American Cheerleaders and Football Players

Photographs by Brian Finke. Interview with Kathy Ryan. Essay by Zev Borow.
Umbrage Editions, New York, 2003. 128 pp., numerous color illustrations, 10¼x10¼".

Publisher's Description
2-4-6-8 is a serio-comic guided tour into the megaphone world of pyramids and liberties, pom-poms and back-bends, tackles and touchdowns. Narrated with affection and respect, it snaps and waves like a flag. 'Sexy, cute, and popular to boot' describes the subjects of photographer Brian Finke's energetic documentation of the inner life of the American cheerleader. Across the country, deep into the heartland, from coast to coast and overseas, these smiling and sometimes tear-stained faces reveal the youthful natural character of quintessential Americana: crowd-pleasing, stunt-building, toe-touching, skirt-flipping, hand-clapping girls and boys in full adolescent throttle. With their pitch-perfect feeling, these images take you into the win or the loss, the intensity of friendships, rivalries, mentoring, competing, self-image and self-worth that is the core of adolescence. Complementing the photographs are commentaries from the cheerleaders themselves on the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat, and the life of Cheer. 'There are two kinds of girls,' one cheerleader puts it, 'Cheerleaders and those who wanna be them.' Four million cheerleaders are flying, jumping and kicking in small towns and big cities alike. Cheer loud, cheer proud!

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