Malaysia being a former British colony – as far as I can recall – cheerleading has never been a part of our culture: at least, not our mainstream culture. However, that does not stop us from forming the mental picture popularised by porno movies; cheerleaders are sexually compliant, go-anywhere, do-anything (for anybody) nymphomaniacs who are put on earth to please any male lucky enough to be within a 5-mile radius.
Porno movies aside, far as I can recall, cheerleading has always been a secondary activity. What I mean is that cheerleading, by nature, fulfills a supporting role i.e. to encourage a football or basketball team to victory. But somewhere a long the line, Malaysia discovered cheerleading. And as is typical with most things American adopted by Malaysians, it as been re-invented – not necessarily for the better.In Malaysia, cheerleading has become a primary activity. It has been stripped of its supporting role and redefined as an activity all unto its own. Football or basketball teams that the cheerleaders are supposed to support have become a footnote, an excuse for nubile young females to prance around, strutting their stuff. In fact, there is no reason for the football or basketball teams to be there at all! Cheerleaders and cheerleading can exist in their own self-promoting vacuum.
It seems that here, almost everybody (especially the cheerleaders themselves) have forgotten that cheerleading was created to spur the local sporting team to perform at their best. Instead, it has become a platform for the female ‘in-crowd’ at school to appear scantily clad, perform sexually suggestive moves and basically shout out to all and sundry, “Look! See how HOT I am?”
Perhaps the Malaysian version of cheerleading is closer to the porno caricature of cheerleaders than we would like to admit, eh?