The Indianapolis Colts cheerleaders unveiled a new, less-revealing uniform this week that the team says breaks “traditional stereotypes” of cheer attire and is more conducive to dancing.
The uniforms are one-piece dresses, longer than the squad’s traditional skirts, and show less skin, including no bare midriffs. The squad will start wearing the new look for the 2019 season.
“This new approach is designed to elevate the Colts cheerleaders as one of the top cheer and dance squads in the NFL by departing from many of the stereotypes often associated with professional cheerleading and redefining what it means to be a cheerleader and an athlete-performer,” the Colts said in a statement.
At least one expert in gender equity isn’t convinced the uniforms are much of a change.
“I’m not sure what ‘traditional stereotypes’ they feel they are breaking with a skintight mini-dress, but it is true that it shows less skin and less cleavage,” said Lisa A. Pellerin, director of women and gender studies at Ball State. “I suppose that’s an improvement from the standpoint of gender equality.”
The uniforms are just one part of a bigger movement in what the Colts are calling the “Next Chapter” for their cheerleaders.
The team said after 35 years in Indianapolis, there will be “a new direction, a new uniform and new opportunities,” for the cheerleaders, something that is a first for an NFL squad. The Colts also referred to the women as “athlete performers.”
SOURCE: Dana Hunsinger Benbow