I had an absolutely amazing experience last night. I’ve always wanted to attend a roller derby bout, but it just hadn’t happened… until last night. While watching the Windy City Rollers from the bleachers with my Mom, I got wildly inspired.
Walking through life, having been taught from many forces and sources that my body is gross, ugly, and doing me a disservice, it never occurred to me that I could use my size as an advantage in any way. Of course, we’re so used to this concept when it comes to men, especially athletes, but when was the last time you heard a sportscaster say “… and this is where her size is an advantage?”
Fans and players alike are a diverse bunch. Piercings, tattoos, wild hair colors, artists, lawyers, big, small… you name it. It’s glorious. A large gymnasium filled with folks of every shape, size, color, religion, and all cheering; engaged. It is a sample of what I wish the entire outside world would aspire to.
As I watched the bouts, I saw larger girls, looking so tough and cool, kicking butt, having fun, and just being confident in their own skin. I realize it may seem absurd that I was so thrilled by this, but if I’m honest, I’ve been struggling lately. I preach a lot about body positivity, loving yourself, owning how cool you are, ad nauseam. I’m just not in that space right now with my own damn self.
So thank you to the amazing women of roller derby. Last night, you granted me a serious dose of perspective. You taught me that my big butt and hips can be used to my advantage, that women of any size can belong to a team, that we all have cheering sections, and that we can all kick butt.
I can tell you with 100% confidence that my love for Roller Derby is just beginning. I’m already daydreaming about what my derby name would be.