What are spankies?

Written by elan kesilman
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What are spankies?
Spankies lurk beneath the short skirts of cheerleaders. (Ablestock.com/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

As cheerleading evolved into the sport that it is today, uniforms also changed with the times. Women entered the formerly male-dominated activity, and cheerleading grew to include dance, jumps and flips instead of chiefly vocal encouragement for the team. As these changes occurred, hemlines rose, and this led to the wearing of spankies, or the short shorts worn underneath skirts.

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When cheerleaders flip, do cartwheels or stand high in a pyramid, cheerleading skirts do little to hide what lies beneath. For this reason, spankies are necessary to cover body parts that, if revealed, could lead to arrest or, at the very least, severe embarrassment. Although spankies are little more than underwear, they are thicker and opaque, so the coverage is superior if examined up close. They are also more aesthetically pleasing since they match the rest of the cheerleading uniform.

Types of Spankies

Although all spankies are tight shorts by definition, they are available in a wide range of colours and in different degrees of coverage. The type of spankie used depends of the type of cheerleading skirt. For short skirts that cover the midriff, spankies that come to the waist are ideal. If the skirt does not fully cover the waist, there are spankies with a lower rise. There are also spankies that resemble biking shorts for use with longer skirts.

With or Without Underwear?

One of the greatest cheerleading debates is whether to wear underwear underneath the spankies. Ultimately, this is a decision each cheerleader must make for herself. Although underwear are not necessary since spankies provide coverage, some cheerleaders feel that wearing underwear beneath them is more hygenic or modest. The problem with this, however, is that underwear may peek out from underneath spankies or create panty lines and mar the appearance of the uniform.


Some of the same problems that come with underwear exist for spankies. The chief difference is that spankies are publicly viewed attire. So, when spankies ride up wedgie-style, rip or get stained, the clothing malfunction opens the cheerleader up to public ridicule. The best way to prevent these malfunctions is to replace worn spankies as they wear out so the fabric maintains good elasticity to help keep them in the proper place.

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