Starting at around 7th grade, I developed a potent and bitter dislike of cheerleaders that lasted right on through my time at university. I would never have admitted this then, but I was jealous. They were all beautiful and thin and popular and coordinated and never seemed to get pimples, and knew how to wear makeup and had the confidence to rock a miniskirt. Those were all qualities that seemed very out of reach to me. Actually, they still feel pretty out of reach, if I’m honest.
Over time I’ve learned that there are other fantastic qualities to have, such as intelligence and compassion and integrity, and those will stand the test of time long after your miniskirt days are over. I really like who I am. I’m finding that these traits may not be visible at first glance, and therefore I still struggle to get dates, but I’d totally date me.
Another thing that’s changed over time is my view of cheerleaders. Now I don’t disdain them. I cultivate them. Not the sporting kind. The kind that encourage you. The kind that sing your praises. The kind that say, “You go, girl!!!” Everybody needs that kind of positivity in their lives.
Because of this, I also try to be a cheerleader. I go out of my way to give sincere compliments. I want to be uplifting. In this world there will be plenty of people who will try to drag you down. Do your best to surround yourself with those who will cheer for you, and make an effort to cheer for them as well. Maybe your pom poms aren’t as perky as the next person’s, but your words will still give them spirit.