‘No underwear and no gum.’ Every intense rule the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders have to follow.

Cheerleading has got Netflix viewers in a chokehold right now off the back of the docuseries, America's Sweethearts: Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.

From wanting more information on the women featured in the series to outrage over some of the controversies that unfolded throughout the show, our appetite for cheer content knows no bounds. 

There's a lot to be taken away from the seven episodes, but one thing fans can't get over is just how strict the guidelines are for the 36 women who make the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders team. 

Watch the trailer for America's Sweethearts: Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. Post continues after video.

Video via Netflix.

These gals might look like they're living the dream, but trust me, it's not all pom-poms, big hair and high kicks. 

Let's break down some unexpected rules these women must follow.

These are the 15 rules the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders must follow.

1. No canoodling with the NFL players, ever!

The whole 'cheerleaders dating the school jock' stereotype does not fly at the DCC. It's quite the opposite, as the team has a strict "no fraternising with players" policy. Sorry to those NFL players, but dating a DCC member is prohibited. A former cheerleader told Inside Edition that not only could cheerleaders never date players but "you couldn't even be around the players."


2. Tattoos are a no-go. 

Got some ink? Better invest in some heavy-duty concealer, girlie. While tattoos aren't totally banned, they need to be completely hidden when in uniform. 

3. Chewing gum is blasphemy! 

This hails back to the days when Suzanne Mitchell was the DCC director: she had a huge issue with the women chewing gum. Netflix dug up the DCC rule book from her era, which said in all-caps: "NO GUM, CANDY, SOFT DRINKS, ETC. ARE ALLOWED IN THE STUDIO. CANDY IS FATTENING & GUM IS UNLADYLIKE!" 

In the same section, one rule reads that "excessive intake of water during any rehearsal is not permitted." Ah yes, how dare these women drink too much water! The nerve! Praying that these are no longer official rules. 

4. Always be camera-ready, even on your day off. 

Think you can pop to the shops in your trackies? Think again! DCC are expected to maintain a "clean image" at all times. That means full hair and makeup, even when you're just grabbing a coffee down the street. 

5. They have to maintain their weight. 

There might not be any specific height and weight requirements, but if you read in between the lines: cheerleaders are expected to maintain their figure. One former cheerleader revealed that "once you're fitted for that uniform, that size is the size that you get. You don't get to go up. If you go up, they're like, 'Why does this not fit you?'"

Image: CMC. 


Super normal and healthy! 


6. Social media influencer dreams? Crush them now. 

Unlike your favourite Instagram influencers, DCC are strictly prohibited from doing sponsored content. So don't expect to see any #ad posts from these gals anytime soon. This is despite the women earning wildly low salaries each year.

The Huffington Post confirmed this with an anonymous former cheerleader from 2021, who said cheerleaders aren't permitted to earn an income with spon-con or influencing.


7. They're always on call. 

Reckon you'll have time to binge-watch your favourite shows? Think again! Cheerleaders are expected to be available for events and photoshoots, even on their days off. I'm tired just thinking about this. 

8. They cannot sit during games. Lol. 

When the DCC are at the game, cheerleaders have to be standing at all times. There is no sitting down for a quick breather, ladies! 

Damn, sitting is my favourite hobby. 

9. No touch-ups allowed. 

Smudged your lippy? Too bad! During games, cheerleaders aren't allowed any makeup retouches or wardrobe adjustments which explains why they arrive five hours before kick-off. 


10. Go commando under the uniform. 

Here's a fun fact that'll make you feel uncomfortable: underwear is a no-no when in uniform. Yep, you read that right. The reasoning? To avoid any wardrobe malfunctions during performances. Thankfully, they are permitted to wear a sports bra. Imagine those puppies bouncing around during the high kicks? I can't. 

11. You have to eat a "proper diet" and never attend events where alcohol is served. 

In the Netflix series, we copped a peak at a rule book with current Director Kelli Finglass' name at the top, suggesting it was an updated version. The notes said cheerleaders had to take vitamins, eat a healthy breakfast, drink eight glasses of water every day and stop eating after 6pm. 

Hmm, that 6pm curfew sounds problematic but sure.

Another rule that seeks to limit the kinds of food and drink that cheerleaders consume is banning them from attending any event or party where alcohol is served. The New York Times reported that this rule was still kicking in 2018.

12. You have to look "well-proportioned" in dancewear.

Netflix viewers clocked this divisive rule in the part of the series where prospective DCC members had a fitting. It wasn't just expected that these women were conventionally thin, but they had to be 'right' shape, with Kelli even measuring how far their belly button sat from the top of their shorts. Ugh. 


13. The makeup rules are low-key deranged.  

There are a plethora of makeup rules to be followed which include: you must "wear shades that compliment your natural beauty"; no glitter is to be used on faces, opting for "mostly mattes for eye shadows" instead; false eyelashes are allowed but you must "avoid false eyelashes" that "make eyes appear heavy and too dark; loud colours of cheek and lip colours are to avoided; and finally, you must avoid "orange tones" when choosing a spray tan. 

Image: Netflix. 


14. You can't be late to, or skip, any rehearsal.

Okay, this is literally the only rule on this list that makes sense. Obviously, DCC members are discouraged from being tardy or missing any rehearsals.

15. But wait, they can't pout???

I'm not kidding. There's a reason that a smile is permanently fixed on the faces of the DCC: pouting is not permitted. 

According to Inside Edition, pouting is a serious offence. 

You can't make this stuff up.

But you can stream America's Sweethearts: Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders on Netflix now.

Continue reading about Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: 

Where are the cast of Netflix's America's Sweethearts: Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders now?

This is the most prestigious thing you can do in cheerleading but all anyone can talk about is their pay.

'10 infuriating thoughts I had while watching America's Sweethearts: Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders on Netflix.'

Jinelle Esther was at the peak of Australian cheerleading. Then she joined the Dallas Cowboys.

Lack of respect and minimal pay: What it's really like to be an NRL cheerleader.

Victoria is the breakout star of Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. After filming, she quit the team.

Feature image: Getty. 

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