America’s Girls Podcast

For 50 years, the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders have been a global phenomenon, endlessly photographed, televised, and commercialized. They began as an experiment and became America’s sweethearts, a very Texas hybrid of pageant beauty, good-girl etiquette, and come-hither slink. But what’s always been missing from their story is the voices of the cheerleaders themselves—until now. Bestselling author Sarah Hepola hosts this journey through the wild and glamorous saga of a sideline spectacle that changed sports, fashion, entertainment, and countless childhoods of boys and girls like her. The original Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders squad burst onto the field back in 1972—the same year Title IX passed, 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 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.

https://www.texasmonthly.com/podcasts/series/americas-girls/

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