Status can be a funny thing. Of course, it is most obviously expressed through shiny hardware and easily recognizable logos, but it gets far more interesting when you start to observe the more subtle signals — 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 series “Insider Goods,” we’re talking to members of different tribes (some with their real names, some anonymously) to learn about the niche status items among Broadway actors, ballerinas, or brain surgeons.
Today, we hear from Navarro College cheerleader Morgan Simianer and assistant cheerleading coach Andy Cosferent on the hair spray, water bottles, and shoes that are popular among the squad that stars in Netflix’s Cheer.
Morgan: Rebel sponsors us for our uniforms, our cheer shoes, and our bags. The whole team has the same brand of cheer shoes, but there are two different models we can choose based on support or style — the Ruthless and the Revolt. The Revolt is more of a knitted, sock-type shoe. It’s more flexible and breathable. The Ruthless has more ankle support and is a little more firm. I switch back and forth, depending on the day. If my ankle’s feeling sore, I’ll wear the one that has more support. And then, other days, when I’m just doing my own thing, I’ll switch back. All cheer shoes are very lightweight because it’s harder to transition and tumble and flip your body over with a heavier material.
Andy: We like to keep a very clean, college image, so we want to match the white socks with the white shoes, for sure.
Morgan: For practice, we’re wearing our Rebel cheer shoes and either black or white Nike socks, whether tall or short. And then we have Nike Pro shorts. Most of us wear black typically. Then we wear Lululemon sports bras (or Nike Pro sports bras). It depends on the girl, and certain things can be pricey, so preferences vary. Our school sponsors us with Under Armor T-shirts, so we typically wear those. A lot of the stuff that we have is Dri-FIT, which is very helpful. We want to make sure that we’re comfortable and ready to work.
Andy: As for the guys, it’s basically the same. The Rebel shoes, probably black or white Nike socks, Lululemon (or Nike) athletic shorts. And then, like Morgan mentioned, we’re sponsored by Under Armor, so we wear a lot of those shirts to practice.
Andy: Guys like Calvin Klein underwear because its comfortable while we’re moving and flipping our bodies over. It stays tight and it’s comfy for multiple hours.
Morgan: For us girls, it’s not necessarily full-on, beauty pageant–type makeup. When we feel put-together and confident in what we’re wearing and in our appearance, that’s what we see as the Navarro look. For lipstick, we use a bright red. We don’t lean toward pink or maroon. We stick with scarlet reds, like M.A.C’s Ruby Woo or Russian Red. They match our uniforms better. We don’t have much time once we get to competition because we’re warming up and then we go straight out. We need to be able to have a lipstick that is long-lasting, doesn’t fade or smudge, and is very pigmented, so that we don’t have to worry about reapplying before we go and compete.
Morgan: I know some people double up — I only use one pair, but I go through, like, thousands of lashes during the season. We’re all very helpful when we’re getting ready. I don’t know how to do makeup that well, I just kind of rub it on and hope it looks good. But I have people on my team that are very good at eye shadow, and some people are good at teasing hair, and some people are good at curling. We’re very good about helping one another so we look similar, but also just so we feel confident.
Morgan: We have our hair half-up, half-down with a pouf. The bump is in the front, and then we section half of our hair up on top with a bow, and then the whole thing is teased. Then you have big voluminous curls and then you hair spray it, secure it with bobby pins, put your bow in. We do what we’ve got to do it so when we’re flipping and doing all this crazy stuff, our hair doesn’t fall out.
Morgan: A lot of people use the Hydro Flask because it keeps our water cool. And they’re big, so you don’t have to worry about refilling as much. They’re also easy to carry around. We all have different colors, it just kind of depends on our personalities. Within the last year, probably everyone got one. Trends start catching on and we just go with it. For the type of activity we’re doing, we drink a lot of water. Because if we don’t, we’d be dehydrated, so it’s going to be harder to practice. Hydration helps with your overall health — making you feel less tired, reducing headaches, all kinds of stuff. So we drink a good amount of water to make sure that we’re staying healthy.
Andy: As we get closer to Daytona, we also start practicing outside because our final performance in Daytona is outside. We’re in 80-, 90-degree weather going full-out, flipping over, throwing people over our heads. So we make sure that everybody stays hydrated.
Morgan: Sometimes if I’m super exhausted or need a little pick-me-up, I’ll reach for one. I won’t, like, chug a whole energy drink, because I’m a pretty tiny person. But I’ll definitely drink a little bit of a Red Bull just to get my body going. Like, “Okay, you have a little bit of energy in you. It’s go time.”
Andy: AdvoCare is a very healthy brand that has a lot of products we use. A big thing that our athletes like is Spark, which is like a healthy energy drink. It’s a powder you put in water — you mix it up and it helps with your energy and vitamins. Sometimes people prefer this over energy drinks because they want that extra little boost to get you through practice, but don’t want all the caffeine from an energy drink.
Morgan: You can put it in basically anything.
Morgan: Arbonne is kind of like the girly version of AdvoCare. It has skin products, vitamins, lotions, and a protein shake powder that we use. It’s mostly all organic, non-GMO — we make sure that we’re taking care of our bodies.
Andy: Everybody comes into practice chewing gum. When we stretch and get ready and warm up, I feel like the gum makes everyone not stress about the routine and just kind of keeps them in a calm mind-set. But when we start going full-out, we ask everybody to spit their gum out because obviously we don’t want anything to happen.