Roller derby girls are tough as shit. After all, the game they play involves dashing around an oval on roller skates, intentionally colliding into opponents and oftentimes sending them careening off course -- sometimes face-first. Injuries are common; the starting line of this weekend's WFTDA Championships in Broomfield was sponsored by "Dr. Hauschka's Ouch! Aid."
But do derby girls have a softer side?
We asked five to tell us the girliest thing they do.
Laura "Amanda Jamitinya" Mann, Rocky Mountain Rollergirls, Denver Mann, pictured above, is dangerous on wheels. An integral part of Denver's team, she displayed some of the most expert booty blocking of the weekend, keeping her opponents from lapping her teammates and scoring points. She's also not afraid to mix it up; she was ejected in the second half of Denver's nail-biter bout against New York on Saturday.
So what's the girliest thing she does? "I have a twenty-plus-bottle lotion collection," she says. After every shower, she lubes up with at least three different kinds of lotion. "People like to give them to me," she says of her lotions. "It's like, 'Do I smell bad?'"?
Sunday "Lickity Splittail" Plaster Assassination City Roller Derby, Dallas Don't let the smile fool you. Plaster has been skating since 2005, all the while without an ACL in her left knee. A former computer-aided drafting expert and bass-fishing badass ("I can skin a catfish," she boasts), she now teaches roller derby full-time -- and she has the scars to prove it. "I have permanent rink rash under each ass cheek," she explains.
So what's the girliest thing she does? "I like butterflies," she says. "If you see my car, it has a thousand butterfly stickers on it." She's also raised them in her garden at home.
Elena "Push Up Brawl" Wade 10th Mountain Roller Dolls, Vail Wade has torn her knees up so badly from snowboarding and roller derby that her kneecaps wobble when she walks. A speech-language pathologist by day, she's never had a manicure and once hip-checked a girl into a ditch while snowboarding. So what's the girliest the she does? "Probably spend $90 on shoes at a roller derby tournament," she says. Does it count if the shoes are covered in rhinestone skulls?
Samantha "Rambo Sambo" Duane Nashville Rollergirls, Tennessee Duane is an athlete. A self-described tomboy with tattoos on both shoulders, she grew up on a farm. As a girl, she played volleyball, basketball and softball. She's now team captain of the Nashville Rollergirls, who fell to Denver's team on Friday. Even though they lost, Duane stood out as an all-star player, scoring points like a motherfucker whenever she could. "I'm known as an aggressive, no-holds-barred jammer," she says.
So what's the girliest thing she does? Duane says she has a very regimented night-time ritual. "I have to wash my face and put my hair in a bandana before I go to bed," she says -- no matter how drunk she is. "That's the only girly thing I do."
Jessie "Destructra" Schneider Tampa Bay Derby Darlins, Florida Schneider has held some pretty tough jobs. For a while, she worked with teenagers on probation. She also worked at a facility for troubled girls; once, one of them bit her. Now she runs her own business called Cannibal Crafts. She's been playing roller derby since 2007, including a stint as a referee with the Denver Roller Dolls. ("I couldn't breathe the air here," she says of why she didn't play.) Among her badass hobbies, she says, is getting "beyond the point of tipsy."
So what's the girliest thing she does? Schneider has several. "I sleep with a unicorn pillow," she says. "I paint my nails. Usually they're rainbow but today, they're shining like justice. And I brought eight pairs of undies-on-the-outside (sparkly roller derby hotpants) even though we'll only be here three days."
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At the end of her list, her friend interjects. "You also bleed from the vagina," she says.
So there's that.