Cheerleaders for the professional football team the Buffalo Bills are mostly unpaid.
A Jill is paid next to nothing—no money for gameday cheering, none for practice, none for the bulk of her minimum 20 personal appearances, none from the tips she receives but must turn in during the mandatory Jills Golf Tournament—and is classified by the team as a volunteer/independent contractor, though the thickness and thoroughness of the handbook makes you wonder just how independent she is.
They’re “volunteers” but they sure do have to follow a lot of rules for people who are volunteers.
The bottom document is the “NFL Buffalo Jills Cheerleaders Agreement & Codes of Conduct 2013-2014,” which is essentially the boilerplate rulebook for cheerleaders around the league. There, the basic practice and gameday rules are laid out, including how many excused absences from practice a cheerleader is allowed before dismissal, where she must get her hair done, and the scores of ways she can be fined, benched, or dismissed. It’s allprettystandard.
The more interesting stuff is in the 12-page list of glamour, etiquette, and hygiene rules. This is where we see just how much of a peppy automaton a cheerleader has to be. Shoulds and musts abound. “Hair must be worn in a glamorous style with no clips or tie-backs,” the cheerleaders are told. “A full curled or slightly bent, free-flowing style is required. Short hair must be worn full and fabulous!”
“Cheerleading” itself is actually acrobatics, and it’s quite athletic and skilled – but along with that the athletes have to be girly and pretty and perky.
There are the instructions on how to facilitate a breezy yet enjoyable conversation (everything quoted below is sic):
14. Do not be overly opinionated about anything. Do not complain about anything- ever hang out with a whiner? It’s exhausting and boring.
Well that’s me out right there. Opinionating and complaining is the sum total of what I do.
I’m kidding. It’s really because my back-flip isn’t good enough.
-Talking “about last night”
-Don’t try talk about your personal life: job, boyfriends, what you’re doing later, etc…
It would be quicker to say what they can talk about.
No need to avoid: