Kate B. sent in a great link to a slideshow at the Business Insider about changes in football cheerleader uniforms over the last few decades (focusing most on the NFL, but with some college examples as well). It’s a great illustration of increasingly overt sexualization and increasingly rigid standards for acceptable feminine bodies.
The Minnesota Vikings cheerleaders in the 1960s:
New York Jets cheerleaders in the ’70s:
The Dallas Cowboys uniforms have stayed remarkably consistent:
In 1960, this cheerleader, from Syracuse U., made the cover of Sports Illustrated:
And a shout-out to my Wisconsin crew; here are the Packers cheerleaders in 1978, a decade before the team dispensed with cheerleaders altogether, probably after determining that if they kept pace with the general shrinkage in cheerleader uniforms, they’d have to constantly replace squad members who were out due to frostbite: