Why Cheetah Girls Still Holds Up Nearly 20 Years Later

Oct 20, 2020 | Culture

To clarify, we’re talking about The Cheetah Girls. As in, the movies where Galleria was present. I’m neglecting the 3rd movie for the obvious reason being that a major character was missing. Each movie was set in a different location, the first being New York City and the second being Barcelona (the third was set in India but we don’t talk about her).

Also, shout out to Deborah Gregory who wrote the books the movies were based on. 

First of all, their names are iconic: Galleria, Chanel, Aqua and Dorinda. It’s as if a group of writers sat in a room and picked names that would perfectly suit a girl band. 

Second of all, the diversity is amazing. When the movie premiered [in 2003], diversity was not a huge thing, so to see it in a Disney Original Movie, it was amazing. Women of colour as the leading roles? You got it. People of different socio-economic status? You got it. People who actually have different personalities and opinions? You got it. 

Couldn’t talk about Cheetah Girls and not talk about this photo…This photo is iconic and stemmed numerous Halloween outfits for my friends and I, we’d always fight over who got to be Galleria. We could never replicate the sass factor though, that was signature Raven-Symoné. 

And can we take a minute to appreciate their outfits? Obviously, the cheetah and leopard prints were heavily incorporated but I’m talking about how the costume designers focused on the details. From the jewellery, the intricacy of the hair to the shoes. It was so well thought out and added the extra layer of pazazz to the characters. 

This look and this look alone.

The songs

You’re lying if you think they’re not catchy.

On a more real note, the Cheetah Girls had the strongest message that any little kid watching Disney can take to heart. That you can be a star but also to remain true to yourself and that it’s better to have friends than be a sell out. That you can be a star but remain your sense of individuality.

You don’t watch Cheetah Girls for the plot. You watch it for the friendship, the nostalgia and the fashion. You watch it for the actresses, the cliche plot and the catchy songs. You watch it for what it represents.

Friends over fame. “Amigas, Cheetahs, Friends for life”.

Written by Anna Lowe