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Mon Nov 9, 2015, 07:48 PM

Girl kicked off cheer-leading team ..won't straighten her hair

HOUSTON - Makayla Fallaw loves tumbling and cheering. She also loves her naturally thick, curly hair. But ... was told to leave her cheerleading team when her mother said she couldn't straighten Makayla's hair to match the rest of the girls for a competition.

Makayla has been practicing at Woodlands Elite Cheer Company's location near her family's home in Tomball five days a week since April, her mother, Jenny Fallaw, said. The family has spent nearly $2,000 on uniforms, makeup, hair bows and fees.

snip

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When you see her pics, you will first be amazed at her AGE..


She's 11....

This girl will not be cheer-leading for long..( I hope she;s got a level head on her shoulders)




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Reply Girl kicked off cheer-leading team ..won't straighten her hair (Original post)
SoCalDem Nov 2015 OP
Rex Nov 2015 #1
haikugal Nov 2015 #2
ScreamingMeemie Nov 2015 #3
Warpy Nov 2015 #4
ScreamingMeemie Nov 2015 #7
pnwmom Nov 2015 #11
ScreamingMeemie Nov 2015 #13
pnwmom Nov 2015 #15
ScreamingMeemie Nov 2015 #18
SoCalDem Nov 2015 #23
ScreamingMeemie Nov 2015 #32
SoCalDem Nov 2015 #34
pnwmom Nov 2015 #29
FrodosPet Nov 2015 #39
Warpy Nov 2015 #14
ScreamingMeemie Nov 2015 #16
pnwmom Nov 2015 #30
ScreamingMeemie Nov 2015 #35
pnwmom Nov 2015 #36
pnwmom Nov 2015 #17
JI7 Nov 2015 #44
ScreamingMeemie Nov 2015 #48
EL34x4 Nov 2015 #47
3catwoman3 Nov 2015 #50
ScreamingMeemie Nov 2015 #55
3catwoman3 Nov 2015 #56
ScreamingMeemie Nov 2015 #57
tkmorris Nov 2015 #9
pnwmom Nov 2015 #12
malaise Nov 2015 #10
Warpy Nov 2015 #26
malaise Nov 2015 #38
ryan_cats Nov 2015 #28
katsy Nov 2015 #5
Aristus Nov 2015 #6
ScreamingMeemie Nov 2015 #8
Texasgal Nov 2015 #19
LineLineLineLineReply !
ScreamingMeemie Nov 2015 #21
Texasgal Nov 2015 #25
Fumesucker Nov 2015 #22
mcar Nov 2015 #20
3catwoman3 Nov 2015 #24
Texasgal Nov 2015 #27
3catwoman3 Nov 2015 #40
SoCalDem Nov 2015 #41
ScreamingMeemie Nov 2015 #43
Texasgal Nov 2015 #45
valerief Nov 2015 #31
Baitball Blogger Nov 2015 #33
msongs Nov 2015 #37
bunnies Nov 2015 #49
Throd Nov 2015 #53
romanic Nov 2015 #42
LittleBlue Nov 2015 #46
rhett o rick Nov 2015 #51
kimbutgar Nov 2015 #52
Nye Bevan Nov 2015 #54

Response to SoCalDem (Original post)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 07:51 PM

1. So she has to look like the other drones? Sad.

 

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Response to SoCalDem (Original post)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 07:54 PM

2. First, how awful to be penalized for your natural curl...I have thick naturally curly hair myself.

Secondly it's damned scary that this beautiful child is 11 years old! Like you I hope she has a level head and good parenting.

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Response to SoCalDem (Original post)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 07:54 PM

3. I live here, close to that facility.

People know that down here and go into it knowing it's going to cost an arm and a leg and that they want them to look uniform across the board... It's why I didn't encourage cheering for my kids. It's a crap thing and I feel bad for the girl, but this mom had to know that going in. They all look identical in uniform in hair.

That said, there would be absolutely nothing wrong with her wanting to keep cheering. Cheerleading is a high energy sport, often pursued by the brightest and the best. My niece, a 4-year cheerleader (and hockey player-defense), is now pursuing a nursing degree (fast-tracking so she can graduate and become a practitioner). We need to drop the stereotypes.

Side note: You should see how much the drill team at our local high school has to pay in costume an participation fees down here... it puts football to shame.

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Response to SoCalDem (Original post)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 08:12 PM

4. Oh FFS, hair is not Tonner's problem.

She was most likely kicked off because she wasn't matchy-matchy lily white and that offended his bigot sensibilities.

I hate it when a kid has to confront bigotry at such a young age.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #4)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 08:21 PM

7. There is more to this story...



Here is a picture of one of the many competition teams:







This area I live in is pretty diverse, in fact, I'm a minority in my 100-house subdivision. I don't like the competitiveness that is cheerleading down here, but this has little to do with bigotry. It looks like she had the choice to not straighten and wear her hair in a bun. Again, I'm just speaking from knowledge of this area.

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Response to ScreamingMeemie (Reply #7)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 08:32 PM

11. OF COURSE it has to do with bigotry. Straight hair goes with a certain races

and not with others.

Most of the girls who can easily meet the standard are white and Asian.

There is no good reason to have a standard that requires a straight pony tail. Curly and wavy pony tails would be just as pretty.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #11)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 08:35 PM

13. Of course it doesn't...

These parents, and many of them, black, white, Hispanic an Asian are speaking to the fact they the know what they are getting into when they sign up with this company. This appears to be the only woman who has an issue with this.

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Response to ScreamingMeemie (Reply #13)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 08:39 PM

15. Any straight hair standard is a bigoted standard.

They sign up because their daughters want to be with their friends o rtheir daughters think this would be a good way to learn cheerleading.

The fact that parents "know what they're getting into" is irrelevant to the issue of whether the standard is bigoted or not. Straight hair standards are a slap in the face to girls with non-straight hair, who are disproportionately girls of color.

On edit: the straight hair standard wasn't part of what anyone signed up for. It happened much later.

When it came time to plan for what would have been Makayla's first competition with this gym, moms and coaches for the group suggested a straight hairstyle for the team. Fallaw joined two other mothers concerned about damaging their daughters' hair to achieve the designated look.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #15)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 08:42 PM

18. Sorry, but no.

It is rare that I agree with you, and this is going to be another one of those times. If I didn't know the racial makeup of this community (because I LIVE here), the OP might have had me too... but something smelled about it.

I leave you with this:

https://www.facebook.com/woodlandselite/?pnref=lhc

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Response to ScreamingMeemie (Reply #18)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 08:49 PM

23. "...the OP might have had me too..."

I did not post this to "have" anyone.. I copy-pasted the article title as it ran in the paper.

I was mainly interested because this little girl is so drop-dead gorgeous.. and so NOT 11-yr- old-looking..

My mind immediately went to Brook Shields and how she never really looked like a kid..even when she was one..

I know that "pageantry sports" often end up in ugliness all-round, and hopefully this will not end up spoiling the little girl's teen years

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Response to SoCalDem (Reply #23)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 08:58 PM

32. I did not mean "Poster" in OP, I meant "Post."

OP as in Opening Post, not Opening Poster.

I simply wanted to clarify that I live in this area, and this area of Houston is not whitebread... One of the reasons I moved here is because I fell in love with the diversity and the fact that people here are able to share neighborhoods in relative harmony. The sport is expensive as all getout, and I'm pretty sure this mom knew that. I think this is a case of Dance Moms: Cheerleaders.

Anyway, I apologize for any confusion.

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Response to ScreamingMeemie (Reply #32)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 09:00 PM

34. Amen

I always cringe when I see ads for those "competitive gymnastics/cheer/dance" shows.. I so wish those little girls were riding bikes, playing soccer (some problems there too though)..anything but stuff their Moms want them to do..so they can live vicariously

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Response to ScreamingMeemie (Reply #18)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 08:54 PM

29. No, what? Are you saying a straight hair standard does not disproportionately disadvantage

African American and other minority girls compared to white and Asian girls?

Are you denying that the standard was only imposed after-the- fact, when the parents began to plan for the competition?

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #29)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 09:11 PM

39. It would affect my white niece

Naturally curly blond hair. It refuses to straighten.

But you are right, it would affect African American girls more.

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Response to ScreamingMeemie (Reply #7)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 08:36 PM

14. I can see that her hair isn't the problem

since some of the other girls have wavy hair.

I guess her mama turned all mama bear and that was the main problem.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #14)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 08:40 PM

16. That's all I'm saying. They have tons of mothers coming to their defense

on their facebook page, and one can see with a quick glance of their photos (most posted before this happened throughout the years) there's quite a racial mix at all of this gym's locations, and all of the parents appear to be backing them.

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Response to ScreamingMeemie (Reply #16)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 08:55 PM

30. Different gym locations have different standards. If you bothered to read the article

you would see that it was the parents of this particular group of girls who voted in the straight-hair standard.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #30)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 09:03 PM

35. "If you bothered to read the article" If you bothered to realize I live here...

You would see that this has been a lead story on our news (instead of the man who killed a woman and child).

If you bothered to follow the link to the page I showed you, you would be able to see that support comes from parents at all gyms.

This man coaches at the gym in question:


https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10208362452884928&set=a.1727436031726.99370.1413194694&type=3&theater


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Response to ScreamingMeemie (Reply #35)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 09:05 PM

36. The majority often wants to trample on the rights of the minority.

That doesn't mean that their actions aren't bigoted.

And the fact that you live there doesn't make you an expert on either that particular situation or on racial issues, obviously.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #14)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 08:42 PM

17. Those photos were probably taken earlier. The standard only happened

when they were planning for their first competition.

When it came time to plan for what would have been Makayla's first competition with this gym, moms and coaches for the group suggested a straight hairstyle for the team. Fallaw joined two other mothers concerned about damaging their daughters' hair to achieve the designated look.

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Response to ScreamingMeemie (Reply #7)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 09:26 PM

44. The girl in the OP looks older than these kids

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Response to JI7 (Reply #44)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 09:34 PM

48. she is 11. There are all different age groups on different competitive teams.

They go with a different hairstyle to meet the competition requirements. They select the hairstyle and all have to be the same.

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Response to ScreamingMeemie (Reply #7)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 09:31 PM

47. Sounds like crazy mom is a bigger issue than straight hair.

 

Poor girl. How humiliating to be stuck in the middle of this mess.

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Response to ScreamingMeemie (Reply #7)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 09:38 PM

50. Stepford...

...smiles.

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Reply #50)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 09:47 PM

55. I can't stand the look (especially with the big bows on top of the head).

It is not something I would want to do, but some kids just love it.

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Response to ScreamingMeemie (Reply #55)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 09:54 PM

56. I think they would still love it...

...without having to be all cookie-cutter-tarted-up. All that makeup on little girls is creepy.

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Reply #56)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 09:55 PM

57. I don't know... my last little girl is 25, and she was all about the makeup at that age

and as PassingFair (my DU real-life friend) can tell you, her mother is not.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #4)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 08:28 PM

9. Well... maybe

Perhaps there is evidence I have not seen to suggest that this is entirely (or even partially) about race, but as far as I can tell thus far this is about just plain shallowness and stupidity. This is the sort of environment where it is fairly routine to micromanage the "look" of the young women involved, which is one of the plethora of reasons why I would advise any young women who asked to avoid it like the plague.

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Response to tkmorris (Reply #9)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 08:34 PM

12. Straight hair IS about race. How many African American girls have naturally straight hair?

Give me a break. This standard puts an unfair burden on girls with curly/wavy/kinky hair, and disproportionately affects girls of color.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #4)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 08:31 PM

10. You win the thread

It's the not so subtle 'tut tut have you ever seen a black angel' that the nuns told non-whites who wanted to be angels in the Christmas pageant.

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Response to malaise (Reply #10)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 08:52 PM

26. What a horrible thing to say to a kid!

If you look at the European art the church favored, you never saw a black anybody, they just didn't exist in paintings although they bloody well did exist in society, especially in the cities.

The Catholic schools I went to were a little more secular, one year we did "Frosty the Snowman" and Frosty was one of the black kids because he was the tallest. The 50s were a big decade for novelty seasonal music, so that's what we did.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #26)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 09:10 PM

38. A num told that to a family friend of my parents

She never let them forget it - and I'm pretty sure she wasn't the only kid to face their institutional racism

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Response to Warpy (Reply #4)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 08:53 PM

28. Is

Is it not bigotry (not to mention libelous) to call people bigots when you don't really know exactly what's going on, hmm?

I guess it's OK, if it allows you to feed the beast that is your outrage du jour, also to show everyone your tolerance.

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Response to SoCalDem (Original post)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 08:16 PM

5. What next?

Identical nose jobs?

I wish this would get litigated.

It's just wrong to encourage that level of conformity. I'm sure not so perfect faces were not allowed on the cheer team. This furthers divides children and is a slam down of diversity.

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Response to SoCalDem (Original post)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 08:20 PM

6. Holy Jesus, what a beautiful girl.

It's too bad. Tomball is hick central. Either poor trashy hicks, or wealthy suburban hicks out there. Either way, a predetermination was made; if she isn't lily-white Betty Jean or Cindy Lou, they're going to find a way to push her out.

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Response to Aristus (Reply #6)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 08:22 PM

8. Thanks...

Love,

Poor trashy hick (since I'm not wealthy)

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Response to ScreamingMeemie (Reply #8)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 08:44 PM

19. Hey!

I LOVE hicks!

I'm one too.. I live in South EAST Austin!

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Response to Texasgal (Reply #19)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 08:47 PM

21. !

<3 Thanks!

It's totally cray because this area we are talking about is about as diverse as they come these days.

We can be hicks together.

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Response to ScreamingMeemie (Reply #21)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 08:51 PM

25. #hicksforlife!

We hicks gotta stick together ya know!

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Response to ScreamingMeemie (Reply #8)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 08:48 PM

22. At one time I would have been shocked at the classism on DU

But that was a long time ago..

FWIW one of the palest people I have known, instant sunburn type, had hair very much like the girl in the OP, maybe even a little more wavy than that.

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Response to SoCalDem (Original post)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 08:46 PM

20. Beautiful girl

Stupid rule.

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Response to SoCalDem (Original post)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 08:50 PM

24. Nothing new here.

In 1967, during my junior year of high school, I was a member of the varsity cheer leading squad. (Back then, gymnastic skills were not required - jump up and down and shake your pom poms. Our pleated skirts were almost knee length, and the principal would not allow us to do cartwheels because he didn't want anyone to see our sports panties.) The coach was always one of the female PE teachers. A new coach came on, because the previous PE teacher left to raise her baby. The new one was very into uniformity of appearance.

There were 12 girls on the squad - 6 seniors and 6 juniors. For many years, if you were on the team as a junior, your were pretty much guaranteed to be on again as a senior. My senior year, the new coach cut the number from 12 to 8. One other squad member and I were not selected. We were the only 2 who wore glasses, and we were somewhat taller than the others.

And, yes, that little girl is stunning. She also looks a hell of a lot older than 11 in that picture.

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Reply #24)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 08:53 PM

27. What's a Fen-Male?

Please explain?

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Response to Texasgal (Reply #27)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 09:12 PM

40. Explanation -

- I am a lousy typist and did not proof before hitting send. It's been corrected.

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Reply #40)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 09:18 PM

41. I also get random letters & the = signs all the time

Creative spellers unite !!!

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Response to SoCalDem (Reply #41)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 09:20 PM

43. Don't you mean untie?

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Reply #40)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 09:28 PM

45. Gotcha!

Happens to me all of the time.

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Response to SoCalDem (Original post)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 08:57 PM

31. Wow, I expected to see a dark-skinned girl, because, well, America. nt

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Response to SoCalDem (Original post)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 09:00 PM

33. She's a model!

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Response to SoCalDem (Original post)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 09:10 PM

37. the bigger questions is why her parent(s) allow her to do this in the first place...

elitist, expensive, sexist

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Response to msongs (Reply #37)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 09:37 PM

49. I grew up taking gymnastics and dance lessons.

 

I did it for 18 years. My Mom, a single Mom, worked very hard so that I could do so. My dance teacher was incredibly important in my life. We were lower middle class at that. Elitists? Not for a second.

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Response to msongs (Reply #37)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 09:40 PM

53. I allow my daughter to do it because she wants to do it.

I wish she would do something else, but she really seems to enjoy it.

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Response to SoCalDem (Original post)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 09:19 PM

42. That's sad.

Her hair is beautiful and honestly, who the hell watches a cheer and pays attention to the cheerleader's hair anyway???

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Response to SoCalDem (Original post)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 09:28 PM

46. Outrageous

 

Nothing wrong with her hair. The folks concerned about a preteen's curly hair need therapy.

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Response to SoCalDem (Original post)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 09:38 PM

51. She made it thru the selection process with out straight hair. What changed?

 

And didn't her parents know that groups like this are very selective, picky, and often nasty?

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Response to SoCalDem (Original post)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 09:39 PM

52. She has beautiful hair and a lot of people go to beauty parlor a to get the body she has

I have curly hair and always wanted straight hair. After going to my high school reunion and seeing the girls who had straight hair and now is thinning with no body. I'm loving my curly thick hair.

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Response to SoCalDem (Original post)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 09:45 PM

54. My daughter does cheer and I have encountered a few "psycho cheer mom" types over the years,

way too obsessed with their daughters, their roles on the team, and the results of the competitions. This girl's mom's "irate, belligerent behavior" makes it sound like she is one of "those" moms; being kicked out of multiple gyms is also a common characteristic of these people. This is a much more likely explanation than racism, especially since one of the girls in the team picture posted upthread is obviously African American. And as the gym stated, the bun plus straightened hairpiece was an option but the mom was too belligerent even to listen to this.

And BTW this kind of cheer is a genuine, intense, athletic discipline, with no pom-pom waving involved. And not sexist either, there are plenty of co-ed teams and some of the skills of both the males and the females have to be seen to be believed.

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