When women are hired as cheerleaders for the NFL, they’re told that they can no longer change their appearance without approval from their boss. This includes not only dying their hair or getting a new piercing, but also smaller changes.
For example, some NFL cheerleaders were unable to cut their hair without express permission from their boss. They were also formally banned from developing new skin conditions, whether it was their fault or not, or they might risk being fired from the team.
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.
Their Hair Can’t Be Dull
While the NFL controls what color cheerleaders hair must be, it also has rules for the upkeep of a particular hairstyle. If a cheerleader’s hair is determined to be too dull, they could face getting benched for the whole season.
To avoid this problem, cheerleaders have to visit salons on a regular basis and invest in products that will keep their hair shiny. All these expenses come out of their own pocket, and they still might not be enough to meet the high standards of the NFL.
They Can’t Use Slang
Most NFL teams don’t just control what their cheerleaders do on the field, they also have rules for how the cheerleaders must act when they’re off the field. The NFL argues that cheerleaders are representing the team at all times. As such, they’re not allowed to use slang, even when they’re off duty.
Slang words include “like,” “dude,” “ain’t,” “you’s guys,” and “I seen it.” All these wors are strictly banned form a cheerleaders vocabulary, and they can get in trouble if they’re caught using this prohibited slang.
They Always Have to Use Utensils
The NFL controls cheerleaders’ hair color and the words they can use, but it doesn’t stop there. Some teams also have guidelines for how cheerleaders should eat. One rule stipulates that cheerleaders should always use utensils when they’re eating. They should also match the pace of their food consumption to that of their companions.
Cheerleaders are actually told that they should never eat with their fingers, even if the food requires it. It looks like chicken strips and burgers are off the menu for cheerleaders!