Cookie banner

This site uses cookies. Select "Block all non-essential cookies" to only allow cookies necessary to display content and enable core site features. Select "Accept all cookies" to also personalize your experience on the site with ads and partner content tailored to your interests, and to allow us to measure the effectiveness of our service.

To learn more, review our Cookie Policy, Privacy Notice and Terms of Use.

clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

9 Most Infantilizing Rules From the Buffalo Jill's Cheer Handbook

Image via Getty
Image via Getty

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

NFL cheerleading isn't widely regarded as one of the most progressive career paths. As recent lawsuits have shown, squad members barely get paid to perform routines throughout sporting events while mostly naked. But Deadspin added a whole new dimension to the job title when it obtained the "NFL Buffalo Jills Cheerleaders Agreement & Codes of Conduct 2013-2014," an educational guide for adult women on how to maneuver around tricky day-to-day situations. Like eating, for example. And how to stand still without offending anyone.

These tips and tricks, plus beauty requirements ("Foundation, blush, 3 natural eye shadow colors (lid cover, highlighter, definer), eye liner, mascara and red lipstick"), make a fascinating look at what it takes to be a Jill. It also partially explains why five former Jills are suing the Bills and their cheerleading management.

1. "Never talk with food in your mouth. If asked a question while chewing, simply hold up your index finger to imply 'one moment' and then speak after you swallow."
So spitting everything back on the plate is what? Plan B?

2. "Do not be overly opinionated about anything. Do not complain about anything—ever hang out with a whiner? It's exhausting and boring."
We vent the only way we know how: With dance. Cheer-dance.

3. "Do not use slang in conversations. Never use words/phrases such as: 'like', 'I seen it', 'You's guys', 'dude', 'them guys' 'pee' & 'ain't'."
How did "pee" get on here?

4. "Do not consume conversations & watch body language. Be aware of female companions and children. Always turn the conversation back to the other person. Never flirt!"
Right. If NFL cheerleading is about anything, it's about subtlety and chastity.

5. "Watch other poor manners or nervous habits such as: Nail-biting, knuckle/neck cracking, excessive sniffling and too many arm movements."
How the heck do we control these darn arms!

6. "Always say 'excuse me' when you burp, sneeze or cough. Even if you think there isn't anyone around."
Because we're watching. Always.

"7. Always avoid:



—Sexual references

—Talking 'about last night.'

—Don't try talk about your personal life: job, boyfriends, what you're doing later, etc…

—Inappropriate jokes

—Strong opinions


—Saying 'I' or 'me' too often.

So you're saying that "I was surfborting the boyfriend last night when my favorite political correspondent Glen Beck came on to talk about how Christians should be the only -tians there are on this earth, which I think is a pretty solid world view, you know? Anyway, me and the girls are gonna grab a sno-cone later. You're not invited." isn't inappropriate?

8. "Try to bush your teeth or use a mouthwash before an appearance. Bad breath is offensive. Always keep it in check."
Bushing teeth sounds expensive.

9. "Never apply make up or fuss with hair in front of people. If it's absolutely necessary you re-apply /freshen up, go to the ladies room and do not hang out and talk while there. Beware! Other women will judge you in there too!"

There's a lot more about makeup to be learned but we'll save you the trouble: Wash it off. You don't want to know what happens if you don't wash off the makeup. Also throw away your loofas. Right now young lady.
· Insane Handbook: Bills Cheerleaders Are Told How To Wash Their Vaginas [Deadspin]
· You Can Now Buy George Bush's Paintings on Clocks, Pillows [Racked]