Last year, it was a Madonna-inspired bleached blonde look.
This year, members of the University of the Philippines Pep Squad went back to the hair salon and showed up for Saturday’s UAAP Cheerdance Competition at the SM Mall of Asia Arena sporting fresh buzz cuts.
UP won its third straight cheerdance title with an ambitious routine that featured complicated stunts. But apart from technical mastery, their new hairdo — both men and women got the haircut — also drew a lot of attention.
It contributed to UP’s androgynous look for the second straight year, and members of the team explained it had to do with their theme, which was Freedom — a freedom to look the way they want despite norms of society.
“It’s a freedom. We can do what we want,” said UP Pep Squad co-captain Irish Planes.
“And everyone agreed to do it. This was a big sacrifice for the team.”
The interest in their hairstyle also helped spread some misinformation on Twitter. RockEd founder Gang Badoy made a joke on her Twitter account that members of the team donated their locks to charity — an assertion her followers took seriously and shared as fact. UP professor Eloi Hernandez clarified that it was the original plan that didn’t push through. “Hair too short to be donate,” she said.