Cheerleaders at a Connecticut high school are petitioning the school board to make their uniforms less skimpy.
Heidi Medina, a senior on Bridgeport Central High School's cheerleading squad, went before the school board in her cheerleading uniform, which she argued doesn't meet national regulations.
The uniforms at Bridgeport Central feature midriff-baring tops and a choice of small, tight shorts or baggy sweatpants. Section 2 Article 6 of the 2010-11 National Federation Spirit Rules book, which governs all US cheerleading competitions, reads: "When standing at attention, apparel must cover the midriff."
According to the Connecticut Post, five other members of the Bridgeport cheer squad joined Medina in front of the school board. "We ask with the utmost respect you do anything in your power to help us," Medina said. "I don't feel comfortable wearing this."
Ariana Mesaros, another senior at Bridgeport Central, added, "It really hurts our self esteem. I am embarrassed to stand up here dressed like this. Is this really how you want Bridgeport to be represented?"
Medina and her fellow cheer squad members say they didn't see the uniforms before they were ordered. Denise Clemons, the assistant superintendent at Bridgeport Central, wasn't aware of the no-midriff rule, and said only a few of the squad had complained about the skimpy uniforms. She said the school will purchase black bodysuits for the young women to wear underneath their uniform tops, so that their stomachs are no longer exposed. This fix, however, doesn't deal with the problem of the skimpy shorts.
When teen girls are complaining that their clothes are too skimpy, you know there's a real problem: we've all seen the alarming modifications private-school girls make to their uniforms. Skirts are rolled at the waistband till they're barely covering derrieres, and shirts are made shorter and tighter by any means necessary.
It seems as if the Bridgeport Central administration aren't taking the girls' complaints seriously enough: Yes, new uniforms will be expensive (the current ones cost $77 each), but this would be an appropriate area for the school to splash out financially, and to eat the cost itself instead of making the students pay for them.
Hopefully, the Bridgeport school board will insist that Bridgeport Central High School does the right thing, which would be to scrap the skimpy uniforms and buy the cheerleading squad clothes they feel comfortable in. It's only fair to these young women.