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Status can be a funny thing. Of course, it is most obviously expressed through shiny hardware and easily recognizable logos, but it gets far more interesting when you start to observe the more subtle signals — the way you tuck your shirt, or what you eat for breakfast, or your particular brand of notebook can mark you as in or out. And, of course, what counts as a status item varies wildly across human tribes. In our series “Insider Goods,” we’re talking to members of different tribes (some with their real names, some anonymously) to learn about the niche status items among Broadway actors, ballerinas, or brain surgeons.
Today, we hear from Navarro College cheerleader Morgan Simianer and assistant cheerleading coach Andy Cosferent on the hair spray, water bottles, and shoes that are popular among the squad that stars in Netflix’s Cheer.
Morgan: Rebel sponsors us for our uniforms, our cheer shoes, and our bags. The whole team has the same brand of cheer shoes, but there are two different models we can choose based on support or style — the Ruthless and the Revolt. The Revolt is more of a knitted, sock-type shoe. It’s more flexible and breathable. The Ruthless has more ankle support and is a little more firm. I switch back and forth, depending on the day. If my ankle’s feeling sore, I’ll wear the one that has more support. And then, other days, when I’m just doing my own thing, I’ll switch back. All cheer shoes are very lightweight because it’s harder to transition and tumble and flip your body over with a heavier material.
Andy: We like to keep a very clean, college image, so we want to match the white socks with the white shoes, for sure.
Morgan: For practice, we’re wearing our Rebel cheer shoes and either black or white Nike socks, whether tall or short. And then we have Nike Pro shorts. Most of us wear black typically. Then we wear Lululemon sports bras (or Nike Pro sports bras). It depends on the girl, and certain things can be pricey, so preferences vary. Our school sponsors us with Under Armor T-shirts, so we typically wear those. A lot of the stuff that we have is Dri-FIT, which is very helpful. We want to make sure that we’re comfortable and ready to work.
Andy: As for the guys, it’s basically the same. The Rebel shoes, probably black or white Nike socks, Lululemon (or Nike) athletic shorts. And then, like Morgan mentioned, we’re sponsored by Under Armor, so we wear a lot of those shirts to practice.
Morgan: Because they’re white, we typically do not wear our cheer shoes outside, except for in Daytona. So we’ll typically walk in to practices in slides (or tennis shoes) from Adidas or Nike. It makes it easy to just put your cheer shoes on and get ready.
Morgan: Same for the girls — many wear Calvin Klein seamless underwear, so you can’t see it through your Spandex. It’s comfortable, breathable. We don’t really tend to do the lacy, crazy stuff. We tend to go for comfortable underwear.
Morgan: Most of us go from class to practice, so we use our backpacks for all of our everyday needs. We use it for school, for traveling as a carry-on, and also for practices and competitions. We all have this black one with “Navarro Cheer” embroidered onto it.
Morgan: For us girls, it’s not necessarily full-on, beauty pageant–type makeup. When we feel put-together and confident in what we’re wearing and in our appearance, that’s what we see as the Navarro look. For lipstick, we use a bright red. We don’t lean toward pink or maroon. We stick with scarlet reds, like M.A.C’s Ruby Woo or Russian Red. They match our uniforms better. We don’t have much time once we get to competition because we’re warming up and then we go straight out. We need to be able to have a lipstick that is long-lasting, doesn’t fade or smudge, and is very pigmented, so that we don’t have to worry about reapplying before we go and compete.
Morgan: I know some people double up — I only use one pair, but I go through, like, thousands of lashes during the season. We’re all very helpful when we’re getting ready. I don’t know how to do makeup that well, I just kind of rub it on and hope it looks good. But I have people on my team that are very good at eye shadow, and some people are good at teasing hair, and some people are good at curling. We’re very good about helping one another so we look similar, but also just so we feel confident.
Morgan: We have our hair half-up, half-down with a pouf. The bump is in the front, and then we section half of our hair up on top with a bow, and then the whole thing is teased. Then you have big voluminous curls and then you hair spray it, secure it with bobby pins, put your bow in. We do what we’ve got to do it so when we’re flipping and doing all this crazy stuff, our hair doesn’t fall out.
Morgan: A lot of people use the Hydro Flask because it keeps our water cool. And they’re big, so you don’t have to worry about refilling as much. They’re also easy to carry around. We all have different colors, it just kind of depends on our personalities. Within the last year, probably everyone got one. Trends start catching on and we just go with it. For the type of activity we’re doing, we drink a lot of water. Because if we don’t, we’d be dehydrated, so it’s going to be harder to practice. Hydration helps with your overall health — making you feel less tired, reducing headaches, all kinds of stuff. So we drink a good amount of water to make sure that we’re staying healthy.
Andy: As we get closer to Daytona, we also start practicing outside because our final performance in Daytona is outside. We’re in 80-, 90-degree weather going full-out, flipping over, throwing people over our heads. So we make sure that everybody stays hydrated.
Morgan: Sometimes if I’m super exhausted or need a little pick-me-up, I’ll reach for one. I won’t, like, chug a whole energy drink, because I’m a pretty tiny person. But I’ll definitely drink a little bit of a Red Bull just to get my body going. Like, “Okay, you have a little bit of energy in you. It’s go time.”
Andy: AdvoCare is a very healthy brand that has a lot of products we use. A big thing that our athletes like is Spark, which is like a healthy energy drink. It’s a powder you put in water — you mix it up and it helps with your energy and vitamins. Sometimes people prefer this over energy drinks because they want that extra little boost to get you through practice, but don’t want all the caffeine from an energy drink.
Morgan: You can put it in basically anything.
Morgan: Arbonne is kind of like the girly version of AdvoCare. It has skin products, vitamins, lotions, and a protein shake powder that we use. It’s mostly all organic, non-GMO — we make sure that we’re taking care of our bodies.
Andy: Everybody comes into practice chewing gum. When we stretch and get ready and warm up, I feel like the gum makes everyone not stress about the routine and just kind of keeps them in a calm mind-set. But when we start going full-out, we ask everybody to spit their gum out because obviously we don’t want anything to happen.
Morgan: All the girls typically wear men’s deodorant. It just seems to last longer, and something about it just works better than women’s deodorant, especially when you’re sweating at practices and doing as much as we do.
Andy: We think this lasts a lot longer than other brands. We’ll practice for two, two and a half, three hours. If you put on something that doesn’t work after an hour, it’s not fun for the other people around you.
Morgan: We girls are always like, “Do I smell bad? Do I smell like BO?” So occasionally during practice, if we are really sweating, we will go and spray a bit of perfume really quickly. Just to freshen up. Victoria’s Secret Bombshell is the one that a lot of us use. It smells so good. And then, sometimes, Bath & Body Works — we go for fruity, sweet smells like sunshine or sweet pea.
Andy: For cologne, the guys typically gravitate toward Dior Sauvage or Dolce & Gabbana’s Light Blue. If you are in the middle of practice and you feel like you don’t smell good or you smell like sweat, then your focus goes to that — so we want to make sure that we stay focused on what we need to focus on. Also, after they get out of practice, most athletes go to the cafeteria to eat. We’ve been practicing for two or three hours, so a lot of people put cologne on because we don’t want to walk in and for people to be like, “Ugh.”
Morgan: We all have multiple colors because we wear different Nike sports bras and spandex shorts to practice. We try to mix and match them with what we’re wearing. Sometimes we’ll trade our scrunchies and we’re all like, “Oh my gosh! Scrunchies!” because, you know, gotta stay on trend.
Andy: PreWrap is basically what you put on skin first, before athletic tape. If you don’t put the PreWrap on first, you’re going to irritate your skin when you take the tape off. And sometimes, people are allergic to the adhesive on the athletic tape — we’ve had situations in the past where people got rashes on their skin because of the tape. So we like to be proactive.
Andy: Tumbling on top of a hard floor or concrete every single day has a big impact on the body. It takes a toll, especially on your joints. So we will tape ankles, wrists, and knees until they’re comfortable. Sometimes people just tape their ankles because they like how it feels when tumbling. The girls who have to do stunts and pyramids — and often have to hold themselves upside down on their hands — tape their wrists for support, too.
Morgan: It’s like IcyHot; it helps with aches and pains. Whenever our muscles are feeling stiff or sore, or we feel like, I don’t know if I can do this today, we’ll just rub on some Tiger Balm. Bada bing, bada boom. It makes everything feel like it’s not even a problem. I go through probably three or four containers a year.
Andy: And we have 35 people on the team, so that’s a lot of Tiger Balm.
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