Monday, April 14, 2008
Have you heard about the Florida Marlins baseball team's new acquisition? The Marlins have put together a plus-sized, male cheerleading squad they call, "The Manatees."
From the Marlins' official site, calling for participants: "The Florida Marlins are looking for big bellies with the biggest jiggle, big feet with the best dance moves and enthusiasm that will rock Marlins fans out of their seats."
A recent Today Show piece dedicated to the Manatees showed one cheerleader, who lifted his shirt to reveal his belly, and said, "Why have a six-pack when you can have a keg?"
It's funny, right? A Miami Herald.com article declared: "Manatees cheerleaders put the giggle in jiggle." According to press releases, the fans seem to appreciate the comic interludes the Manatees provide. And female attention follows suit. . . One fan, captured on Today, cozied up to the squad, and squealed, "They're so cute!"
Does this represent a step toward fat acceptance (in men), or just another way to mock the fat? Would female "sea cows" inspire the same attention and praise?