It’s been called exclusionary and sexist.
According to an infographic released by the University of Washington, if you’re going to tryout for its cheerleading squad, you should probably be a thin white girl. Last Monday, the university released a checklist of do’s and don’ts so potential cheerleaders would be ready for this year’s squad tryouts. But the infographic was quickly slammed for being sexist and exclusionary.
The infographic says women should have a “bronze, beachy glow” and their hair should be “down” and “curled or straight” which is easy to pull off when you’re Caucasian. Plus, potential cheerleaders should have a “natural tan or a spray tan,” instead of just showing up with their god-given skin colors. Women are also required to have an “athletic physique,” when athletic ability should be the only requirement.
After it began to go viral, the infographic was quickly removed by the athletic department. Jazmine Perez, the director of programming for its student government, told The Seattle Times she couldn’t believe what she saw. “One of the first things that comes mind is objectification and idealization of Western beauty, which are values I would like to believe the University doesn’t want to perpetuate,” Perez said. “As a student of color who looks nothing like the student in the poster, this feels very exclusive.” The school’s associate vice president of media relations and communications also disagreed with the infographic. He told USA Today that it’s “inappropriate and not reflective of the University’s values, especially regarding depiction of women and inclusiveness.”