The idea of covering up piercings and tattoos in the workplace certainly isn’t new. However, most employees wear far more clothes than cheerleaders. Despite their often skimpy outfits, many NFL cheerleaders are required to cover up any piercings and tattoos on game day.
Cheerleaders with excessive body jewelry or tattoos may not get hired in the first place. If they do get hired, they’re required to cover their tattoos with makeup and remove any visible piercings. To ensure they’re complying with the rules, the girls must arrive early to have their bodies checked before the game.
They Must Show Up For Work Five Hours Before Kickoff
While the football players are on the field, cheerleaders also have a long day. They’re not allowed to sit down and they don’t have any replacements, so they’re usually up and moving for the entirety of the game, which often lasts three hours or more.
While that’s already a hefty commitment, some NFL teams like the Carolina Panthers require their cheerleaders to arrive five hours before kickoff. That extends their workday to seven or more hours, most of which is spent on their feet.
They Can’t Disagree With Authority
Cheerleading handbooks make it clear that whatever the people on top say is the law. The cheerleaders aren’t allowed to disagree with their superiors, no matter how ridiculous their demands might be.
In some cases, cheerleaders have been harassed at events and forced to entertain guests in a very escort-like setting. If women spoke out about their poor treatment, they were often fired. The cheerleaders aren’t allowed to disobey or put forth their own opinions, meaning they’re required to simply fall in line or lose their jobs.
They Can’t Wear Their Uniform Outside of the Stadium
Even though cheerleaders buy their own uniforms, the NFL still controls when they can and can’t wear them. Some NFL handbooks tell cheerleaders that they’re not allowed to wear their uniforms outside of the stadium.
However, the handbook also stipulates that cheerleaders aren’t allowed to be in the stadium in their regular clothes. Basically, the cheerleaders must change once the game ends and then head home. If you thought they could stick around and celebrate their hard work, you thought wrong.
Their Teeth Must Be White
Cheerleaders are checked from top to bottom, particularly before they appear at games or events. Much like a horse, some NFL teams also choose to examine their cheerleaders’ teeth.
If a woman’s teeth aren’t white enough, the team can demand that they get their teeth whitened. This expensive procedure certainly isn’t reimbursed and a failure to come back with glowing teeth could result in a suspension.