The original Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders squad burst onto the field back in 1972—the same year Title IX passed, the same year Deep Throat came out, and a year before Roe v. Wade. Sarah Hepola digs into the untold stories behind the global pop culture phenomenon, from the stripper who allegedly inspired the squad's creation, to a scandalous Playboy cover shoot that was actually a battle over fair wages, to the ongoing debate about sexuality and women’s bodies in a post-#MeToo world. The result is a vibrant mix of history, cultural criticism, and storytelling, featuring interviews with New Yorker writer Jia Tolentino, award-winning novelist Ben Fountain, Oscar-nominated director Dana Adam Shapiro, local television sports legend Dale Hansen, folk-writing hero Joe Nick Patoski, and a whole bunch of cheerleaders whose names you don’t know yet—but should.
8. Making the Dream
The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders have navigated scandals and cultural shifts in the last few years. What is their future in this new world? For more on this and every episode, visit texasmonthly.com/americas-girls.
7. All-American Sexy Girls
From honey shots to swimsuit calendars, sex has long been part of the cheerleaders’ brand. But is the provocative tease a relic of another era? For more on this and every episode, visit texasmonthly.com/americas-girls.
6. The Perfect Look
It’s not just about being the right weight. It’s about having the right hair, the right skin, the right boobs, the right legs. Only a very particular kind of beautiful woman gets to wear that uniform. More on this and all episodes at texasmonthly.com/americas-girls.
5. The Rules
No appearances near alcohol. No fraternizing with players. Being a Cowboys cheerleader has always meant living by a long list of rules. But do those rules help protect the cheerleaders, or control them? For more on this and every episode of America's Girls, visit texasmonthly.com/americas-girls.
4. The Uniform
The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders uniform is iconic, a symbol of Texas culture for half a century. But its origin story remains remarkably unsettled. For more on this and other episodes, visit texasmonthly.com/americas-girls.
3. Naked Ambition
A group of former Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders pose topless in Playboy, and the Cowboys go to court to protect their brand. For more on this and every episode of America's Girls, visit texasmonthly.com/americas-girls.
I loved this pod. I was a little girl in the 70’s and I loved the pig tailed cheerleader, Tammy. She Is THE quintessential DCC. Thank you for this perspective. Jerry Jones needs to pay these ladies a lot more-what a joke. Also, I hope noah gets his day soon.
I almost passed it by because I thought it was going to be another politicized podcast. I gave it a chance and am glad I did! It is well told and I found myself laughing so loud with my headphones on that I am positive the people around me thought I might be crazy. It draws you in and makes you see the women behind the uniforms and for a few moments you can live vicariously through their memories, good and bad, of what it felt like to revolutionize professional sports cheering. I recommend this to anyone, I am a Cowboy fan but I know I would love this even if I wasn’t.
It only took the intro for me to be fully hooked, and by the end of the first episode, I was eager to binge listen to the rest of them. Excellent storytelling, incredibly well-researched, thoughtful and intelligent. A MUST-LISTEN!!