Sexy Skating Cupcake Smashing

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photo by: Viewminder

Opinions expressed in the skater blog do not necessarily represent the entire league.

 

     My teammate Lemmy Destroyer is one sexy lady. In fact, I think all of my teammates on the Chicago Outfit are gorgeous, beautiful, cute, womanly, feminine, tough, badass, smart, funny, charming… you get the idea. Last Friday, May 4th marked the second annualTake Off Your Outfit! A Chicago Outfit Roller Derby Burlesque at the Cobra Lounge.
     As previously stated, this was the second year the Outfit has hosted and performed in a burlesque show. Last month was also the fourth year in a row we’ve held our spaghetti-wrestling event, this year it was at the Double Door. Our league, which is a member of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA), has these promotions in a melding of roller derby, sex appeal, and fun.
     But not everyone thinks it’s all fun. We are athletes, right? Treading a line between what is blatant “sex sells” style marketing and what is appropriate behavior for an ambassador of roller derby is a divisive and touchy subject. Women’s bodies are critiqued publicly and privately and our worth is often reduced to how hetero-normatively attractive we appear to be.  As a member skater, who has participated in spaghetti wrestling and pin up photo shoots, who has skated in bouts sometimes wearing booty shorts and sometimes not, I am very aware about how my body may be scrutinized by fans, granddads, the junior roller derby girls who I coach, or leering creeps.
     I didn’t perform in our burlesque show but my teammates Lemmy Destroyer, Annie War Doll, Bloody Elle, and Lady K got on stage and shimmied around to classics like Fever and I Hate Myself for Loving You. The Derby Dancers, a performance group from Ann Arbor, Michigan also had choreographed group numbers, cheeky drag scenes, and Colonel Sanders shakin’ it in nothing but a chicken bucket.  Ottermatic Weapon, ConTORQUEtionist, Queefer Sutherland, and Shebiscuit took turns introducing the acts with funny ad lib stories about being beginners. Finally, the night ended with an unforgettable duet with Lemmy Destroyer and Lady K on skates featuring lighted candles and strategic sexy cupcake smashing to Rihanna’s Cake.
     The women who skate for the Chicago Outfit are not representatives of all women who play roller derby everywhere. They are their own unique individuals who find fulfillment and happiness by using their bodies in all types of ways. They are free to express whatever it is that they may be feeling at any given moment in whatever type of mode they choose. As a league we do not require that all members participate in these types of events. Members have expressed objections and in fact, do not participate on principle. We are a diverse and opinionated group and that's just fine.
     My point of view is that we are not selling roller derby at a burlesque show. We are selling burlesque performances… or spaghetti wrestling matches, or whatever.  When we are selling roller derby we are playing roller derby. I disagree in branding and logo strategies that try to fit all of our members into the same sized box. In roller derby it is rarely one-size-fits-all anyway ifyouknowwhatImean.  To me, sexuality does not denigrate my position as an athlete nor does it cheapen or enhance my ability in a jam.  If someone came to watch me play roller derby because they like the shape of my butt I don’t care. It’s really none of my business.
Valerie of  the Dolls