I totally admit one of my guilty pleasures is watching that seasonal TV show about the hundreds of women who every year vie for a spot on a very popular cheerleading squad for a major NFL team. I’m not naming it here because this post isn’t about them, but rather the general population of the show’s cast.
A typical NFL cheerleader hopeful is about 20 years old, blonde, tan, buxom, super fit, and loves to dance. There’s definitely a formula the powers that be like to stick to.
Now, meet Laura Vikmanis, current member of the Ben-Gals, the cheerleading squad for the Cincinnati Bengals football team. Like so many of her sistren, she is blonde, tan, buxom, super fit, and loves to dance. But 20 years old she’s not. In fact, she’s twice that. And then some.
At 42, Ms. Vikmanis is the oldest cheerleader in the NFL. And she’s a full-fledged member of Generation X.
I don’t have statistics on the ages of all current NFL cheerleaders because I would be embarrassed to admit to such research. But I think it’s safe to assume the GenXers are fast being pushed out of the stadium in favor of girls who are too young to even remember the Bengals’ two appearances in the Super Bowl in ’82 and ’89.
While half the fun of watching the afore-not-mentioned cheerleader squad tryout series is snarking on the contestants’ abilities, apperances, and delusions, I can’t snark on this lady. Nope. This woman is in crazy good shape, has serious dedication to fitness, and above all—in my mind—she didn’t let anyone tell her what she couldn’t—or shouldn’t—try to do simply because of her age. Bravo, Laura. Bravo.