Family Life

Jesse did more than dance, he classed up the whole joint

by Ann Herren, publisher, August 2018

2018 Saintsation Jesse Hernandez is a milestone maker in many ways, the most obvious is the fact that an NFL team now has a male cheerleader. Which, just in case every affronted male out there may not be aware, ‘Cheerleader’ has ‘female’ nowhere in its description. 

  1. a member of a team that performs organized cheering, chanting, and dancing in support of a sports team.
    • an enthusiastic and vocal supporter.
      “he was a cheerleader for individual initiative” 

So kudos to the New Orleans Saints for taking this important step, and shame on all you misogynistic, chauvinistic and insecure creeps that have a problem with it.

But that’s not why I’m here- Jesse is being lauded all over the great inter-webs and they’re doing a great job. 

I’m here to thank him for something else. Something that I absolutely attribute to him being added to the Saintsation roster. The Saintations are no longer looking (pleeease let it continue!) like so much meat offered up on the market. 

EDIT (8/22/18): We removed the ‘Pre-Jesse’ Saintsation picture and we’re happy to explain why. It is not about any particular cheerleader- and that’s important to note, and we didn’t want to single any out for scrutiny. Cheerleaders do not pick their outfits, or their dances– the organization does. If you’ve seen a football game in the past decade, you know what we mean. 

Saintsations Post-Jesse

How should cheerleaders look?

Let’s face it, I’ve gone down this road before- just last fall in fact. These are talented, athletic women who are paid poorly, and treated (in the NFL as a whole) poorly as well. I also take umbrage with the fact that NFL football is touted as a family-friendly sport, yet the cheerleaders dress and dance in an extremely sexual and provocative manner. That’s fine in strip clubs, because it’s expected and defined by the job. But not in football, which as a sport, is held up as an example of our cultural identity. And by its very example, teaches our kids- girls and boys the wrong values. That women are there primarily for their good looks and sexual appeal, while men (literally and figuratively) get to grab the ball and run with it. 

But now that we have our Jesse, who I bet is not likely to don a push-up bra, or do a butt-in-the-air hip swivel, we may have moved the bar forward for everyone. 

Is this a real change?

Looking at the Saintsations in Friday’s pre-game, the first thing I noticed was their outfits. Yet not surprisingly, they’re still attractive and put on a great performance. Amazing that they don’t need to expose themselves to do a good job, isn’t it? Their talent shines even brighter, and they deserve it–they are true professionals. 

Does the addition of Jesse Hernandez mean better role models for everyone-women and men? I think so.

Thank you, Jesse- you already rock our world as cheerleader.  Maybe you’ve opened the door a bit wider for women, as well as men! 

edit: The LA Rams will also have a male Cheerleader this season. 

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