Challenging Existing Stereotypes about Cheerleaders

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Cheerleaders Are Not What People Assume Stereotypes are like lice, once a person has them it is hard to get out of one’s head. Every group of people come along with specific stereotypes, a widely believed mental picture of the group. Stereotypes are based on truth but usually tend to be exaggerated, unlike stereotypes, there are misconceptions. Misconceptions, a view that is incorrect and based on untruths, are formed from having stereotypes. Stereotypes are usually formed when one person in a particular group acts or does something causing people to think just because one person in that group is like that, the whole group is. The older generation passes down stereotypes to the younger generations and instead of getting to know the group,…show more content…
Misconceptions are a view or opinion that is incorrect because it is based on faulty thinking or understanding. Stereotypes are often passed down from parents, peers and the media, which is why all the stereotypes still exist and only continue to get worse over time. Stereotypes can also be based on how a particular group has acted in the past causing people to believe that group is still the same now. In the online article, Stereotypes, Saul McLeod explains why we have stereotypes when he states, “The use of stereotypes is a major way in which we simplify our social world; since they reduce the amount of processing (i.e. thinking) we have to do when we meet a new person...by stereotyping we infer that a person has a whole range of characteristics and abilities that we assume all members of that group have.” There are both advantages and disadvantages when it comes to stereotypes. One advantage would be the fact that stereotypes allow us to respond faster because of similar experiences, while one disadvantage would be that we make generalizations instead of seeing the differences among individuals. Although stereotypes are mostly negative, there are some that may convey something…show more content…
Although it is true that cheerleading does not fall under the category of a “sport” by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies or the NCCA, this does not mean cheerleaders are not athletes. An athlete is a person who is trained or skilled in exercises, sports, or games requiring physical strength, agility, or stamina. Cheerleaders definitely fall under the category of an athlete because cheerleading is not just smiling and shouting cheers as most people assume. Cheerleaders are trained in some of the most difficult skills such as tumbling and stunting. Cheerleading has become one of the most dangerous school activities making doctors push schools and organizations to treat cheerleaders as athletes and that cheer is in fact a sport. Nelson feels very strongly about this topic and stresses that, “ It is disappointing how underestimated we are as cheerleaders because as a competitive cheerleader, we practice hard at least three hours a day, not only mastering the skills, but looking good work completing them…we work just as hard as any other sport but we did not get the appropriate

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