St. Paul council member in Facebook fracas over cheerleader outfits

The mother of a Golden Gophers cheerleader is asking for an apology from the president of the St. Paul City Council after a photo captured her daughter’s short skirt and underwear from the back.

The Facebook fracas began after City Council Member Amy Brendmoen posted a note to her social media account indicating her distaste for the bikini-like clothing cheerleaders wear for the Super Bowl and other football games.

Undated courtesy photo of St. Paul city council member Amy Brendmoen. Brendmoen, who represents Ward 5, will replace Russ Stark as president of the City Council in Jan. 2018. (Courtesy of the City of Saint Paul)
Courtesy photo
Amy Brendmoen

Brendmoen, the council president, followed up her post with a picture of herself at a University of Minnesota Gophers hockey game, frowning into the camera, eyes rolled toward the cheerleader behind her. The young woman’s short skirt and undergarments are visible, though her face and other identifying features are not.

Several Facebook followers said they agreed with Brendmoen’s sentiments about the objectification of women in sports, but others found the picture invasive and demeaning.

A woman identifying herself as the cheerleader’s mother later posted:

“This is my daughter’s backside. She is a freshman. Did Amy think about how this would make her feel? My daughter is an A student majoring in Mortuary Science. She has skated for years. She is a hard worker who loves helping the crowd get going to support the hockey team. The top is basically a turtleneck, but cheerleaders need short skirts to be running up and down the staircases and jumping and spinning on ice. An up-shot of her bottom is not what the public is generally seeing. I think an apology is in order.”

On Thursday, Brendmoen said she had removed the picture from her Facebook page.

“I want to be clear that I’m not judging women or the choices they make,” Brendmoen told a reporter. “I am challenging a culture that objectifies women for spectacle and profit.”


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