Sunday, May 1, 2011
Cheerleaders versus Cheerqueens
So one of the new franchisees of the IPL decided to do away with those bold and busty cheerleaders as had become customary, and instead introduce traditional Indian dancers to do the cheering job at the sidelines. What is it with these Pune and Mumbai people that makes them think they're better Indians than the rest of us. I mean look at them: Mumbai INDIANS... Pune Warriers INDIA.. No other teams have India in it do they? It seems to me like they have this inherent need to convince others of their superior brand of patriotism. And then this new cheerleaders development.
For most of us (women, at least) the bimbo cheerleaders were rather annoying and borderline demeaning even, feministically speaking. I wonder if they would have dancing men wearing thongs for a women's version of the IPL... I hope not. Most of these girls especially the foreigners aren't even that pretty.. they just show skin, vapidly smile and dance un-coordinately. And except for the first part, the other two are mighty hard to do in the Indian heat so hats off to them.
What were cheerleaders originally meant to offer to sports, anyway? We've grown up reading books and watching movies that project getting into the cheerleading team as the ultimate fantasy of any high school girl.. which by corollary means that you get to date the soccer captain of course. The idea of an activity developed for sole reason of boosting male egos seems so pointless, frivolous and insulting. Thankfully Indian high schools haven't adopted adopted that particular fad yet. I'm not saying cheerleading is easy. God knows how crazily athletic you need to be to get those moves right, but then why not just call it gymnastics?
Which brings us back to the IPL cheerleaders, who the franchises clearly utilize not because of athletic prowess but only due to sex appeal. Like everything else about the IPL, if you think about it. The IPL is like the pleasure I imagine one would derive from a tasteless energetic quickie.. a one night stand, as opposed to a test match that gives us the satisfaction of a fulfilling marriage.. initial excitement.. ocassional bland patches.. but so much more wholesome. So now that we've justified the role of the cheerleaders in the IPL ie. to tantalise and nothing else, is there a need for the interference of Mohiniaatam, Bharatnatyam and other elegant Indian art forms into this tacky display? Obviously, Subrato Roy, with his righteous moustache 'n all wants to make a statement, but I think its unnecessary. Ultimately, the dancers themselves go through a whole lot of hassles with costumes, make-up and choreography to cheer a crowd that understandably isn't in the mood to appreciate the detailed nuances of such dance forms. It doesn't make sense.