You know those pretty uniforms cheerleaders wear to the game? They’re not free, and apparently they don’t come cheap. While you might assume that the uniforms would be paid for by the NFL team, many cheerleaders have to buy their own uniforms.
Most uniforms cost more than $500. Since cheerleaders only get paid minimum wage (roughly $10). Plus, cheerleaders may need more than one uniform for different events, meaning they rack up a pretty high bill during every NFL season.
Their Hair Has to Be One Color
Beyond the low pay and lack of benefits, cheerleaders also don’t have a lot of freedom in their physical appearance. One lawsuit brought against the Buffalo Bills revealed that cheerleaders were required to keep their hair one uniform color.
The one-color rule didn’t just ban girls from putting unnatural colors in their hair. They also weren’t allowed to have “trendy” roots or coloring, such as the ombre style. If they want to get even simple highlights, cheerleaders first have to get the color approved with their superiors.
They Must Sit in a Ladylike Manner
When cheerleaders are allowed to sit, they can’t just relax on their own terms. Instead, the handbook says that they must sit in a ladylike manner. We assume that means that they should maintain their posture and cross their legs, just like your mom told you to do when you were young.
But an NFL team is not a parent. With all that cheerleaders put their bodies through, they should at the very least be allowed to relax without worrying about the way they’re sitting.
They Can’t Sit During Games
While the football players are getting beat up on the field, the cheerleaders are standing on the sidelines cheering them on. No matter how long the game goes, however, the cheerleaders are not allowed to sit down.
Cheerleaders are required to stand and move around for the entirety of the game. If you’ve ever watched the NFL, you know that it can take a very long time. Cheerleaders can sit only if an official asks them to. Otherwise, they’re required to stay on their feet no matter what.
They’re Fined For Missing Rehearsal
Cheerleading is a sort of job, but it’s certainly not one where the girls can make a real living. Not many people know this, but cheerleaders aren’t paid very well. That is if they’re paid at all.
Unfortunately, having another job doesn’t work well with cheerleading practice since most cheerleaders are required to be present at literally every rehearsal. They’re fined if they miss a rehearsal and completely fired if they miss more than a certain amount. It’s worth mentioning that the cheerleaders aren’t paid for these rehearsals, which makes it all the more frustrating that they have to show up no matter what.