Inside the Cheerlebrity Economy

The Wire published Inside the Cheerlebrity Economy.

Fans follow the queens of the scene, cheerlebrities, obsessively. After Gardner, there’s Carly Manning, Cami Branson, Peyton Mabry, Gabi Butler, and Jamie Andries. Young girls light up at the sound of these names and rush to take photos with the teenagers at competitions. Tumblr users debate the cheerlebs’ relative merits: they want Jamie’s abs, Peyton’s looks, and Gabi’s flexibility. They’re talented, blonde, and underage — and their parents aren’t quite sure what they should do about their growing fame.