I’m back from the ESA conference, and will be parceling out reports on the cool research I saw over the next couple of weeks.  I also will have a special guest post tomorrow about a Resource/Cookbook I know we will all need for our Holiday Entertaining!!

A highlight from the meeting:

Immediately preceding the ESA meeting, there was a cheerleader conference in the same building the Entomologists used.

It was in fact the Greater Midwest Cheer Expo, and I am not linking that site, because there hasn’t been a website that made such horrible use of clip art and blinking GIFs since….um…1992. When it would have been state of the art.

And not just any cheerleaders were competing…JUNIOR cheerleaders. 
As in, kids from age 5 to 10.  I  cannot express to you just how horrible it was to see small children dressed in midriff-baring, lowcut cheer uniforms, stroking their stuff and pelvic thrusting as they tried to be Beyonce on a videophone.  Each of them had enough make-up on to cover at least 3 Tammy-Faye Bakers.

One of the folks at the meeting coined the term “prostitots”, which was appallingly accurate.  I could not find an online photo, and I was afraid to take any photos, but the uniforms were about this revealing.

On an adult woman–ROWR. On a kid–EWWWW.

There was a short period during which the two meetings overlapped. Entomologists in Suits. Kids in Thongs covered in glitter.


That part, at least, was awesome.

Posted by Gwen Pearson

Writer. Nerd. Insect Evangelist. Have you heard the good news? BUGS!


  1. I myself once encountered a convention of junior cheerleaders at Six Flags over Magic Mountain. Slightly older than the ones you ran into. Maybe 8-12. It’s hard to judge.

    Displaying pre-pubescent kids as sex objects is pretty freaky in it’s own right. But what really disturbed me about it was that each of those little girls was being led around by a mother who was very obviously using her daughter to vicariously live a life of youth and beauty. The people who actively embrace “girl culture” (in the words of Lauren Greenfield) are, IMHO, pretty neurotic human beings. Decent parents ought to (gently) discourage their kids from obsessing over what other people think about them — not push them into this madness.

  2. Yes, Jacob! A thousand times, yes.


  3. The junior cheerleader thing was creepy and weird. I have never seen such a thing. I got there Friday, so I had a full extra day to experience the horror.

  4. Check out some of the ‘Bratz’ style dolls for more wildly inappropriate prostitots. I can’t imagine purchasing one of those dolls for a little girl and not figuring on ruining her sense of childhood and self. They are meant to be pre-teen and young teen girls and are dressed like streetwalkers. Icky.

    As for the glitter, a friend of mine refers to glitter as the ‘herpes of the craft world’. She’s got a point.


    PS: Great blog :) Thanks for a good read.

  5. OMG–“herpes of the craft world”! I am so stealing that :)

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