The IPL Cheerleaders Question

I don’t know who Tanya Aldred is, but she makes a good point about the IPL cheerleaders on Cricinfo:

2 Why are the cheerleaders all white? Aren’t there any Indian dancers? Surely they could dress in a culturally acceptable way if crop tops are not considered de rigeur. Or wouldn’t they be Caucasian enough to attract the American market? Am I missing something obvious here?

I’ve addressed my own concerns with the cheerleaders here. There are two ways to be bothered about them: the first is the sexism question (cheerleading turns women into objects, especially in the context of cricket, which has absolutely no role for women, not even as umpires). The second is the post-colonial question, which Aldred touches on: why adopt an American tradition in India, and that too in an all-white reincarnation? (You have to be careful about this line of attack, lest you find yourself next to some parochial Shiv Sainik going on about the dangers of Valentine’s Day. I think there’s a difference, of course, between a couple voluntarily choosing to do something on a particular day, and a mass audience being exposed to images on television while trying to watch a cricket game.)

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One thought on “The IPL Cheerleaders Question

  1. […] placing women as eye-candy was the way to fix it. That said, an equally difficult problem was that all the cheerleaders were white, a decision obviously born out of a complex mix of marketing and nationalism. IPL organizers could […]

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