Sunday, February 16, 2014

Poo Pooing Popularity

From a young age we work, some more diligently than others, on getting others to like us.  We want the same shoes as our best friend because they are IN STYLE.  We want to be invited to such & such's birthday party because EVERYBODY will be going.  Because lots of friends means that we are popular, right?  Because sacrificing a our unique and interesting selves to be like others is right, yes?  Hmm...

Yesterday, the fam & I were subjected to one big ol' popularity contest and in hindsight I think I should have taken an additional happy pill just to get through the damn thing. Not only were we obligated to go but we had to PAY to view this craptastic event:  the annual Cheer-a-pa-looza for the neighboring counties.  This means that not only were we subjected to the multitudes of teen fakery and foolery, but we were also able to witness the "trees" in which these fine apples have fallen from...obnoxious, overdone adults there to support their obnoxious, overdone teens.   

Don't get me wrong, it takes a lot of skill and talent to participate in the sport of cheerleading, more so now than it did back in the day.  This post is not intended to bash cheerleaders but rather is an observation of how the sport can be used to perpetuate bullying behaviors.  Although let it be know that being cute, perky, and full of smiles are not the top requirements for making the squad anymore.  Coordination, precision, and flexibility top the list, followed by dedication, determination and desire...desire to win, no matter who you may have to step on...pun intended.  

Yes, it feels good to win and you cannot discount the hard work and dedication put into this sport, or any sport for that matter.  But it's all in the presentation - teaching our girls to be snooty arses with less than desirable sportsmanship skills, well that is just wrong and that's exactly what we witnessed on Saturday.  Not only was the hosting squad rude and poor hosts, but their lack of sportsmanship skills was embarrassing. Condescending and rude one minute, sweet as pie (FAKE) the next.  And apparently the coach was okay with it, as she seemed to be giving off the same vibe.   

So, I've devised a little list for these so-called adults - a list that defines what they are really "coaching."

By promoting the "my crap smells better than yours" mentality, you are teaching our kids that:

1.  Winning is everything - Does everything have to be a competition?  What happens when you are not the winner?

2.  Status overrules brains & integrity - How far is popularity going to get your team members after high school?  How many occupations are looking for a lemming?

3. Blaming others for your own shortcomings is okay - When will  your team members learn to take responsibility for their own actions, learning from their mistakes?

I'm sure I could list more but it's getting late...but before I go, I would like to say this:

Seriously people, GROW UP.  It is not COOL to teach kids to look down on others, especially in the name of winning, and if anything, it is negligent, ignorant and immature.  Period. End of story...for now.

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