Photo by Sammy Ray
The cheerleader: a symbol of power, femininity, even purity, should she be coated in porcelain. She’s despised and desired, and, according to Mia Berrin, this image colored her formative girlhood experiences as a pillar of something unattainable. Pom Pom Squad became her project: a reimagining of the figure and an ongoing examination of the vulnerability of otherness via race, gender and queerness. On this episode, Mia checks in with Michael to discuss how her youth paved the road to this project and her upcoming full-length debut Death of a Cheerleader. The pair also discuss the whitewashing of Black music, the power and money behind modern indie aesthetics and how to walk in one’s pain to power something beautiful.