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What to Buy to Look Like: A High-School Cheerleader

As days get shorter and temperatures cool, it’s also time (eek) to start thinking about going back to school. To help you get a jump on the best school (and school-related) supplies to buy for fall, we’re running a series called Cool School Stuff, in which we’ll sniff out the best backpacksbest dorm décor, and best bento boxes, among many, many other things.

Status can be a funny thing. Of course, its most obvious iteration comes with shiny hardware and easily recognizable logos, but it gets far more interesting as you narrow it down to the more opaque signals — when the way you tuck your shirt, or what you eat for breakfast, or your particular brand of notebook can mark you as in or out. And of course, what counts as a status item varies wildly across human tribes. In our new series, Insider Goods, we’re talking to tribe members (some with their real names, some anonymously) to find out the status items among art-gallery assistants, or Broadway actors, or architects. To help us get ready for back-to-school and dive into the mind of a high-school cheerleader, we’re talking to 16-year-old high-school cheerleader Bianca Treger, an incoming junior at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, California.

So this is a light-up selfie phone case — you press the button on the back and it gives you the perfect selfie lighting when you’re at a competition with your friends. It’s also good if it’s dark — a lot of girls will use it for makeup or for applying highlighter when you’re in an area with bad lighting. I think there are some other ones out there, but this is the best and most well-known.

So nobody really does glitter makeup anymore. That’s out. It’s about highlighter now. When we’re competing, girls love to glow and highlight. The Anastasia glow kit — especially the natural color and the Moonchild ones (which some people use to match school colors) — is the glow kit everyone uses. There’s a cheaper brand called Colour Pop, but Anastasia is definitely more glam, more expensive, more high-quality. It’s totally in. Everyone has to have it.

For eye shadow, almost all the girls use Urban Decay Naked — you get them based on your hair color in either 1, 2, or 3, so I use Naked 3, which is the blonde one. I know some people use Smashbox, but honestly, I wouldn’t do that. I think it’s not as great. Urban Decay is more like the thing everyone has.

Lilly Lashes

When we’re onstage — you wouldn’t think so — but we wear false eyelashes. They complete the look. Right now, it’s all about Lilly Lashes. I don’t know why, but it’s totally glam and in, and a lot of celebs use them. I think Kim Kardashian uses them. Famous people use them. They’re really good quality and make your eyes look bigger.

I honestly can’t think of a single cheerleader who doesn’t wear Nike Pro shorts. In all my time cheerleading, I’ve never seen anyone wear anything else. There are lots of patterns and designs you can choose from, but black is definitely the most popular. They’re super comfortable and the perfect length. We all wear Nike sports bras, too, because they come in every size for every bust.

When we’re practicing and competing, we don’t just wear regular tennis shoes. The shoes that my teammates and I wear are Varsity because they’re comfy and last a long time — they’re super light and comfortable and durable, which is what you want in a shoe. I see them all the time, and they’re only getting bigger. Plus, they’re cute, too. I know a lot of girls used to wear shoes like Reeboks or something, but nobody wears those anymore. Even though we all wear Nike clothes, you’d never wear Nike shoes for cheering because they’re just not cheer shoes. It’d be weird to wear those.

So when you’re not in cheer shoes, we walk around in tennis shoes, and the status objects right now are really the Fenty Pumas. Girls will also wear high-top Converse Chuck Taylors, but not in white — they wear them in specific colors that match their school colors. Cheerleaders are all about school spirit.

Sunglasses are really big when you’re cheering because we’re outside so much in the sun, both for games and competitions — I’ve basically seen girls in every kind of Quay, but a lot of them are doing Quay aviators now more than even Ray-Bans.

Cheerleaders love big hair — we tease it and get it big with volume, so you really need hairspray that keeps it in place. Rock Your Hair is the best for keeping your teased hair up. I know some people use the Big Sexy Hair hairspray, but I don’t know, that’s not as cheerleader to me. Rock Your Hair is pretty much made for cheerleaders.

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What to Buy to Look Like: A High-School Cheerleader