Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Red Whines: Eye Candy - Behind the Bull

Major shoutout to Allison Jenkins (@AJenkins11) for sending me the article that got the wheels turning on this post. She's a pretty cool lady. And she likes the Flyers too.

Sometimes I just say things on Twitter just to say things. For instance, three years ago I did send in a video of myself to apply to be a Phillies ballgirl to no avail. Then I read Tuesday night that the Philadelphia Flyers are looking for applications for their Ice Crew, including women. I figured, "Hey, I could totally try this just to say I tried it and laugh at myself later," but I later got a response that included an article (read this article now), and then my joking demeanor turned into this face:
I should have known. I should have known this whole time.
Like, really? Am I going to have to unload on this one too? And of course, the answer is definitely yes, because I still can't believe that there are specific standards for women when it comes to areas such as cheerleading and whatever kind of stuff that involves wearing spandex and stuff.

I knew that to be an "ice girl," you had to be fashionable in spandex similar to what a women's wrestler has to be acquainted with, and you have to deal with cold conditions. If you're a monk, that doesn't seem so bad, but when your abdomen and hands are exposed for extended periods of time, it truly isn't. In fact, according to the article, the women are not allowed to eat at all while on the job, and they cannot cover themselves up at any time. The only thing I understood was that the organization doesn't want intermingling between the women and the athletes, and that makes some sense, but to put them on borderline torture, especially if you're an "ice girl" during the Winter freaking Classic? Give me a break, people.

Because of all of the issues, organizations have been slowly adding men and/or completely doing away with the female-centered groups. Most cheerleading squads in football still remain, but I'll get to that later on. During the NHL Preseason, male ice squad members made an appearance in Philadelphia, much to the dismay (and even boos) of male spectators. Now before you start saying, "Oh, it's because Philadelphia fans are a bunch of pigs," I'm going to have to stop you there. And maybe hit you over the head with a  day-old soft pretzel. This would happen anywhere. Don't make me put the Judge Judy eyeroll down here too. Because of the reception, they've opened up the ice squad application process to women again. Whether they're going to fine-tune the guidelines for them remains to be seen, but from a feminine point of view, men could just as easily pull out a smart phone and look at a woman in spandex from a Google Search app while a bunch of dudes shovel the ice. Does everyone think like me? Of course not. They don't like to use their imaginations like Barney the Dinosaur or Spongebob Squarepants taught them. I digress.

Back to the other fun stuff that the article talked about. The pay is not very good for these ladies, and they are responsible for their own hair, makeup, and supplies. Now, women are dignified pros in doing their hair and makeup in cramped up places, but the fact that they don't get decent enough pay to get to these events, on top of the fact that they have other jobs and maybe college classes outside of this? Give them a reason to stay, you guys. Sure, it's the experience of a lifetime, and you get to do charity work and participate in good causes, but it seems like the other stuff going on is less than ideal for women looking for something even more worthwhile in this job. It is a job at the end of the day, isn't it? Shouldn't there be a reward for doing a good job?

You say that I sound like a feminist right about now, but if you paid men $50 a week during the season and they needed to pay out of pocket for their own supplies, don't you think that would be a little ridiculous?

Should I get started on "jiggle tests" too? They're an alleged urban legend in the world of sports, but there are rumors all over about how a team's "eye candy" (for the lack of a better term here) must undergo "weigh-ins" among the like to keep the girls in form. True story, guys: I would fail said "jiggle test" because my thighs are too awesome for words. Plus, I also like to eat a lot. So keeping women to that standard is a bunch of malarky. It may not even exist, but would you be surprised?

In the case of cheerleaders all throughout sports, we all pretty much know that this job isn't really an ideal unless you're a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader. Let's be serious for a moment--they had their own reality show once upon a time. Jobs like this don't really pay; they're just about the sports equivalent of Miss America in today's environment. They may dance, they may do other acrobatics, they do a lot of smiling and charity work, but they may not always be treated the best either. As far as measures and guidelines for these ladies, they may be more refined compared to any other sport. Seeing cheerleaders or "ice girls" in hockey is still fairly new, and there may be some franchises that need "different reasons" to put rear ends in seats for games (I'm looking at you, Florida Panthers...). If you want to do things right, do things right with what you have first. I wouldn't do this for $50. Other women may disagree with me, as they may see things differently than I do.

If we keep adding on cheering squads and ice girls, things certainly have to change up a bit. The last time I checked, girls have sensitive sides to them, and they might also like to eat sometimes. Let's not treat them like circus animals, okay? Thanks.