5 things you probably did not know about the IPL cheerleaders

How much do you know about the cheerleaders who entertain us all in the IPL?

Kings XI Punjab cheerleaders
Kings XI Punjab cheerleaders. (Photo Source: Twitter)

That the Indian Premier League (IPL) is a glamorous 2-month fest is nothing new. Among from the cricket, big names, fancy sponsors, and lavish preparations are cheerleaders who have a role of their own in adding to the glam factor of the league. While the immediate thought for people when figuring out the demerits of their job is the idea of them dancing in the heat, there are a dozen other things that they have to deal with in order to do their jobs.

The ones who are believed to be a major part in adding the glam, personally have to go through a lot of things that are anything but glam just to encourage you to be excited or pumped up every time a batsman hits a six or a four.

In 2015, a Times of India article about an anonymous cheerleader’s Reddit AMA where she made confessions and revelations about the behind-the-scenes of an IPL cheerleader’s life. As we head to another decade of the IPL and the cheer(lead)ing, here is a look at 5 things we didn’t know about IPL cheerleaders:

1. Dealing with having things thrown at them

The rules about what is permissible inside the stadium vary from each ground but controlling taking inside coins, chargers, bottles is not enough. People often have trash like the used popcorn bucket, or the empty Pepsi glasses left after they are used which they often use to trouble either other spectators or the cheerleaders. The long fences don’t help either.

“We sometimes get trash thrown at us. I just ignore it,” the anonymous cheerleader said in the AMA.

2. The ogling and staring

This, perhaps, is the most common for any cheerleader and maybe most celebrity females in general. While most of it may not be out of ill-intentions, it is never a comfortable sight. Moreover, since sexual harassment, in general, is not easy to dismiss across any field, its existence in cheerleading cannot be doubted. When the very concept of cheerleading revolves around catering to the male gaze, sexual harassment is likely to be common.

“I put a blank stare on for the most part when I’m facing the crowd. There’s just so many nasty men making kissy faces and taking my picture that I tend to just block it all out,” the cheerleader said.

3. White beauty standards or are Indian women not supposed to cheerlead?

Delhi Daredevils cheerleaders
Delhi Daredevils cheerleaders. (Photo Source: Twitter)

It is funny how it is also decided which ethnicity of girls are allowed to dance with short clothes and which ones are not. Or, is it the other way around? Do people think white women should be the only ones dominating the profession because the Indian girls are too good for this?

She said, “I hate the racism. Why do Indians feel it’s ok to dress white girls up in skimpy outfits but they won’t let their fellow Indian women do it? It’s messed up.” And there was a little more truth: “Sadly, there’s nothing I can do about that. If I refuse I’d be breaking my contract and they’d replace me with another white girl anyway… I went into this contract as a dancer, [but I’m] finding that I’m treated more as a sex object…I enjoy what I do regardless. But I wouldn’t renew this contract for another year unless things changed.”

4. No mingling with cricketers

The BCCI barred the cheerleaders from interacting with the cricketers in the IPL. Some of them, if they meet the players, is either because they did commercial together or were part of some promotional activity. Aside from that, teams and all members can’t chat up the cheerleaders.

On being asked if players hit on them, she replied: “No, they ignore us for the most part. We’re not allowed to talk to each other.”

5. Bearing with the ugly costumes

A lot of times, the costumes the cheerleaders where look bizarre, uncomfortable and ugly. The material looks terrible, more so, in the heat. Funnily, the cheerleaders agree. But, they can’t really do anything about it because it’s like a uniform. You just got to wear it without cribbing.

“Oh my goodness, the costumes are the biggest drama. I liked our old ones but apparently, the boss’ 13-year-old daughter decided she wants to be a designer and designed our new outfits.