Lipstick & Bruises: Do You Know A Rollergirl?


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People always ask me for advice. I’m not really sure why, maybe I just look friendly or, look like I  have it together, i’m never sure. Maybe they just want to see if I can hear them through my headphones?

Recently I received an anonymous email.


Lately I’ve been noticing some changes in my daughter. She seems not to care about certain things anymore and she’s always going off places and coming home late. She’s also become increasingly aggressive and oddly confident. What really gets me, is she had this painful looking bruise and  acted like it was nothing!

~A Concerned Mother in TX”

My first response is, your daughter is most likely a teenager. Teenagers do things to test boundaries . However, it occurred to me your daughter, like many others in TX and the US could be doing Roller Derby.

Roller Derby is an underground sport popular that encompasses anyone going around in circles while wearing skates. If that isn’t dizzying enough, more often than not, the more popular, grass-roots leagues involve a lot of full-contact smashing and crashing. Basically, all the things you love about NASCAR except with hot costumes and scary sounding nicknames. Oh, and without the car part. So, it’s more like NASGIRL, or something like that.

The sport in and of itself is fairly simple, there are two teams, each field 5 girls (or guys if you’re in a men’s league, or a mix if you’re in a co-ed league, which is a bit more uncommon) 4 blockers and a jammer. The blockers are like rolling, pummeling goal posts, since the jammer from each team scores points by passing blockers on the opposing team. This is made more difficult by the full-contact nature of the sport. These athletes are not set to let the opposing team just skate on by, oh no. Hip checks, tackles, holds, and all other manner of bodily harm are involved (though most leagues have regulations on which forms of beatings are acceptable and which are just over the line).

Now that you know what Roller Derby is,  I now present you with

5 signs your girl is secretly a roller girl.

1. Mystery bruises with vague, implausible explanations.

“Dear, why do you have a bruise the shape of a foot on your leg?”

“Oh, um, I ran into the stairwell!”

Note: This only works if your suspect is still secretly a roller girl. Some, if not most, revel in the badges they get from particularly rough games.

2. “Road Rage” when she’s nowhere near a road. Basically, if your demure, kind, sweet girl has become a foul-mouthed trucker about to gun-down an old lady because she’s taking too long looking over the cereal in the grocery store aisle, you might have a hint.

3. Increased self confidence. This one is a gimme. With most sports, active participants feel better about themselves as they get better and get the work out. Getting to beat up on people is just a bonus.

4. People you don’t know address her by a name not her own and she answers. Now, this is pretty common amongst teenagers anyways. The key is to determine what’s a nickname, and what’s a derby name. Example: Spike, Ace, Homey, and any permutation of her name is probably a nickname. Things like Crash Bandisnoot, Slayer Kinney, and Danger Rosa are more than likely derby names, unless she has some really, really violently imaginative friends.

5.  She spends more on skates than she does on shoes. Another easy sign. It’s like stumbling upon a stack of derby flyers in her backpack next to her helmet. Unfortunately, it’s not as useful if the local roller-disco didn’t close up in the ‘80s with the rest of them.

One Response to “Lipstick & Bruises: Do You Know A Rollergirl?”

  1. ZOMG This whole time I thought I was secretly abusing her in my sleep!

    She’s a roller girl! There goes the neighborhood 😉

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