UF Cheerleaders Picture credit: Norwalk James
Seeing a story on our news this morning about some pretty cheerleaders who both love and excel at science, made me smile, but it also brought back some not so pleasant childhood memories.
This cheerleading group has a website called, Science Cheerleaders, with all of the details of their individual stories and shows what they are doing both on and off of the football field.
Besides being involved in science at school and in their jobs, this group also makes public appearances in their communities, showing other girls that they can do the exact same thing that they do.
They are beautiful and they are very smart, and this is a positive thing.
As a child and then again as a teenager, I and many others who had the good fortune, or misfortune, of being born blonde, were too often referred to as ” dumb blondes.”
The public and film personifications of Jayne Mansfield and Marilyn Monroe only cemented this thinking.
In my entire life, I could never understand how the color of your hair could affect the level of your intelligence.
I learned that I was not dumb quite early in my education, as my IQ was constantly referred to by teachers when they did not believe that I was trying hard enough.
Their remarks were both a source of embarrassment and humiliation.
As for the comments on the color of my hair, sometimes it was whispered, other times it was said as a jeer or a slur, but always it was the same, hurtful and cruel words, ” dumb blonde.”
My love of science began early in elementary school.
Could it have been the influence of my first science teacher Mr. Monroe, who made the subject both exciting and interesting?
I can still remember a teacher showing my mother the results from my ” Kuder Preference Test. “
She seemed astonished when she said to her,
” she scored 2% on everything except one subject, science and her score in it was 98%.”
Seeing these beautiful and brilliant high achievers who will be leading the cheers at today’s Super Bowl, was almost like a sweet vindication for me and all the others long ago, who endured years of insults because we had the misfortune of being pretty and liking science.
I admire and am extremely proud of these young women for the fields that they have chosen and the years of hard work behind them and also ahead of them.
Thankfully, it is a different world today and young girls and women are no longer treated as freaks for loving science, they are now, finally being admired for it.
Yes, I will being watching them with pride today and you can believe that I will be cheering for these brainy beauties~
Places to learn more:
Super Bowl cheerleaders pitch something really sexy: Ph.D.s
Will this cheerleader be the smartest person at the Super Bowl