As a cheerleader, or anyone involved in the sport, you have definitely heard of someone being referred to as a "Cheerlebrity." If you are unfamiliar with this term, it signifies that someone is a cheerleading celebrity. This word single handedly tried to ruin our sport. Cheerleading is a team sport, it involves the use of multiple athletes to piece together a routine which is judged and scored based on the skills performed by a group of athletes as a whole. This sport is not an individual sport revolving around one person, it is a group effort.
Before this term was introduced to our sport, athletes used to idolize teams. I remember being 13 years old watching video after video of teams that I wished I could be a part of, my friends and I would do bed pyramids and learn the routines of these prestigious teams that we could only actively be a part of in our dreams. That is the way it should be, the team is what wins the trophies, it is not the individual flyers, but the whole group of athletes underneath them. People are no longer idolizing athletes for their skills but how they looked in a sports bra and make up rather than the actual athleticism they were showing on the performance mat. The attention, or lack there of to athletes on the same team as these "cheerlebrities" causes frustration and jealousy between team members.
Not only has this had a negative effect on teams, but it has also taken the fun of the sport from the athletes in which instagram followers decided were relevant. These athletes, some I am personally friends with, have had horrible experiences at competitions. Competing used to be a fun time for athletes, they get to watch other talented teams, run around with their friends, see friends from other teams, or even travel across the country. These kids are having to be escorted out of competitions and spend their whole days posing for pictures with other athletes that they don't even know. Sometimes I think that an actual hollywood celebrity would have it easier walking through a cheer completion. This is taking the fun out of the sport for these kids.
Personally I think it is so important to just let this term go. Athletes can idolize other athletes and teams, but the obsession is where it becomes a problem. Let these athletes enjoy the moments they get in the sport they love without disruption from the outside. And don't forget, when you are idolizing a flyer for the way she looks in the air, look down at the people holding her up there and give them some credit too, because sometimes they are working even harder than she is to make it work!