Last week, the hard-working girls at the top of the high-school food chain got a rude awakening: Turns out that, according to a judge who was, like, obviously turned down for a lot of dates in his teenage days, cheerleading is officially not a sport. Although we weren’t exactly the rah-rah type in our school days, we’ve seen Bring It On and think the decision is totally bogus. But hey, if the courts don’t support cheerleaders, at least music videos do. After the jump, watch 10 clips that make good (if not always athletic… or flattering) use of America’s pom-pom wielding princesses.
Fol Chen — “Cable TV” Wonder why the dancers in Fol Chen’s “Cable TV” video are so good at synchronized gyrating? They’re out-of-uniform Laker Girls.
Taylor Swift — “You Belong with Me” It’s tough being nerdy, unattractive Taylor Swift, when cheerleaders are always trying to take your man.
Macy Gray — “Beauty in the World” In this newish clip, the singer drops an uplifting tune and dances surrounded by cheerleaders.
My Chemical Romance — “Teenagers” Nothing says “mall-punk rebellion” quite like cheerleaders in gas masks.
Gwen Stefani — “Hollaback Girl” When your song sounds this much like a cheerleader chant, you’re practically obligated to put some pom-pom girls in your music video.
Marilyn Manson — “Tainted Love” In the video for a Not Another Teen Movie soundtrack cover of the ’80s New Wave hit, it’s a normal high-school party until Manson and his scantily clad goth buddies show up. As a cheerleader with the word “WASPS” emblazoned on her top, perky Jaime Pressly never stood a chance.
Busta Rhymes — “Touch It (Remix)” The little girl cheerleaders doing a step routine at the beginning make the whole video.
Nada Surf — “Popular” This alternative band (which is still making good music, FYI) saw brief one-hit-wonder success in the mid-’90s with their novelty single “Popular.” The social Darwinism of high-school cheerleaders and their pervy teachers has never sounded so melodic.
Nirvana — “Smells Like Teen Spirit” In a music video for the song that defined a generation, black-clad anarchist cheerleaders keep the beat at a punk-rock pep rally.
Toni Basil — “Hey Mickey” This is the essential cheerleader music video. Nothing beats it.