Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Dear Prudence

The story is a familiar one. Cheerleaders' uniforms are deemed too scanty, especially the ones with short, tight, belly-baring tops. So they've been banned.

You read this kind of thing about the U.S., be it a local high school or the entire NCAA. And the more liberal and enlightened quarters of the globe snicker and mock the prudish religious zealotry of the Americans.

Except in this case it's Australia. And it has nothing to do with religion. Unless you count "feminist idealism and social hypersensitivity" as a religion:

SCANTILY-clad cheerleaders have been ordered to cover up because of fears they may be encouraging schoolgirl anorexia.

Cheerleading's governing body Gymnastics Australia is banning teams from baring their midriffs and has given them until the end of the year to find new uniforms.

The organisation believes the revealing costumes make sensitive teenagers feel uncomfortable about their weight and "affect the self-esteem of others".

It is also keen for cheerleaders to be seen as athletes in sports wear, rather than bimbos in bikinis.

Funny how you can start off on diverging paths and end up at the same place.