would pay homage to those unsung athletes on football fields everywhere… the cheerleaders.
Marcy: Cheerleaders aren’t athletes.
Cynthia: Maybe back in the 1950’s and 60’s they weren’t athletes, but by the time I was cheering in the 1970’s and 1980’s, cheerleading had become increasingly gymnastic and spectacular at the grade school, high school, and college level.
Standing on the sidelines and clapping gave way to intricate pyramids and girls flying through the air. It became a fiercely competitive sport in its own right.
Cynthia: Plus cheerleaders always get to wear super cute uniforms. Check out the evolution of cheerleading below!
Cynthia: Here we have a cheerleader from the 1950’s. Love those saddle shoes and bobby socks!
|Cheerleader from the 1950’s|
Cynthia: And here’s Meryl Streep in 1966 cheering for her high school football team.
By this time, bulky sweaters gave way to sleek sweater vests with white blouses underneath. This style looked so crisp and strong when the girls were all cheering in unison. It stayed popular until the late 1970’s.
|Meryl Streep was a cheerleader, 1966|
Cynthia: By 1980, sweaters with attached collars were popular. Short sleeved for the hot months and long sleeved for the cooler months.
|early 1980’s cheerleaders|
Cynthia: And by the late 1980’s, sleeveless vests in the same fabric as the skirt had become the rage. Here’s me and members of my squad in 1986.
|Sandy, Jennifer, and me in 1986|
Cynthia: These uniforms were brand spanking new. We spent all summer fundraising to buy them and we were soooo excited when they arrived. Don’t know if you can tell, but this was back when frosted blue eyeshadow was all the rage.
|Me (up top) with Kim, Leigh, and Jennifer|
Cynthia: And here cheerleading is today. Uniforms are now sportier looking and of course made with high tech fabric. But they’re still cute and the girls are fierce.
Cynthia: I still love to watch cheerleading competitions. My heart does flip flops every time I see cheerleaders fly through the air.
Cynthia: So what do you think, Marcy?
Marcy: Whatever. I can do that.